It’s every parent’s worst nightmare the ‘Wall of Fame‘ project and we all know that it is just around the corner. If you are like most parents you are dreading the backpack announcement of the annual Wall of Fame Project. 

From first grade on, your child is bound to receive a set of instructions to create a ‘wall of fame’ report and visual display on a notable person.

wall of fame
For the younger set, it may be a picture and a few handwritten lines about a President, sports hero, or historical figure. As your child progresses through school, the project may require posters, type-written biographies and three-dimensional displays. 
Some schools have defined standards for the wall of fame project on how to select a subject to correspond with Black History Month, President’s Day or other cultural celebrations. Many schools allow a student to select any public figure, with no real criteria.   
Resist temptation to run for the hills and take a deep breath. Show enthusiasm for the wall of fame assignment; if you portray a negative attitude about this project, so will your child.
Then, follow these guidelines to get through the wall of fame project and remember the objective is to teach independence and foster creativity, self-esteem and confidence while eliminating stress and melt-downs in the process:  
  • Ask to see the project description and become familiar with the grading rubric. Then discuss the hand-out with your child. Ask what ideas they have come up with and who they are planning to report on. Allow your child to establish a certain level of independence from the beginning.
  • Discuss the subject of the report. If the project requires reading a biography, and your child has already brought the book home from school, take a few minutes to read it yourself. Google the “hero” and make sure that there are no skeletons in his or her closet that would cause uneasiness.  
  • Establish a timeline to work on all requirement of the project. If your child has a month to complete it, establish deadlines for reading the book, doing other related research, writing a rough draft and completing the presentation materials. Then, help your child to stay on target. Avoid procrastination! Some schools require outlines and submission of rough drafts, so save all the work.
  • Plan the project together. Create a list of materials needed to create the visual project. If you don’t already have them on-hand, purchase several pieces of poster board, paints, crayons, safety scissors, glue sticks, rulers and erasers. For panoramas you may need a sturdy box; look around the house to find fabric swatches, yarn and buttons for rag dolls, or dowels, felt and fabric markers for flags, or tee-shirts. Encourage “rough drafts” to make sure your child knows how he or she will approach the project.
  • Resist the temptation to take over the project in order to make it look better. By now, your child’s teacher knows his or her writing, drawing and presentation abilities. The objects of the assignment are to use his or her creativity to tell a story and allow each student to share knowledge with the class. If you child is allowed to present a type-written report, require him to hand-write the final report and proof-read it together. Discuss any mistakes, before typing it. The grammar, spelling and vocabulary should be representative of your child’s ability and not your involvement.
  • Be there if they get stuck. Encourage your child to ask for assistance. Listen and understanding what the difficulty is and offer ways to help them to overcome it, but allow your child to perform the task.

Remember that at the end of the day, the final outcome of the wall of fame may not be perfect.

It is far more important that your child followed directions, learned to plan, gained new knowledge and worked to the best of his or her ability. If you see that a picture is crooked, or a drawing doesn’t resemble the subject at all, resist temptation to let him know.
The wall of fame project was assigned to teach the child how to create not show what the parent can do.

Jen Thames
Article Contributed by: Jen Thames, Brand Manager for RHL.org the best source for residence hall linens and twinXL bedding on the web.  
Jen is a regular contributing author on HowToLearn.com and provides many tips related to education like the ‘wall of fame’.