Akiba-Schechter is participating this year in the Chicago Metro History Fair (CMHF), a local chapter of the national organization, National History Day. History Fair is an opportunity for students to become historians: research a question of personal interest, analyze the material via both primary and secondary sources, develop a thesis, and find their historical voice by telling a story. There are five modes of presentation to choose from: research paper, exhibit, documentary, performance, or website.
Why Is Akiba Participating?
We believe the History Fair experience cultivates the skills we value in a rigorous, child-based, critical-thinking-oriented curriculum. By immersing themselves in a topic of genuine interest to them, students feel real ownership of their research and presentation. By seeing a large project through from inception to finished product, students develop skills to manage large projects by breaking them into manageable, bite-sized pieces.
History Fair offers a more authentic experience with the process of history. In an ordinary classroom, students read textbooks, obliging them to accept the framework, sources, and conclusions reached by other historians. History Fair puts students behind the wheel, ensuring them a role in the process of choosing a historical problem, selecting relevant primary sources that they confront and analyze, developing a coherent thesis, and translating their research into a public-oriented presentation.
The most exciting part of History Fair is simply that students have the opportunity to join a teeming universe of history lovers–all of whom are brimming with passion and rigor as they learn to produce history. We want to give our students this taste of excitement about history, and for them to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Chicago Metro History Fair
Chicago Metro History Fair (CMHF), the specific branch of National History Day with which we’re partnering, is INCREDIBLY dedicated to supporting students and schools that participate. Their website, http://www.chicagohistoryfair.org, is full of helpful archives, tips, graphic organizers, insider information like judging scoresheets, and other information. We have culled that website for some of the most important pieces and embedded them on this website. But, we highly encourage you to take a few minutes and browse their site. Trust us, they’re the experts and they’ve thought of everything!