Sunday, October 27, 2013

How to Host Your Own History Fair-History "Share" Event

How to Host a History "Share" Event: 

If you love history...
Your kids love history... 
You want to share that love and passion with others....
You should host your own History "Share"!

My kids' projects: 

Sergeant York

 George Washington Carver and His Peanut

The Turtle: The 1st U.S. Submarine

Visitors and participants viewing projects

Yesterday, my kids and some others participated in a history fair event that I called History "Share".  I saw pictures of another home schooling friend doing the same type of event in her co-op.   My kids just love history, so I knew we wanted to give it a try.  I also knew I would have to organize the event, if I wanted it to happen.  So,  that's exactly what I did.  It was important to me to keep this a very low-stress, low-key event. 

Here's how I organized this event:

First, I made it clear that this would not be a competitive event.  No judges, prizes, rules.  I wanted students to be able to express their love of history in any way they saw fit.   I didn't want to have an official history fair where students had to stay within a specified theme. 

I sent out an email with the following instructions:  

1.  Pick a category:

Historical Figures
Historical Time Periods or Events
General History
Government or Economics

2.  Research or learn about your topic

3.  Pick your display type.   Use any or a combination of the examples below, or some of your own unique ideas.   Be creative!!

Science fair type display boards
Maps (salt, relief, battles,etc.)
Charts, graphs
Pre-recorded performances
Models or dioramas

4. Each participant will receive a "passport" booklet to document their journey through History "Share".  Each participant will need to make or buy a unique stamp that represents their project (rubber stamp, sticker, colored labeled symbol) to "stamp" into your fellow historians' passports as they visit your project during the History "Share" event.

The stamps were my favorite part of this event.  Some kids printed out stickers or labels.  A project on the sarcophagus used hieroglyphics.  A lot of students used rubber stamps.  Two of my kids just printed off a stamp or short paper strip with their name and project title.  They used glue to adhere them to the passport pages.   

I purchased passports from Amazon for each participant and sold some of the extra at the event for visitors.  Each participant paid a small entry fee that covered the cost of the passport and a small donation to the church for their hospitality. 

We set aside: 

30 minutes set-up for participants
1 hour for participants to view the other projects
1 hour for participants to welcome visitors 
30 minutes to clean up 

Attenders were to arrive 15-30 minutes early to our specific venue (a fellowship hall of a church that hosts our enrichment classes).

I passed out certificates and passports at the beginning- very informally.  As I passed out certificates, I had each participant pull a number (1, 2 or 3) from a bag.  Your number determined which group you were in.  For the first 15 minutes, group #1 visited the projects of other 2 groups to have their passports stamped and to ask questions and/or look at the other projects.  Then, we switched (group #2 visited groups #1 and #3 and so on)  The last 15 minutes the participants went around to see any projects they missed.  

The next hour, we opened the event up to family, friends and all members of our local home school support group.  

This was my first time organizing an event of this nature.  I was very nervous about how everything would come together.  It was worth it too see how excited these students were about their chosen subjects.  They were so passionate and knowledgeable as they answered questions and interacted with each other and visitors.  I was so glad we decided to "share" our love of history! 

For more ideas, check out this article- Host Yourself a History Fair


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