Museum closure due to COVID-19 more

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Why do History Fair?

History Fair is a powerful tool that meets a variety of standards and educational approaches including the International Baccalaureate and the State Board of Education’s Inquiry-based Learning Standards. Watch the testimonial videos by fellow teachers as they share their positive experiences.

History Fair requires a fair amount of coordination on the teachers’ part to make the process go smoothly. Novice teachers will want to carefully review Getting Started FAQs to help make critical decisions about implementing the project in your school. Also, novices are encouraged to attend a “boot camp” or inquire about a direct consultation with staff – visit our Professional Development page to see upcoming dates.

History Fair Essentials

Initial Actions

  • Intent to participate form must be completed each year by December 1 of the school year in which you are participating (currently closed – will re-open Fall 2020).
  • Stay tuned for upcoming rulebook changes for the 2021 contest season!
  • NHD theme and topics page

Contest Administration

Professional Development

The Chicago Metro History Fair provides professional development opportunities to support teachers offering historical inquiry projects. From offerings in History Fair methods workshops to research experiences and scholar-based sessions, History Fair PD enriches teacher practice and builds content knowledge.

Teaching History Fair

Please be aware that the information in the following section has NOT been updated to reflect the changes to Virtual Contests for the remainder of the 2020 Season.

Pacing Guide for Teachers, Model Benchmarks

Students Become Historians – A Step-by-Step Overview of the History Fair Inquiry Approach

Hooking the Student, Pre-assessment, and Field Trips

Topic Selection

Developing Questions

Notetaking and Citations

Research and Sources



Claims and Evidence

Project Category Guides


Connecting with Us

  • Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to arrange for us to speak to your students.
  • Teachers can join our closed, teachers-only CMHF Facebook group to get the latest info first and connect with other History Fair teachers!


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