Dear Parents of 8th graders:                                                 Monday, 13 Dec 2010
There are 600 points available in this project—100 to be awarded this quarter (which ends Friday!) for simply sending me a written or emailed note stating that you have read this letter, and the other 500 to be awarded next quarter.  Like the “States Project”, this “Presidents Project” will have five parts: a Poster, a Paper, a list of Published Sources (bibliography), an oral Presentation, and Polite Participation (each worth 100 points).  Your daughter/son can tell you her/his chosen president.

POSTER:  This must be on a piece of standard size poster board--no larger than  22”x28”, no smaller than 14”x22” (10 pts.). It must have the president’s name (10) and portrait (15) displayed prominently; and the student’s full name displayed in the lower right corner (10).  I must show his political party (5), home state (10), and his vice-president (10). Points will be awarded for neatness (5), use of color (10), correct spelling and grammar (15). It may also have up to five pictures (with captions!) for extra credit at one point each.

PAPER:  In order to get a grade of D, the paper must contain all six of the basic paragraphs and be typed in Final Draft Format (  Higher grades must meet all the D requirements and  contain any of the additional paragraphs in the following quantities: C = 3; B = 6; A = 9. Extra credit may be awarded for more paragraphs.

Basic six paragraphs for a D:  1. Introductory (name, state, party, birth/death dates/places, terms, etc.); 2. Family (parents, siblings, etc.); 3. Family (wife, children, etc.); 4. two or more “good” events occurring during his term and why they were good; 5. two or more “bad” events occurring during his term and why they were bad; and 6. the one thing for which he is most famous, in your opinion.

Additional paragraphs include: his education;  interesting facts about his childhood; some of his hobbies/pastimes; some of his likes/dislikes; his vice-president; his first lady; his occupation/career (before he was president); some quotes for which he is well known; his cabinet members; his religion; his pets  (you may not use this paragraph if he had no pets); his travels; his wars; any other paragraph you’d like to write as long as you get my approval first.

PUBLISHED SOURCES:  This part is simply a bibliography.  On a separate sheet of paper with the word “Bibliography” centered at the top, make a numbered list of all the items—newspaper, magazine, or internet articles; books; encyclopedias; videos, films or television shows; etc.; and interviews—that you used in writing your paper. All the following information must be included for each item listed.  If any of the information is not given, you must say so in your bibliography: internet items: author, title, date of publication, URL (address); newspaper or magazine article: title, volume, number, and date of the newspaper or magazine; author, title, and page number of the article in it; videos, films, or television shows:  title, writer, producer, and date of production; interviews: name of person interviewed, date of interview, relevant qualifications of person interviewed.

PRESENTATION:  You will give a short (2-4 minutes) speech about your president to the class.  Up to ten points will be awarded in each of these categories of your speech: did you speak slowly, loudly, clearly and smoothly, with good eye contact, smiles, gestures, overall enthusiasm, and reference to your visual aids; without using uhs or other fillers; and within the 2-to-4-minute time limits?  Student judges and timers will be used in the following five areas: eyes, smiles, gestures, uhs, and time; Mr. Gwin will judge in the other five.

POLITE PARTICIPATION:  You will receive 100 points for politely sitting through all the other speeches and for serving as a student judge.  Seven points will be deducted from this score for distracting or disturbing the speaker, making noises or unnecessary movements, getting out of your seat, etc.  Most students get the full 100 points for this fifth part.

The first three parts of the project are due Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 (but may be turned in early!).  Speakers will begin presentations that day in the order in which the president served (Washington will be presented first, then Adams, etc., with Obama going last.)  Speakers who are not ready when it is their turn will be deducted 30 percent of their Presentation grade.

Please email me (preferred) at home––(with “President Project Question” in the subject line) if you have questions. Or call me (522-2171 or 635-1712), but remember I am hearing impaired and may not understand you well.

Best to you for a delightful and meaningful holiday,

John Gwin