National History Day

Posted on January 15th, 2014 by

Typically every week, the education staff gets many requests to schedule school group visits to the Museum.  Over the past week, in addition to field trip requests, – we have had several requests from schools to participate as judges at the schools’ upcoming National History Day competitions.  Over the years we have been invited by schools to  participate, but I thought it was kind of unusual that in the past week, three separate schools have reached out to the JMM to be judges at their school’s National History Day competition.

nhd

http://www.nhd.org/ 

I wondered what would be involved – being a judge ….. it just sounds so OFFICIAL.

So, I did some investigating about National History Day.  National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students.     National History Day makes history come alive for students by engaging them in the discovery of the historical, cultural and social experiences of the past.    NHD inspires students through exciting competitions and transforms teaching through project-based curriculum and instruction.  Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites.

Every year National History Day frames students’ research within a historical theme. The National History Day theme provides a focused way to increase student’s historical understanding by developing a lens to read history, an organizational structure that helps students place information in the correct context and finally, the ability to see connections over time. This year’s theme is Rights and Responsibilities in History.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, National History Day also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • research and reading skills
  • oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • self esteem and confidence
  • a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

As a judge, for National History Day, each judge will be given a rubric and some “interview questions” for each student. Each judge will be given a set amount of students to interview and judge based on the final project.

The National History Day program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete. This year’s competition will be held on June 15 – 19. 

The education staff at the JMM is delighted to be asked by our partner schools to participate in such an exciting learning experience for area students.   It’s wonderful that history and social studies are being taught in our schools.  The fact that teachers bring their students to the JMM for field trip opportunities and attend professional development workshops only reinforces the importance of history museums in our community. It’s even more exciting that teachers view the Jewish Museum of Maryland as an important stakeholder in our community.

You can find out more about National History Day by visiting their website at http://www.nhd.org/ and more information about Maryland History Day here!

ileneA blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more post by Ilene, click here.

 

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Thanksgivukkah

Posted on November 24th, 2013 by

Last Thursday evening, people all over the United States gave thanks and celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends.  In addition to the Thanksgiving celebrationJews also lit a candle for the celebration of Hanukkah.  Thanksgivukkah is a pop-culture name given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013.

thanksgivvikuh

This week Time Magazine mentions five (5) things that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have in common.

  1. 1.      Both holidays are a great excuse to stuff yourself silly. 
  2. 2.      Both are rooted in religion.
  3. 3.      Both were started by groups who found refuge in America.
  4. 4.      Both are all about being thankful
  5. 5.      Both are a reason to go home.

 

Read more: Thanksgivukkah: Five Things Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Have in Common | TIME.com http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/25/happy-thanksgivukkah-five-things-thanksgiving-and-hanukkah-have-in-common/#ixzz2lmcroWYh;

 

So, as you gather around your holiday dinner table with family and friends, reflect on all of our blessings and even get a little silly with this little ditty… (tune to My Little Dreidel)

Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
Come light the menurkey
Let’s have a party
With latkes and turkey.
Maccabbees and Pilgrims
Americans and Jews
Thankfulness and freedom—
The lessons we choose.

Chorus:
So come spin the dreidel,
And lighting the candles we gloat.
Hearts skip a beat
For we know soon we’ll eat
Pumpkin pie and some sufganiot!
Hearts skip a beat
For we know soon we’ll eat
Pumpkin pie and some sufganiot!

Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
A joyous occasion
Everyone join in
This rare celebration
Lift up high your voices
With songs and with cheers.
The next one won’t be coming
For 79 thousand years. (Chorus)

Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
A marvelous yuntiff
Bringing together
The rebbe and pontiff.
Blending our traditions
Can give quite a shock:
Nays gadol hayah sham

At Plymouth Rock (Chorus)

 

Hag Sameach!  Happy Holidays!

How did you celebrate Thanksgivukkah? Send us your stories and photos!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




The Bells of the 16th Street Baptist Church

Posted on November 6th, 2013 by

ileneOur excellent Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon has guest blogged for AASLH (the American Association for State and Local History)!

Last month, I attended the AASLH annual meeting in Birmingham.  I had the opportunity to enjoy Southern hospitality at its finest, as well as meet other professionals that work in historic houses, museums, libraries, etc. from around the world. (I met professionals from South Africa too at the conference!)  I attended thought provoking sessions with noted scholars, educators and historians and took back ideas to implement in our education programs at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  I also had the opportunity to meet the other members of Religious History Affinity Group at the conference and I look forward to working with them in moving the group’s mission of providing a forum in which history of all faiths may be shared, understood and appreciated.

Read the rest of her post here: http://blogs.aaslh.org/the-bells-of-the-16th-street-baptist-church/

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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