For Students

On this page we walk through the various steps from choosing a topic to presenting at a school or regional fair.  Other sections in the menu offer useful secondary and primary sources for your research.

Choosing a topic:

You may have already one in mind. For those of you who are still looking for a topic we suggest that you take a look at How to Find the Heritage Fairs Topic Right for You. It gives all kinds of suggestions from your hobbies to your local museum.

The main criteria for choosing a topic are that (1) your topic interests you – you are curious about it; (2) your topic has lots of sources, both primary and secondary; and (3) it is important. Even a very local or family topic can be important if you can link it to a larger story in Canadian history.

If you are still stuck, the BC Heritage Fairs Society (BCHFS) also has Project Topics and Ideas.

Developing a Research Question:

The best Heritage Fairs projects begin with a research question to which you try to find an answer. Take a look at our Portfolio of past Heritage Fairs projects and their questions or get some ideas from this list of Question Starters for Heritage Fairs Inquiries. You want a powerful question that is not trivial, but not so huge that you get lost in too much information. Before you start to research, show your question ideas to your teacher or librarian.

Researching Sources:

This stage will depend very much on your topic. Your school teacher-librarian can be especially helpful in locating sources and deciding which ones are relevant.

At the start be sure that you are clear about what is required to succeed so be sure to check with your teacher. You may also want to look at the BCHFS Heritage Fair Rubric . This Heritage Fairs Research Organizer may help guide you as you record your research.

Our section on primary sources gives a number of possible web sites that you can use as does the Forgotten Wars student guide cited above. We have also listed a number of valuable secondary sources that can give you the background information or context that you need.

Designing the Project:

It’s More than a Display Board gives ideas about how to do an effective visual presentation. However, you can present your research in a different medium. Plays, historical fiction, children’s books, and video are some of the different media that students have used in the past. Here are some exciting video presentations:

Reflecting as You Go:

Successful students ask themselves questions about how well they are doing throughout their project. The Heritage Fair Project Self-Assessment can help.


The time for the school or regional fair is also the time for interviews and all the nervousness that can come with them. Interview Tips gives some common sense advice.