Teacher & student resources

Welcome teachers and students! We hope that you find this website informative and useful. The Missouri Valley Special Collections reaches out to classrooms throughout the Kansas City metro area and beyond by offering classroom visits, curriculum materials, and virtual resources.

The MVSC is committed to providing educational programming for teachers and students by promoting local Kansas City history through a variety of resources which include personal papers, letters, diaries, maps, and many other primary source documents.

As the staff of the MVSC plans future educational programming, we hope to identify teacher’s needs and provide services to all social studies teachers in grades K-12.

Check back often to see what we're doing, and please send us your ideas and suggestions! New programs are currently under development. Please continue to watch this site for updates.

If you would like to schedule a classroom visit to learn about the resources available at the MVSC or schedule a research tour, please contact Michael Wells at MichaelWells@kclibrary.org or 816-701-3642.

National History Day

What is National History Day?

National History Day is an annual academic program that encourages elementary and secondary students across the country to conduct historical and archival research and to create unique projects that demonstrate what they have learned.

Students are encouraged to select a topic of interest that relates to a theme selected each year. Their research is carried out in a variety of settings — public libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies — all with access to the wide array of primary and secondary resources necessary for students to create successful projects. Students often conduct research in more informal settings by conducting interviews and collecting oral histories. Final projects, which maybe be presented in a variety of formats, are judged by historians, educators, and librarians at local, state, and national levels.

Why do National History Day?

The organizers of National History Day have identified five areas in which participation in the program encourages:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Research and reading skills
  • Oral and written communication abilities and presentation skills
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • A sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

Additionally, since students are encouraged to exercise personal choice in selecting their National History Day topics, this leads to increased excitement for and engagement with researching, creating, and learning about history.

Learn More

The national and state National History Day websites offer helpful resources to get one started. These sites contain contest information, student and teacher resources, examples of student-created projects, volunteer opportunities, and how to become a National History Day judge.

National History Day Research in the Missouri Valley Room

The Missouri Valley Room offers students access to a wealth of primary and secondary resources covering topics of local and regional significance. Our collection of personal letters, organizational records, manuscripts, diaries, periodicals, and other published materials can be researched and reproduced to enrich student projects. Missouri Valley Special Collections staff members can assist students in locating relevant materials and assist students in interpreting materials.

National History Day organizers have provided the following suggested timeline for educators:

September/October — Introduce students to primary and secondary resources; begin building historical interpretation and document analysis skills.

November/December — Select preliminary topics; conduct secondary research; begin narrowing topics; begin building bibliography, citation, and annotation skills.

January/February — Conduct primary research; begin constructing entries; revise entries for regional contest.

February/March — Complete entries; regional contest; additional research; revise entries for state contest.

March/April — Continue to improve entries; seek advice from teachers and advisors.

May/June — State contest (first weekend in May); national contest (second week in June).

Please contact Michael Wells at 816-701-3642 or via email at michaelwells@kclibrary.org for additional information about setting up a fieldtrip to the Missouri Valley Room or accessing materials.