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Revolutionary Rum: Economic Exploration that Ignited the American Revolution

School: Escalante Middle School

City/State: Durango, CO

Grade(s): 8

Format(s): Research Paper

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies

Type(s): Informative/Explanatory

Writing Assignment Description

National History Day is an annual academic competition asking students to research any historical topic and apply it to a theme. This year’s theme is Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History. The competition includes different projects in a wide variety of formats including exhibits, websites, documentaries, performances, and research papers.

The emphasis on projects centers around the creation of a thesis/argument and the use of primary resources to back up the student's assertions. Students compete and advance through the following: a school competition, a Regional History Day competition held at Fort Lewis College, the state competition held at the Auraria Campus, and, finally, the national competition held in Washington, D.C.  Project requirements are described in the NHD rulebook.

How This Writing Can Be Useful

  • Powerful quotes and excellent use of primary and secondary sources
  • Excellent example of research at the middle school level
  • Compelling narrative that explores a unique topic that will be of interest to other students
  • Includes an Annotated Bibliography

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Other Standards

  • History, Standard 1 1. Formulate an appropriate hypotheses about United States history based on a variety of historical sources and perspectives
  • Geography, Standard 2 2. Conflict and cooperation occur over space and resources
  • Economics, Standard 3 1.1a Give examples of international differences in resources, productivity, and prices that provide a basis for international trade
  • 1.1a Describe instances in which major political, social, economic, or cultural changes occurred and the reasons for the changes
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