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Educational Fair » History Fair

History Fair

Educational Fair History Project 2015

Educational Fair History Project

If you choose to accept this challenge, you will experience important benefits beyond learning about interesting issues, ideas, people, and events of your choosing. You will hone your expressive abilities as you demonstrate command of your topic and present your work in one of the given formats: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance -iMovie, or Prezi presentation.


DOCUMENTARY - How to Create a Historical Documentary – www.iMovie.comWhat is a Historical Documentary?


Documentaries present information about an event, person, place or idea from the past through a ten minute presentation that showcases documents, images, photographs, and actual footage of the topic you are researching.

Your documentary needs to have both primary and secondary research but also be an original production. A documentary should reflect your ability to use audiovisual equipment to communicate your topic’s significance. The documentary category will help you develop skills in using photographs,film, video, audio, computers, and graphic presentations. To produce a documentary, you must have access to equipment and be able to operate it.

How is a Documentary Different from Other Categories?

Creating a documentary is different from other categories because of the technology necessary. Before deciding to create a documentary, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I interested in using computers, cameras, and other technologies?

  • Can I conduct and record interviews (for the purpose of including film clips in the documentary)?

  • Can I find film clips to use in my documentary?

  • Are there enough still photographs related to my topic and that I can use in my documentary?

  • Do I have access to equipment that will be needed to make a documentary?

  • Is creating a documentary the best way to show off my topic?

Getting Started

  • Create a Documentary Notebook to write down all of your ideas and keep your research organized. Watch historical documentaries and write a list of what you think makes a great historical documentary

  • Make sure you have access to
    -a computer
    -a video camera
    -editing software
    -supplies: batteries, blank DVDs or videotapes, paper, pens, props

  • Research the topic first. One way to choose your topic is to select a commonly known story and then find a different angle that brings something new to it. Remember that there are many unknown stories that also should be told. Regardless of the topic you select, choose one that truly interests you, and remember to put it into historical context.

  • Keep a database. It is important that you have a database where you keep track of all of the information you are gathering. A database is simply any place where you can collect and easily access your sources and production materials.

  • Create a Timeline. Before you jump into your project, it is a good idea to create a preliminary timeline of when you want to finish important steps along the way, especially the start and end dates of pre-production, research, production, and post-production.

    Create a budget. On the practical side, you need to have a sense of the costs of doing this project. Remember you don't have to break the bank to make a film. Spending more money does not make a film better in quality.


• Documentaries may not exceed ten minutes in length.

• Timing begins when the first visual image appears and/or the first sound

is heard. Audio and visual leads will be counted in the time limit.

• Timing ends when the last visual image or sound of the presentation concludes (including credits).

• You will be doing a voice over for this project. iMovie is a good source for this project.

• You may use professional photographs, film, recorded music, etc., within

your presentation. However, you must give proper credit in the credits

at the end of your presentation and in your annotated bibliography.

• At the conclusion of the documentary, you must provide a list of acknowledgments and credits for ALL sources. These credits should be brief—not full bibliographic citations and not annotated.

• You are not required to credit individual images or video clips while the documentary is playing; that is the purpose of the credits at the end.

• All sources (e.g., music, images, film/media clips, interviews, books, websites, etc.) used in the making of the documentary must be

properly cited in the annotated bibliography.

• The list of credits counts toward the ten-minute time limit and should

be readable by viewers.

• Viewers and judges must be able to control media devices. The school is not responsible for your device, therefore, you should be by your project during the fair. The school does have iPads for use that day, up you still need to guard it.

• Four copies of the paper and annotated bibliography must be submitted by January 20 in order for it to be judged.

EXHIBIT - How to Create a Historical Exhibit

What is a Historical Exhibit?

