How can Parents Help students successfully finish History Fair projects?

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hurricane” is a fairly accurate portrayal of 7th graders finishing their History Fair work. It’s also an incredibly lame attempt for me to encourage kids to “write their way out.” 

Entering the home stretch of History Fair is a flurry of activity. Unfortunately, the volume of work makes it impossible for me to give kids timely feedback at the rate they’d like. So, students are going to need the help of each other, their ELA teachers and How can parents help their students finish this project?

  1. First suggestion is to have your child read their labels out loud. This might sound silly but any repetition, errors with conventions, and language use should be apparent.
  2. Use a “peer evaluation form” to look for topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. A few other questions are on that doc to help, too.
  3. If you’re feeling brave (and have some time), you can try Mrs. Defors’ ratiocination exercise. This something our “expert” kids have begun helping new students learn, but is difficult for me to separate from class to engage with. Feel free to see this blog post to read, then guide your child through the process.
  4. Read an excellent example of what writing looks like to have an idea how to do this well. (Thanks Emma and Gillian!)

I will make every effort to give students additional feedback prior to History Fair. But students shouldn’t wait or make any excuses that I’m not available on an immediate and individual basis. Design of this project has facilitated student work in a pretty clear way. PLUS, this website contains TONS of resources to help students clarify any confusion. Continue using Reflections, email, and help time at school (AM, PM and study hall) with any concerns.

Finally, students can expect feedback on these specific dates:

  • 7th and 8th Periods: Tonight!
  • 5th and 6th Periods: Wednesday
  • 3rd and 4th Periods: Thursday