Family History Project

Dear GMP families,
The rubric below is one that previous GMP students and I have developed to grade the Family History
project. The research for this project (Internet, library, personal interviews, etc.) needs to be completed no later
than Thursday, September 3rd, and I do need to see the student’s notes before s/he is allowed to make his/her
product. The completed assignment itself (posterboard, family tree, etc.) is due starting Tuesday, September
8th. We will use only a little class time to discuss and work on this project, so almost all of the product will be
completed at home. Oral presentations will begin on Wednesday, September 9th and continue until we are
done (5-8 presentations per day). Family members are encouraged to attend if they want to; just let me know
when you’d like to hear the presentation and I’ll schedule it for then and make sure your child presents at that
time. If your child needs a little extra time to complete his/her project, please let me know.
Please use this rubric to determine if your child’s product is high quality. There must be both a visual
(e.g., posterboard) and a short written component (describing some facts and information) to the product, which
can be included on the posterboard. It’s not recommended to write a formal report for this assignment. Call or
e-mail me if you have any questions.
Suggested details for oral, visual
and written product
Possible Ways to
Present Facts
In order to get the highest
marks for this project:
For some family members, show (but
don’t tell) the dates they were born/died.
Discuss some interesting facts, jobs or
talents they had, relationship to student,
etc. Some type of family tree and
timeline is required.
Meanings of names, origin, nicknames,
shared names, significance (named after
something or someone?).
First, middle, and last names.
Information about where your family is
mostly from (state or country). Focus on
only one or two places and give some
information about those places.
Good speaking voice and eye contact,
creativity, humor, Q&A period, within
time limits.
Family tree, poster
board, timeline, audio
photographs, etc.
Talk about and demonstrate all
or nearly all of the suggested
topics, but don’t just recite
uninteresting dates and facts
Creativity counts!
Any visual and
written format.
Creativity is
Annotated maps
(copied or made),
globe, pictures
Includes all of the suggested
details in the product and
Extra Credit Use of clothing, food, music; dressing up,
(up to 5%)
Practice at home first.
Don’t just read wordfor-word from notes.
Includes all of the suggested
details in the product and
presentation. The audience
learns something about a place.
Oral presentation is between 5
and 15 minutes long.
Includes one or more extra credit
I’d also like to take this opportunity to discuss my general philosophy regarding the completion of all
GMP projects, specifically parent help and spending money on projects.
Parent Help – Parents are a great source of information, experience, and inspiration and I strongly
encourage all parents to be involved with their child’s projects – up to a point. Parents should help their kids
gather information, make suggestions, and provide advice as to what might or might not work on a project, and
even help a little with some of the trickier hands-on stuff. Parents should also help with planning and time
management, but ultimately the responsibility for finishing should be the student’s. If a report is required,
parents should not write the report for their child other than making some suggestions and helping with the
proofreading. The words must belong to the student. As much as possible, students should write or type their
own reports, but until students develop more proficiency at keyboarding, I encourage parents to help with this
(to prevent frustration). The bottom line is – have students do as much of the work by themselves as possible,
with parents providing only minimal support and guidance to ensure that the assignment gets completed.
Spending Money – I encourage families to complete projects as frugally as possible. In most cases, a
simple posterboard is more than sufficient, and I prefer that parents don’t spend a lot of their own money. In
fact, if any family is unable to buy supplies or material for an assignment, let me know and I will provide it for
you. I have a classroom budget for that. I’d just need a note or e-mail from you. Remember that, since I am
primarily grading assignments based on the rubrics and the amount of information presented, the most
humble of presentations will receive just as good or even a better grade than the most elaborate and expensive of
presentations. It’s the content that counts, not the bells and whistles. However, make sure that you and the
student always check the project grading rubric to make sure you have completed all the components.