Historical exhibition presents information about an event, person, place, or idea from the past by physically displaying documents, images, or objects. We often see such exhibits at museums, but they are also presented at many other places such as archives, historic sites, park visitor centers, classrooms, and even airports and train stations. You will tell the story of your research through historic photographs, maps, drawings and other interesting objects. This exhibit is a visual representation of your research and interpretation of your topic’s significance in history. The analysis and interpretation of your topic must be clear and evident to the viewer. Labels and captions should be used creatively with visual images and objects to enhance the message of your exhibit.

How is an Exhibit Different from Other Categories?

The exhibit category is three dimensional and is displayed on a physical structure. Exhibits use color, images, documents, objects, graphics, and design, as well as words, to tell your story. Exhibits can be interactive experiences by asking viewers to play music, solve a puzzle, look at a video, or open a door or window to see more documents or photos.

Getting Started

  • Brainstorm topics that are of interest to you.

  • Research the topic first. Do your secondary research first. Reading secondary resources will help you understand your subject more completely, point you to primary sources, and assist you in selecting the important themes you want to investigate and the key questions you want to ask.

  • Select items to put on the exhibit. You won't be able to use all the materials you find while doing your research. As you think about what to put on the exhibit, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the item fit in with the theme of your exhibit?
    -Does the item advance the story you are trying to tell?
    -Is a document you are thinking of displaying too long or too wordy? Is it easy to read and understand? Will it take up too much space in your exhibit?
    -Is the item visually interesting?
    -What images best tell your story?
    -Do you want to include artifacts in your exhibit?
    -Will your exhibit contain audiovisual materials?

  • Prepare the script. Writing your titles, text, and labels is often referred to as writing the script. Like all good writing, your exhibit script needs to be grammatically correct, use good sentence structure, make wise word choices, and contain no spelling errors. You should expect to write several drafts. Exhibit labels are brief, so they need to be clear and concise.


• The overall size of your exhibit when displayed for judging must be no larger than 40 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 6 feet high.

• A 500-word limit applies to all student-composed text that appears on, or as part of, an exhibit entry.

• This includes the text that you write for titles, subtitles, captions, graphs, timelines, media devices, or supplemental materials (e.g.,photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.) where you use your own words.

• Brief factual credits of the sources of illustrations or quotations included on the exhibit do not count toward the 500-word limit. A date (January 1, 1903) counts as one word.

NOTE: Be careful that your message is clear on the exhibit itself. Oral history transcripts, correspondence between you and experts, questionnaires,and other primary or secondary material used as sources for your exhibit should be cited in your bibliography, but not included as attachments to your bibliography or exhibit.

• Media devices (e.g., DVD players, tablets, mp3 players, video monitors, computers, etc.) used in an exhibit must not run for more than a total of three minutes.

• Quotes from another source (e.g., clip from a documentary, primary source music, etc.) are considered quotes. Any student-composed questions, narration, or graphics incorporated within a media presentation are subject to the 500-word limit

• You may use professional photographs, film, recorded music, etc., within your presentation. However, you must give proper credit in the credits

at the end of your presentation and in your annotated bibliography.

• Viewers and judges must be able to control media devices. The school is not responsible for your device, therefore, you should be by your project during the fair. The school does have iPads for use that day, up you still need to guard it.

• Any media devices used should be integral to the exhibit.

• All quotes from written sources must be credited on the exhibit.

• All visual sources (e.g., photographs, paintings, charts, and graphs, etc.) must be credited on the exhibit and fully cited in the annotated bibliography.

• Brief, factual credits do not count toward the word total.

• Four copies of the paper and annotated bibliography must be submitted by January 20 in order for it to be judged.

Great picture of an example:

PERFORMANCE - How to Create a Historical Performance –

What is a Historical Performance?

A performance is a live, dramatic presentation of your topic's significance in history. You may perform individually or as part of a group. A performance should be a scripted portrayal based on research of your chosen topic. Your script should be structured on a thesis statement, supporting statements, and a conclusion.� Your performance should have dramatic appeal, but not at the expense of historical information.

How is a Performance Different from Other Categories?

