Parent’s Guide to Finishing History Fair Projects

As we near the due date – 45 days from today (March 9th) – students will begin building and creating their final product to show what they’ve learned. Here is a brief rundown of what students have done:

  • Researched their topic through internet and library research (RCFs, Annotated Bibliography)
  • Organized their research (Mind Maps).
  • Analyzed their research to determine why their topic represents change and has significance.
  • Created arguments supported with evidence to support their analysis. (Argumentation Form)
  • Created an annotated bibliography to demonstrate credibility of their research.
  • Developed an on-going system of accountability (Reflections and Stickers!)

Our next steps will be to:

  • Design a product (exhibit, website, documentary, paper) to demonstrate that thesis and argument (mock-up).
  • Refine our thesis and argument as we collect feedback and continue to research.

As we approach the deadline, some of the final work might place at home:

  • Follow-up research to find more information – usually short/long term effects and/or significance. This could include a trip to the library or museum. Find locations of special collections for your topic here.
  • Construction of their product.
  • Revising their bibliography as they do follow-up research.

How can I help my child be successful?

  • Ask to see (or have them print) a document titled “Argumentation Plan” and (later) “Master Plan.” Almost everything you would want to see is on these documents, including the “labels” or blocks of text that will become the majority of their product.
  • Read their “Ongoing Reflections” found in their Google Drives.
  • Seek out great sources. MANY students have conducted interviews, visited libraries or museums with sources, etc. Our next Research Road trip is 2/11.
  • Make sure they follow the rubric, rules/checklists & refer to examples when they’re shared.
  • Follow the Thesis-Claims-Evidence thought process as they write. The best projects won’t just do this well, but will get to a unique interpretation of their topic by doing so.
  • Convey ENTHUSIASM through their final product! Did they just get it done, or is this the work of a student historian?
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