Updated: Mar 23, 2021
When you go into the 7th grade, you do a project in social studies called the NHD (National History Day) project. We call it AESHD which stands for AES History Day. Personally, this is the biggest project I have ever done.
As you may know, this project is almost for the whole school year. I interviewed Mr. Ho, one of the social studies teachers in 7th grade (The other Social studies teacher is Mr. de Oliveira). I asked him why the project was made for so long. He answered me “That is because it is an important part of the Grade 7 Social Studies curriculum at AES.” To quote from him, it is a “big and important project.”
According to Mr. Ho, this helps 7th graders to “learn and use research skills, find primary and secondary sources, and also learn how to organize their information and create it into one project.”
Now, if you are an 8th grader that was here last year, or you saw 7th graders working on this project last year (most likely in the maker space) you could probably see that things had changed from last year’s NHD to this year’s NHD. Mr. Ho told me that less people this year are doing the exhibit category (there are four categories we can choose to make; paper, digital/physical exhibit, website, performance.) He said last year there were a lot of people doing the exhibit category because they wanted to be more hands-on. This year, he said that people are doing the website category more because of hybrid and online learning. He informed me that there is less time to work on the project than last year, so the teachers had to make a few adjustments.
I was surprised to learn that they started having NHD projects starting from last year(2019-2020). Last year's 7th graders were the first to do this.
I wondered how teachers thought about the NHD projects and what they enjoy about it. Mr. Ho says “Seeing students consistently asking for feedback from me and their peers is another golden moment; this shows that students care about their learning.”
He also enjoyed seeing students grow as actual historians and make connections.
Students have a similar perspective.
I interviewed Seoan, a 7th grader currently working on the NHD project. I wanted to know how she felt about this big NHD project. She said, “It was a thoughtful project because I could learn more about historical events, writing claims, and also to source something. I’ve never tried a big project like this before, so it was hard and challenging but I am still proud of it.”
So what do students enjoy about making this project? She answered that she liked the final work she had made because she got through all the challenging processes not giving up and trying her best then ending the project successfully.
As a 7th grader like her, I would say the same thing. NHD is a major project for us. We all hope that our projects end successfully.
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