The performance category is the only one that you write and have actors to perform your script Developing a strong narrative that allows your subject to unfold in a dramatic and visually interesting way is important. Memorizing, rehearsing, and refining your script is essential, so you should schedule time for this in addition to research, writing, costuming and prop gathering.. It should be scripted based on research of your chosen topic and should have dramatic appeal, but not at the expense of historical information. It must be an original production.

Getting Started

  • Decide whether the chosen topic will be most effective as a group or as an individual performance.

  • Research the topic first. Write down important facts or quotes that may be important to the performance. Write a thesis statement, supporting statements and a conclusion. Think about how these might become part of your performance.

  • Prepare a script. Brainstorm with general ideas and how they might be presented. If a group is performing, each member should describe different ways in which characters might interact.
    -Make sure your script contains references to the historical evidence found in your research.
    -Using actual dialogue, quotations, or brief excerpts from speeches are good ways to put historical detail into your performance.
    -Remember that your script should center on the thesis statement, supporting statements, and the conclusion that you developed from your research.

  • Prepare the set. Think about different types of sets that might help depict your topic. Is there a prop that is central to the story?

  • Prepare the blocking. To "block" a performance is to determine where the actors will stand, move, and/or relate to the set. You should think about these movements when deciding what type of set to design.

  • Prepare the costuming. Good costumes help make a performer convincing, but make sure they are appropriate to the topic. You do not need to purchase or make an elaborate costume - sometimes simple works best (e.g. white shirt and dark pants/skirt can fit almost any time period).

  • Practice, practice, practice! Work on speaking clearly, pronouncing all words correctly, and projecting your voice so that the judges and the audience can hear every word. Rehearse with the set and full costumes as often as possible.


• Performances may not exceed ten minutes in length. Timing starts at the beginning of the performance following the announcement of the title and student name(s).

Performance must be a video created by you. iMovie is a good source to use.

• Make sure you have a title page and give credit as needed.

• You may have assistance in producing your costume, or you may rent the costumes.

Remember: simple is best.

• You may use professional photographs, film, recorded music, etc., within

your presentation. However, you must give proper credit in the credits

at the end of your presentation and in your annotated bibliography.

• Viewers and judges must be able to control media devices. The school is not responsible for your device, therefore, you should be by your project during the fair. The school does have iPads for use that day, up you still need to guard it.

• Four copies of the paper and annotated bibliography must be submitted by January 20 in order for it to be judged.

PAPER – How to create a Historical Paper

What is a Historical Paper?

A paper is the traditional form of presenting historical research. Various types of creative writing (e.g., fictional diaries, poems, etc.) are permitted, but must conform to all criteria. History papers present information and analyze an event, person, place or idea from the past in writing. Although you might attach a map, chart or photograph that you refer to in your paper, you will rely mainly on words. Writing a paper is a chance to tell what you know and what you think about a part of the past. Your paper should be grammatically correct and well written.

How is a Paper Different from Other Categories?

A paper is a highly personal and individual effort, and if you prefer to work alone this may be the category for you. Papers depend almost entirely on words to tell the story, and you can usually include more information in a paper than in some of the other categories.

Getting Started

  • Conduct your research. Examine secondary and primary sources, taking careful notes and keeping track of which source each piece of information came from. From your research, you should come up with your thesis  the argument you want to make in your paper.

  • Make an outline. Using your notes, you can create a list of the main information you want to include in your paper, where each piece of information will go, and in what order. This will help when you sit down to write your paper.

  • Start writing. You might begin by writing your introduction in which you state your thesis.
    -Introduction: your introduction should tell the reader where you intend to go with the rest of your paper.
    -Body: the main body of your paper is where you can make the case for your conclusion. Present your evidence, the primary sources, and your analysis of how they support your thesis.
    -Conclusion: your conclusion is like the summary of your paper. It should summarize your main points that prove your thesis.

  • Read and Revise. A polished product takes time, so it is important to re-read and revise your paper. Check for clarity, unity, and coherence. Is it clear how your topic relates to your theme? Does your conclusion flow logically from your thesis?


