History Day 7th Grade Instructions and Topic List

Russell History Day Project: 7 Grade
Assignment: You are the historian! Choose a moment in history when people in the Eastern
Hemisphere were exploring and encountering something or someone new. Find out as many
things as you can about what that event was like and what happened as a result. Create a
project that will teach your classmates about that topic.
Topics: This year’s History Day theme is: Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History.
Choose a moment in history from the list of topics on the back of this sheet.
Research: Use Web sites, encyclopedias, non-fiction books, documentaries, museum exhibits
or interview experts to find out as much as you can about your topic. Keep track of all the
sources that you use (you will make a bibliography for your project in class). Historians
corroborate their details. Use as many sources as you can! You must have at least five sources
to receive full credit.
Projects: Take the information that you found and use it to describe this period in history in
your own words. Images are a powerful part of story telling. Use pictures, maps or graphs to
make your story interesting and to share important facts. Remember your classmates will not
know as much about this topic as you will!
Communicating your findings is an important skill. Choose how you want to best share what
you learned about your time period from the list of options below. Make it interesting and fun!
Make sure you understand and fully explain all the words in your project. Your project should
make sense to someone else without you verbally explaining it.
Your final project can be:
 A research paper (1000 words, typed)
 A poster (trifold or poster board; 500 words with pictures)
 A Web site (1500 words, complete sentences, with pictures)
 A power point (500 words, complete sentences, with pictures)
 A documentary (5-10 minutes long)
 A performance (written script must be provided)
Important Dates:
Tuesday, September 15:
Wednesday, November 4:
Friday, November 20:
Wednesday, December 2:
Topics Selected
Plan of Project Due (plan outline to be provided by teacher)
Project Bibliography Due
Project Due
Russell History Day Topics: Eastern Hemisphere
Choose a topic to research from the below list. There is a wealth of resources available on these
topics at a range of reading levels.
1) China and the Discovery and Expansion of Gunpowder
2) The Voyages of Xeng He, China’s Great Explorer (1371-1433 CE)
3) The Age of Imperialism: Encounter, Exploration and Exchange in Africa (1870-1914 CE)
4) Marco Polo: Early Expeditions from Medieval Europe to China (1254-1324 CE)
5) The Silk Road: How this Trade Route Linked the West and the East (114 BCE-1450 CE)
6) The Voyages of Captain Cook: Exploration of the South Pacific (1728-1779)
7) Columbian Exchange: European Encounters with the Americas
8) The Crusades: Military Encounters; Cultural Exchange
9) Compare and Contrast: The Spanish vs. the Portuguese in the Age of Exploration
10) Galileo: Exploring the Universe, Encountering Controversy
11) Charles Darwin: Exploring Animal Diversity, Encountering Controversy
12) Encounter and Exchange of Belief: The Spread of Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism or Islam
(pick ONE religion)
13) Howard Carter: Encountering and Exploring the Past—The Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb
14) Space Exploration and Competition between the USSR and the United States
15) Mansa Musa: Exploring Africa in the Middle Ages
A short description of each of the topics is available at your teacher’s Web site.