2016: Famous Texan Research Project

Information, Links, & Project Deadlines : Spring 2016

Project Overview

Fourth grade has a culminating research project in where each student selects a famous Texan to research. As part of this project, students will:

  • RESEARCH: Students will research the person's life, accomplishments, and positive impact this person has had on Texas history and build a Google Presentation about this person. The majority of this will be done at school.
  • CREATE: Students will create a poster highlighting the person's life. This is completed at home; we will provide poster board (see details below).
  • PERFORM: Students will prepare a brief (60 second) summation of the person's life that they perform as part of our annual Texas Living History Museum on Friday, May 27th. On Museum Day, students dress as their famous Texan and perform for our museum "guests" (the other grades in the school). It's an exciting day for students and one they typically enjoy.


Please read the following carefully in regards to due dates and time frames. All research is expected to be done at school; we have ample time built into our schedules to allow for that. However, certain circumstances might have your child working on some items at home as well. These circumstances might include, but are not limited to,

  • not using time wisely,
  • losing research materials
  • having to start over
  • etc.

All due dates will be communicated below in an attempt to keep you in the loop as to what your child is working on at school.

Famous Texan Activity Descriptions & Due Dates

Monday, April 11th: Famous Texan Selection Sheets sent home

Your child will be given a selection sheet in class on Monday, April 11th where s/he is asked to indicate three research choices for this project. Research subjects simply must have had a positive impact on Texas history (meaning they do not have to be *originally* from Texas - for example, Davy Crockett played a key role at the Alamo, but hailed from the mountains of Tennessee). Possible websites your child may use to help generate options for research are listed below.


Sports figures and entertainment industry personalities are often a popular choice, however, students must be able to justify the positive impact those persons have had on Texas. Simply being famous isn't a valid enough reason to justify researching a figure for this particular project; that person must have participated in a charitable work or something similar that has positively impacted Texas.


Selection sheets are due no later than Thursday, April 14th, however, they may be returned to school anytime this week. Research assignments will be made on a first come, first served basis, so please get your selection sheet turned in ASAP. Sheets MUST be signed off by a parent indicating that you approve of your child's selections.

Thursday, April 14th: Famous Texan Selection Sheets due back to school

Please fill out all three blanks as we will do our best to only have one Famous Texan person per class. A parent signature is required. Parents, please make sure you approve of your child's choice for research - just because someone is famous doesn't mean they have made life choices you would want your child exposed to in their research, so keep that in mind when approving your child's selections.


Students who have NOT turned in a selection sheet will be assigned a Famous Texan to research by his/her teacher.

Monday, April 18th - Friday, April 29th: Famous Texan research at school

Students will be told what Famous Texan they have been assigned and research will begin at school. Every effort will be made to give your child one of his/her three choices from the choice sheet. Classes will be sharing the computer lab and laptops in the classroom to work on this research. If your child has a BYOD permission slip on file, they are encouraged to bring in their own device to assist in the research process. As mentioned above, the majority of research should be able to be completed at school.


A copy of the outline we are using in class is attached above in this email. This outline will be a foundation for how their Google Slides presentation will be organized. The more information they find, the more details they will be able to use in their Google Slides presentation.


Research complete / presentation outline deadline: Friday, April 29th.

Monday, May 16th - Friday, May 20th : Build Google Slides Presentations

Students will use the information from their research outline to build a Google Slides presentation at school.


Google Slides Presentation completion deadline: Friday, May 20th

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11th - WEDNESDAY, May 25th : Prepare Living Museum Poster (AT HOME)

Your child's Language Arts teacher will supply each student with one piece of white poster board to create a poster highlighting their famous Texan. The poster board will be sent home on Wednesday, May 11th. The poster must be completed at home. It may include images, facts, and interesting trivia about your child's famous Texan. Please make sure that everything that is included on the posters is school appropriate for ALL ages, as kindergarten - 5th grade will be watching presentations. Posters must be easy to read and neatly done. Posters are due back to school on Wednesday, May 25th. The posters will be displayed next to your child at the Living Museum on Friday, May 27th.


If your child would like to use a different piece of posterboard than the white one that we provide (colored, trifold, etc), they are more than welcome to.

Tuesday, May 24th - Thursday, May 26th: IN CLASS PRESENTATIONS

Students will present their Google Slide Presentations to the class this week. Slides presentations will be graded according to alignment with rubric. Again, this will be worked on at school and should not need to be worked on at home unless your child has not completed it as the due date approaches. Students will also be responsible for citing their sources.

TUESDAY, MAY 24th : Index Cards due

All students will be allowed to use an index card during their actual presentation. This does not have to contain complete sentences, and it does not need to be the entire speech they will "perform" during the Living Museum. It is intended to be only to be used as a reference for those tricky dates and other important information on their Famous Texan. The card can be structured however the students find most useful to use as quick reference while presenting. They will be encouraged to try their best at memorizing the most they can.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25TH: Posters due

Each child will be expected to decorate a poster at home representing their

Famous Texan. The poster will contain information and pictures about their famous Texan and will be placed beside or behind your child during their presentation. Posterboard will be provided by your child's teacher and sent home on Wednesday, May 11th. If you have a different way that you would like to present this information (tri-fold poster board, other props, etc), you're more than welcome to do so; please get creative and go with it. Remember to make sure that everything that is included on the posters is school appropriate for ALL ages, as kindergarten-5th grade will be watching the museum presentations. For required elements on the poster, please see the document linked above.

FRIDAY, MAY 27th : LIVING MUSEUM DAY!

Your child will be presenting their Famous Texan to different grade levels and other parents. They will dress up as their Famous Texan and "become" this person. This includes an accent, costume, props, etc. to create a great learning experience for all to see. Please keep in mind that no plastic weapons or anything that could be mistaken for a weapon are allowed on the school premises, including knives and guns. We want to ensure that everyone feels safe at all times and we adhere to our code of conduct here at Reagan. Thank you in advance for being careful of any props provided.


Your child's costume and any props must be provided from home and will be brought in to school the morning of the 27th.

SUGGESTED WEBSITES FOR RESEARCH

Below are possible websites you may use to begin your research. These websites are not the ONLY websites students may use, but is just intended to generate ideas to help get you started. Wikipedia may be used for information, but because of its unreliable nature and ability to be edited at will, information from Wikipedia must be verified by two other sources.

Some Famous Texans

There are hundreds of famous Texans that may be researched. Below you will find just a few.

Contact us

Feel free to contact your child's social studies teacher with any questions at the email below:

Beasley homeroom: stephanie.beasley@leanderisd.org

LaCombe homeroom: karen.lacombe@leanderisd.org

Eddy/Weltzin homerooms: reanna.eddy@leanderisd.org

Heim/Lau homerooms: vanessa.lau@leanderisd.org

Flores homeroom: jan.flores@leanderisd.org