• Historical papers must be between 1,000 and 1,500 words.

• Each word or number in the text of the paper counts as one word. This includes student-composed text as well as quotes from primary or secondary sources.

• The 2,000-word limit does not apply to notes, the annotated bibliography or illustration captions.

NOTE: Oral history transcripts, correspondence between you and experts, questionnaires, and other primary or secondary materials used as sources for your paper should be cited in your bibliography.

• Citations—footnotes or endnotes are required. Citations are used to credit the sources of specific ideas as well as direct quotations.

• Papers must be typed or computer printed on plain, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper with 1-inch margins on all sides

• Pages must be numbered consecutively and double-spaced with writing on one side and in 12-point font Times New Roman

• Papers must be stapled in the top left corner and should not be enclosed in a cover or binder.

• Four copies of the paper and annotated bibliography must be submitted by January 20 in order for it to be judged.

PREZI PRESENTATION - How to Create a Historical Prezi Presentation -

What is a Historical Presentation?

A historical presentation is a collection of research presented in a Prezi Power Point, interconnected with hyperlinks, that presents primary and secondary sources, interactive multimedia, and historical analysis. Your presentation should be an accumulation of research and argument that incorporates textual and non-textual (photographs, maps, music, etc.) description, interpretation, and multimedia sources to engage and inform viewers about your chosen historical topic. Your presentation should incorporate interactive multimedia, text, non-textual descriptions (e.g., photographs, maps, music, etc.), and interpretations of sources.Through the use of computer technology, you are to communicate your topic’s significance in history in a Prezi presentation.

How is a Presentation Different from Other Categories?

Presentations can display materials online, your own historical analysis as well as primary and secondary sources.  These can be photographs, maps, documents, or audio and video files. Presentations are interactive experiences where viewers can play music, solve a puzzle, or look at a video or click on different links. Viewers can move through the presentation in various undirected ways. Presentations use color, images, fonts, documents, objects, graphics and design, as well as words, to tell your story.

Getting Started

  • Decide whether you want to create your website as part of a group or on your own.

  • Research your topic first. Examine secondary and primary sources. From this research, create your thesis. This will be the point that you want to make with your historical website.

  • Narrow in on the content of your website. Decide what information you want to incorporate in your web pages, including any photos, primary documents, or media clips you may have found. You should be sure to have plenty of supporting information for your thesis.

  • Create your presentation with PREZI.
    -Keep It Simple: don't waste too much time on bells and whistles. Tell your story and tell it straight.
    -Make sure every element of your design points back to your topic, thesis, and/or time period. There should be a conscious reason for every choice you make about color, typeface, or graphics.


• Prezi Presentation may contain no more than 1,000 visible, student composed words.

• The presentation may contain documents (e.g., newspaper articles, excerpts from written text, etc.), but must be cited on the bibliography.

• The presentation may contain multimedia clips (audio, video, or both) that total no more than four minutes (e.g., use one four-minute clip, four one-minute clips, two two-minute clips, etc.).

• You may record quotes and primary source materials for dramatic


• Judges will make every effort to view all multimedia content, but files that cannot be viewed cannot be evaluated as part of the entry.

• All quotes from written sources must be credited.

• All visual sources (photographs, videos, paintings, charts, and graphs) must be credited.

• All sources must be properly cited in the annotated bibliography.

• The annotated bibliography and process paper must be included as an integrated part of the presentation.



How many sources should I have for my annotated bibliography?

We can't tell you a specific number of sources, as that will vary by the topic and by the resources to which you have reasonable access. For some topics, such as the Civil War or many 20th-century US topics, there are many sources available. For other topics, such as those in ancient history or non-US history, there likely are far fewer sources available. The more good sources you have, the better, but don't pad your bibliography. Only list items which you actually use; if you looked at a source but it didn't help you at all, don't list it in your bibliography.

