A child can successfully complete a written school project, giving all the required information, in their own words, under the correct headings.
Children can also show that they didn’t forget to include a map, index, bibliography and drawings or pictures they’ve cut out or coloured in, but if the school project is presented in an untidy manner the child could lose marks, and what a pity that would be, if everything else has been done correctly.
Project files (or flip files) are a great way to display the information and images of a written school project. The pages of paper inserted into the plastic sleeves are protected by the plastic. The school project pages remain clean and neat. Although a child shouldn’t be eating while doing a school project, and should have washed his or her hands, it does happen that beautiful projects can end up a mess because of dirty finger marks on them. If there isn’t enough time to redo the page, the project file will be handed in as is, and marks will be lost.
If writing, typing, or drawing directly on the A4 paper or thin cardboard to be inserted into the plastic sleeves of the flip file, problems associated with sticking paper or pictures into a book are also eliminated. No worries about cutting the paper straight. No worries about leaving the same size border around sheets of paper or images, and no worries about getting glue onto the wrong parts of the project. If a mistake is made, just use a new sheet of paper and begin just that one page over, instead of buying a new book for the school project, or handing in an untidy project because trying to fix a mess didn’t work out properly.
When using glue, always remember not to apply the glue to the back of the sheet of paper or image if it’s resting on the rest of the school project. Applying glue often means a bit of it extends beyond the item, and should be done on old newspaper to avoid getting glue all over the place, or on both sides of the paper or picture! Each time that glue needs to be applied to a new piece of paper, use a different part of the old newspaper to press on, or the next picture may get some glue on the wrong side when it’s placed face down on the newspaper.
Using a flip file for a school project also means less chance of corners of the paper pages folding over and looking scruffy.
Of course, using a project file like a flip file with plastic sleeves does not mean you can get away with doing less work on the appearance of the pages. You might still want to stick paper or card of a contrasting or complementary colour onto the main pages, making sure the borders all around are equal. It may be a good idea to use only colours associated with the subject for your display. An assignment about wild animals could be complemented by the use of browns and greens, with perhaps a bit of black to represent silhouettes of animals in the wild as the sun goes down. Adding a bit of orange might add to the mood, representing a glowing sunset.
Maps should be as neat as possible, with a key included that explains the different areas highlighted on the map. Even more essential if the map is quite small and cannot contain large amounts of text on it.
Have a short break if tired, or if you don’t have much time to complete the task. Do the project in stages instead of doing all the writing first or all the images and decorations first. When first beginning the project, endeavour to do a bit of writing, then a drawing or decoration or map or two, before doing more writing, so that you don’t tire of doing just one kind of task for so long, and can stay focussed on each part of the project that you do. You will end up with a more attractive result if you can prevent allowing yourself to get irritable or exhausted. Of course always remember to start the work with plenty of time to spare before the due date, so that you can proudly deliver an excellent end product to your teacher.
Pay particular attention to the front cover of your school project. First impressions can really make a difference, and can give a hint of what sort of quality to expect inside the project, but make sure to not disappoint the reader. Your inside content should be just as good as that front cover! Also, don’t leave the back cover as it was when you bought the file. Insert a blank piece of paper if nothing else, to give the file a uniform look.
If the project needs to be just 10 pages, don’t buy a project file that has only enough sleeves to hold ten sheets of paper or card. Get one with more pages than your project needs. Inserting a page between sections of information, with nothing more than a bold heading on the page, is a neat minimalistic approach that makes paging through the file a much more pleasant experience than viewing busy pages one after each other. The page alongside the heading of each section can be left completely blank for a greater effect. Or at least display images or maps on only one side of the open file, and the writing on the other side.
Don’t fill the text part of the pages with too much information. Obviously include everything that your teacher has told you needs to be in the project, but this doesn’t mean that the information has to be all squashed into as few pages as possible. Spread it out. Split certain parts of your school project onto more than just on page. Use sub headings and big spaces between different sections. Use bullet points and lists. Don’t use long paragraphs. Shorter paragraphs are easier on the eye. Keep spaces between the different sub headings, headings and paragraphs the same throughout the presentation. If using three line spaces after a heading, and two after a sub heading, make sure you do this all the way through.
Check for spelling mistakes.
Do everything you can to do a good job. If you haven’t done too well with tests or exams lately, doing an excellent school project is your chance to bring up your end of term aggregate mark. Doing an excellent school project (including doing good research) is also practice for your life after school, and could ultimately mean a higher salary, or more income if working for yourself. There’s no reason not to start marketing yourself as an excellent employee or business owner right now, while still at school. Practicing to be perfect will only benefit you, and there will come a time that being perfect doesn’t have to be practiced at all, and will just come naturally.
© Copyright Teresa Schultz