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Long term projects

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I'm trying to wrap my head around what is appropriate for a 6th/7th/8th grader in terms of projects that are maybe 1 week (lab report?), 2 weeks (English paper?), 1 month (social studies in depth report?), 3 months (science fair?). 


So much of what I'm doing right now (6th grade) is made up of simple assignments like outlining, paragraphs, short essay response, etc. DS did a science fair last fall (6 weeks) but generally work is due the day it is assigned, much like the many overnight assignments I remember having back in the 90s.

What should I be scaffolding towards? What is a reasonable expectation for a bright kid? Are there good resources that help me figure this out?


Also, we just got an OK for a sabbatical of sorts so I'm definitely homeschooling 7th and 8th grade now!




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My son is a bit younger. But as a 4th grader in an accelerated program, he had to do 3 Science reports -- for each he was given about 9 weeks to do the research, notes, and pull together a presentation of about 5 minutes. He had to turn in the notes and References used list and make a visual for the report.  (one of these projects was the science fair -- so needed to be an experiment).  For each, they were given a list of what they would be graded on and then the grade was actually graded on that same list.


For the first, it had to be something about obesity (we had the most trouble -- almost too hard to find research at a ~8th grade comprehension level on such a specific topic) For the other two, they were allowed to choose their own topics, but had a deadline to choose and the teacher helped them narrow it down/make the topic wider as necessary.


For the first, he actually wrote the report and then put together a oral report from it. For the next two, he worked more on an outline and then made a presentation from it.  For the third, they not only needed a presentation, but also come up with an associated activity to involve at least some of their classmates that would help them learn the information.



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  • 2 weeks later...

My sixth and eighth graders had these long term assignments:


Assign on a Monday - Due that Friday - expect about 1 hour a day including instruction.

PowerPoint/Prezi Presentation on various research topics - roughly 1 a quarter

Standard 3 or 5 paragraph essays - roughly 1 a month

Art Projects requiring extensive time


2-3 Week Projects - expect 1 hour daily.  Annual

Science Fair Project - 1-week research essay and material gathering/experiment design, 1-week experiment and data gathering,  and 1 week for write up and oral presentation

Research Paper - 1-week topic selection & narrowing, 1-week reading and notes, 1-week writing and revising. Sometimes gets stretched to four weeks.


8 weeks - Quarterly

Novel Studies.  Read assigned novel and complete workbooks with vocabulary, comprehension questions, and end with a final exam. Expect roughly 1-2 hours of work per week to finish on time.


For longer projects other than essay where I hand them a Rubric with the assignment I give a grading sheet with deadlines and rubric for each phase of the project.  

Edited by J&JMom
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