You do need to find both primary and secondary sources. Secondary sources help you to put your topic in context, that is, to see how your topic relates to the big picture and to understand its long-term causes and consequences. Primary sources help you develop your own interpretation and make your project lively and personal.

As much as possible, your research should be balanced, considering the viewpoints of all relevant groups. That means losers as well as winners, males and females, different nations, different socioeconomic/ethnic/religious groups, etc. What balanced means will vary depending on your topic.

Required Written Material for all projects (4 Copies)

Title Page

Your entry must have a title that is clearly visible on all written materials.


Written Material

Your entry must include the following written material in the order presented below:

  1. A title page

  • Your Title of Project

  • Your Name

  • Your Grade

2. A process paper All categories, except historical paper, must include a process paper.

I It must describe in 500 or fewer words how you conducted your research and created

your entry. The process paper must include four sections that explain:

1. how you chose your topic;

2. how you conducted your research;

3. how you selected your presentation category and created your project;

4. what did you learn

  1. An annotated bibliography

    An annotated bibliography is required for all categories. List only those sources that

    contributed to the development of your entry, i.e., sources that provided usable

    information or new perspectives in preparing your entry. Sources of visual and audio

    materials and oral interviews must be included. Bundle photos or other materials from

    the same collection in a single citation. The annotations for each source must explain

    how you used the source and how it helped you understand your topic. Your annotated

    bibliography is not included in the word count. Use for format and then annotate it.

    These materials must be typed or neatly written on plain white wide-ruled paper, and stapled together in the top left corner. Do not enclose them in a cover or binder.


Judges must evaluate certain aspects of your entry that are objective (e.g., were primary sources used; is the written material grammatically correct and accurately spelled, etc.). But judges also must evaluate interpretive aspects of your entry that are qualitative in

nature (e.g., analysis and conclusions about the historical data, etc.). Historians often reach different opinions about the significance of the same data. It is therefore crucial for you to base your interpretations and conclusions on solid research. Judges will check to determine whether you used available primary sources and whether you were careful to examine all sides of an issue and present a balanced account of your research and presentation. Your process paper and annotated bibliography are critical to this process.


Historical Quality (60%)

The most important aspect of your entry is its historical quality. You should ask yourself the following questions to help you focus on your historical analysis.

• Is my entry historically accurate?

• Does my entry provide analysis and interpretation of the historical data rather

than just a description?

• Does my entry demonstrate an understanding of historical context?

• Does my annotated bibliography demonstrate wide research?

• Does my entry demonstrate a balanced presentation of materials?

• Does my entry demonstrate use of available primary sources?


Relation to Theme (20%)

Your entry must explain clearly your topic in relationship to your theme. You should ask yourself the following questions to help focus your topic on the theme and its significance.

• How does my topic relate to the theme?

• Why is my topic important?

• How is my topic significant in history?

• How did my topic influence history?

• How did the events and atmosphere (social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of my topic’s time period) influence my topic in history?


Clarity of Presentation (20%)

Although historical quality is most important, your entry must be presented in an effective manner. You should ask yourself the following questions to help you focus on your presentation.

• Is my entry original, creative, and imaginative in subject and presentation?

• Is my written material clear, grammatically correct, and accurately spelled?

• Is my entry well-organized?

• Do I display stage presence in a performance?

• Is my visual material presented clearly?

PLAGIARISM: Presenting the work or ideas of others in ways that give the impression that they are your own (copying information word-for-word without using both quotations and citations, paraphrasing an author’s ideas without proper attribution, or using visuals or music without giving proper credit). Plagiarism in any form will result in disqualification from the fair and a zero “0” for a grade.




  • October 14 Topic 
  • November 4 Bibliography of resources using (will change as your project evolves)
  •  December 2 Annotated Bibliography 
  • January 6 Rough Draft of Paper, Proof of progress for all other projects
  •  January 13 Process Paper
  •  January 20 Projects due
  •  Januray 25 Educational Fair in School Hall – Winners announced