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December 1, 2008

Welcome to the History Day Teacher Blog!

Filed under: Teachers — Jessica Ellison @ 11:18 am

Just in time for 2009, History Day is taking one of the final steps into the new millenium and has launched a blog. We have put aside our Luddite tendencies and realized that even historians can be hip to new technology. Welcome, then, to the inaugural blog for History Day teachers across Minnesota; we hope that you will find it helpful, amusing, thought-provoking, and a portal to all the answers you seek.

My name is Jessica Ellison, and my background with History Day goes back 16 years. I participated in the program in the performance category for four years while attending Osseo Public Schools. After high school, I kept my foot always in the History Day waters, until I came here in 2004. Although I won’t admit it when March rolls around and I’m up to my ears in regional registrations and judge forms, I love History Day and the opportunities it offers students.

I will be managing the teacher category. We will have two other blog categories — one for students and one for parents — and we encourage you to venture into these other categories as well. In this blog, we will be sharing important information about History Day events, updates, topics, and categories, as well as providing advice and sharing the wealth of knowledge that we encounter in History Day classrooms around the state. If you have a suggestion for a blog feature, I’m always looking for new material.

I have never been a History Day teacher, but I have worked with some of the most outstanding HD teachers that Minnesota, and the nation, have to offer. They are an amazing group of people with an unshakeable faith in their kids’ abilities, and I am consistently moved by the time, talent and tears that these teachers pour into History Day. They are among the most outstanding people I have ever met. I hope, in this blog, to highlight the work of some of these teachers and pass along their words of wisdom.

Keep checking in for more updates along the way. I hope to update every two weeks, and then every week once the event season looms. And since I don’t want to send you away empty-handed, here are some tidbits to take along.

Reminder: Category-specific workshops will be held at the History Center in January. Sharpen your exhibit, documentary and performance skills! Sign up online: http://shop.mnhs.org/category.cfm?Category=221.

Topic idea: It would be interesting to research how the fates of several individuals were linked in with proving Einstein’s theory of relativity. His proof was first dependent on the charting of an eclipse, but his colleagues were captured in Russia at the outbreak of WWI; after the eclipse project collapsed, Einstein realized his math was faulty and should the eclipse project been successful, he would have been a public failure. His family was also affected; he promised his estranged wife the prize money when he won the Nobel Prize for his theory. And a mathematician proved the theory at the same time Einstein did, but he deliberately stepped back so Einstein could take the credit.

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