Library Digital Content Access

Illinois History Fair

Created By: Melissa Netznik, Lincoln Magnet School (Springfield, IL)
Grade Level: 8th
Content Area: American History
Database Integration: During this project, students wil use the TDC database as another resource during their research for their Illinois History Fair project. The exhibits related to Abraham Lincoln and Illinois history will be most useful for the student's research.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

Goal 16 (Eighth Grade U.S. History): Understand events, trends, individuals, and movements shaping the history of Illinois, the United States, and other nations. The Illinois History Fair is an annual statewide competition sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Students complete various history-related projects pertaining to Illinois and submit those for judging.

Students conduct their research and share their findings in one of the following formats:

  • essays
  • exhibits
  • models
  • media presentations (video, computer, etc.)
  • dramatic performances
Goal 5 (Eighth Grade Language Arts): Use the language arts to acquire, assess, and communicate ideas. (same as above)



  1. Students will choose a history-related project pertaining to Illinois. (Teachers should first help develop a list of suggested topics).
  2. Students will conduct research about their topic utilizing a variety of resources, including the Internet, the TDC database, reference CD-ROMs, reference books, among others as available. Students may also visit a site to conduct research (the Adams Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln sites in Springfield, for example). Interviews may also be conducted by the students with people from various sites to help with their research.
  3. Using the Illinois History Fair guideline (, students will present their research findings in one of the following ways: essays and research papers, exhibits, models, media presentations (video, computer, etc.), dramatic performances.
  4. Students will present their history fair projects to the class.


Students will earn a grade in their American History class for their research and in Language Arts for the writing component of their project. Rubrics will be shared with students prior to beginning the projects. Outstanding projects will be submitted to the local history fair and may then advance to regional competition.