Wyoming History Day: Pointers for a Successful Performance
There are two skill areas that you need to master to create a successful performance:
- Content: Content reflects the information and interpretation developed during research.
- Process: Process is the creative transformation of these insights into the performance
And there are three components that must be present in every performance:
- Thesis Statement: Introduces audience to the main ideas of a presentation.
- Explanation: Use body of the performance to explain the main ideas.
- Conclusion: Summarize ideas at the end of the performance
But most importantly there are two key elements at the heart of every performance:
- Information: The goal of a History Day performance is to present the substance of research on a topic.
- Dramatization: The goal of a History Day performance is to engage the audience in a dramatic portrayal
- The successful History Day performance is a balance between these two key elements.
Creating an Effective Performance
- Select topic
- Conduct general research to narrow topic
- Research secondary sources to develop thesis
- Research available primary sources to support conclusions
- Select key elements of research to develop script outline
- Determine cast of characters and develop a scenario for each
- Create a plot summary for each character
- Develop script and incorporate element of staging
- Elements of an Effective Script
- Introduces audience to the main idea of the topic at the beginning of a performance
- Explains these ideas in the body of the work and establishes a clear connection to the annual theme
- Summarizes the key points in a conclusion that reflects the importance of the topic in history
- Elements of an Effective Character
- Works in harmony with information they are presenting
- Tells a story that helps to interpret topic
- Keeps the performance focused on the theme
- Elements of Effective Staging
- Establish a clear scenario
- Performers must quickly establish who they are and the context of their presentation
- Performers must decide if they will use first person or third person
- Performers must establish a relationship with the audience
- Props – can be used to introduce historical content