Workshops for NCHD16

One of the best parts of National Capital History Day is our workshops.

While projects are being judged, students (and their teachers) can participate in workshops by historians and others working in related fields — in the past, participants at NCHD have learned about everything from archaeology to art history to music of the past to fashion of the 19th century.

We’re pleased to reveal our preliminary list of workshops, which features new workshops and workshops that have been brought back due to popular demand!

Students will be asked to submit a list of their favourites shortly after the registration deadline (that’s March 31…only a few days away). Watch this site for more details soon. And check back as we will be updating this list with new workshops in the weeks ahead. List is subject to change.

Here’s the preliminary lineup:

Ottawa Swordplay
Back by popular demand! Head instructor and Hauptman of Ottawa Swordplay, Craig Shackleton has spent years decoding 15th-century German sword-fighting manuals and has developed curriculum so his students can also learn these medieval techniques. In this workshop, you will get to examine the medieval texts that underpin the system, examine and try on some replica armour from the time, and learn what makes this system of western martial art distinctive from modern fencing and eastern martial arts. You will also get to learn some techniques for dagger defence and longsword. Come ready to go medieval!
National Capital History Day

A student participates in a swordplay workshop at National Capital History Day 2014. NCHD is more than a history competition — it allows students to participate in workshops, hear interesting speakers and connect with students across the region.

History Meets Video Games
Meet the guys who handle history at Ubisoft, the major gaming company responsible for
games such as Assassin’s Creed, Brothers in Arms: D-Day, Heros of the Pacific and
Valiant Hearts: The Great War. They’ll tell you what it’s like to work with history every
day — in a parallel reality. Hosted by Maxime Durand, Production Coordinator and Historical Researcher at Ubisoft.

How to Eat With the King (or How to Not Eat Like a Barbarian)
Sink your teeth and hands into the Tudor time period. What did it mean to be polite in the time of King Henry VIII? Students will be acting as servers and dinner guests to try their hands at using the eating customs of the time period. Food will be handled and tasted. This activity may not be suitable for students with severe allergies. Hosted by teacher Christy Stanhope.

Truth, Justice and the Canadian Way: Superhero Comics and Canadians
Canadian-born Joe Shuster co-created the first American comic book superhero,
Superman, over 75 years ago. Ever since then, exchanges between Canada and the
United States have defined mainstream Canadian comics. Many Canadian creators
have followed in Shuster’s footsteps, crossing the border to work in the American
industry, and American superheroes are far more popular with Canadians than
homegrown characters. In fact, the U.S. so dominates the Canadian market that the first
Canadian comic books only appeared when the country’s supply of American comics
was cut off during the Second World War. This workshop will look at the history of the
cross-border trade in comics, introducing some of the real people and fantastic
characters involved. Having considered Canadian comics in this context, students will
create their own superheroes that engage with the day’s themes of “exploration, encounter, and exchange.” Host: Library and Archives Canada.

Playing with the Past
In this workshop, we will consider the ways we can write interactive historical
(non)fiction. What do video games *do* to history? How can building video games lead
to better history? What are the potentials and perils? Why bother? This workshop will
equip you to begin writing history through video games. No computing experience
required, just a willingness to think deeply.” Hosted by Carleton University Professor Shawn Graham.

Aboriginal History: A Living Timeline
Sometimes, history is best taught and under-stood when we leave our desks and try to
see the past in a new light. This workshop uses blankets as a visual representation of
land, with participants representing the First Peoples. Step onto a blanket and step back
in time to better understand such complex issues as colonization and resistance, and
start a dialogue about how they shaped the Canada we know today. This workshop
takes participants on an emotional journey but concludes with a debrief and an
opportunity to discuss how we can repair our fractured relationship as Indigenous and
non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. [This is the description from last year and is
subject to change]. Hosted by KAIROS Canada.

150501NCHD242

Take part in a “blanket workshop” and learn about our country’s First Peoples. Photo by Jana Chytilova, National Capital History Day.

News and History: Partners in Storytelling
Carleton University journalism professor Randy Boswell spent nearly 25 years as a
writer and editor at the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News, eventually pioneering a
national history beat that put edgy stories about Canada’s past into the country’s daily
news flow. Since joining Carleton’s journalism faculty, he has been probing 19th- and
early 20th-century newspaper archives to shed fresh light on such scholarly subjects as
Canadian archaeology, natural history and Sir John A. Macdonald’s relationship with the
press. Hosted by Carleton University Professor Randy Boswell.

Supporting the rallying cry for war: making posters for the Canadian government
Participants will learn about the various propaganda techniques that were used in Canada for the purpose of promoting recruitment and enlistment and for informing Canadians about their duties to salvage, ration and to support the war effort through the purchase of victory/war bonds and supporting Canada’s Patriotic Fund. Participants will then work in small groups to design their own propaganda poster that would have appealed to a particular audience and to encourage a particular type of response to the war effort on the home front (recruitment, enlistment, rationing, salvaging, buying war bonds etc.) Hosted by the Vimy Foundation.

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