English/Media/Theatre Contract Project

Standards and Rubrics

Updated: 10/02/09


Created by Glen Dawursk, Jr., MAED, BSED

Wisconsin Career Academy, Milwaukee Public Schools

Central High School, West Allis/West Milwaukee School District


The English, Media and Drama Contract Projects are an independent study using the studentís desired area of English interest (English, theatre, communication, media, writing, and literature).† The 20 hour project contract must include a read, write and do section and is tailored to the individual studentís needs (IEP, etc).† Students are given at least two months to work on the project and all or most of the following state standards are interconnected through the project process and presentation.


A.12.3 Read and discuss literary and nonliterary texts in order to understand human experience.

  • Examine, explain, and evaluate, orally and in writing, various perspectives concerning individual, community, national, and world issues reflected in literary and nonliterary texts

A.12.4 Students will read to acquire information.

  • Apply tests of logic and reasoning to informational and persuasive texts
  • Analyze and synthesize the concepts and details encountered in informational texts such as reports, technical manuals, historical papers, and government documents
  • Draw on and integrate information from multiple sources when acquiring knowledge and developing a position on a topic of interest
  • Evaluate the reliability and authenticity of information conveyed in a text, using criteria based on knowledge of the author, topic, and context and analysis of logic, evidence, propaganda, and language

B.12.2 Plan, revise, edit, and publish clear and effective writing.

  • Given a writing assignment to be completed in a limited amount of time, produce a well developed, well organized, clearly written response in effective language and a voice appropriate for audience and purpose

B.12.1 Create or produce writing to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

  • Write summaries of complex information (such as information in a lengthy text or a sequence of events), expand or reduce the summaries by adding or deleting detail, and integrate appropriately summarized information into reviews, reports, or essays, with correct citations
  • Compose and publish analytic and reflective writing that conveys knowledge, experience, insights, and opinions to an intended audience
  • Write creative fiction that includes an authentic setting, discernible tone, coherent plot, distinct characters, effective detail, believable dialogue, and reasonable resolution of conflict
  • Use a variety of writing technologies, including pen and paper as well as computers
  • Prepare and publish technical writing such as memos, applications, letters, reports and resumes for various audiences, attending to details of layout and format as appropriate to purpose
  • Write for a variety of readers, including peers, teachers, and other adults, adapting content, style, and structure to audience and situation

C.12.1 Prepare and deliver formal oral presentations appropriate to specific purposes and audiences.

  • Participate effectively in question-and-answer sessions following presentations
  • Summarize narrative and numerical information accurately and logically in presentations
  • Demonstrate confidence and poise during presentations, interacting effectively with the audience, and selecting language and gestures mindful of their effect
  • Interpret literary works orally, citing textual data in support of assertions
  • Synthesize and present results of research projects, accurately summarizing and illustrating the main ideas, using appropriate technological aids, and offering support for the conclusions
  • Speak fluently with varied inflection and effective eye contact, enunciating clearly at an appropriate rate and volume
  • Observe the appropriate etiquette when expressing thanks and receiving praise

E.12.1 Use computers to acquire, organize, analyze, and communicate information.

  • Design, format, and produce attractive word-processed documents for various purposes
  • Incorporate information from databases and spreadsheets into reports
  • Integrate graphics appropriately into reports, newsletters, and other documents
  • Retrieve and reproduce documents across various platforms
  • Use on-line sources to exchange information

E.12.3 Create media products appropriate to audience and purpose.

  • Create multimedia presentations in connection with major projects, such as research reports or exhibitions
  • Develop various media products to inform or entertain others in school or the community such as slide shows, videos, newspapers, sound recordings, literary publications, and brochures

F.12.1 Conduct research and inquiry on self-selected or assigned topics, issues, or problems and use an appropriate form to communicate their findings.

  • Use research tools found in school and college libraries, take notes, collect and classify sources, and develop strategies for finding and recording information
  • Conduct interviews, taking notes or recording and transcribing oral information, then summarizing the results
  • Develop research strategies appropriate to the investigation, considering methods such as questionnaires, experiments, and field studies
  • Organize research materials and data, maintaining a note-taking system that includes summary, paraphrase, and quoted material
  • Evaluate the usefulness and credibility of data and sources by applying tests of evidence, including bias, position, expertise, adequacy, validity, reliability, and date
  • Analyze, synthesize, and integrate data, drafting a reasoned report that supports and appropriately illustrates inferences and conclusions drawn from research
  • Present findings in oral and written reports, correctly citing sources

Rubric for a Contract Project Product and Written Reports



Purpose / Question / Contract process

Information Seeking / Selecting / Evaluating


Analysis of Books / Sources Read for Project (WRITE)


Product / Process / Synthesis /
Use of Time (DO)


Student posed a thoughtful, creative project that engaged them in challenging or provocative research and study. The project breaks new ground for the student or contributes to knowledge in a focused, specific area of English AND appropriate to the end grade contracted.

Student gathered information from a variety of quality electronic and print sources, including appropriate licensed databases. Sources are relevant, balanced and include critical readings relating to project. Primary sources were included (if appropriate).

Student carefully analyzed the information collected and drew appropriate conclusions supported by credible information. Voice of the student writer is evident. Student developed appropriate structure for communicating information studied. Information is logically and creatively organized with smooth transitions.

Student documented all sources, including visuals, sounds, and animations. Sources are properly cited, both in-text/in-product and on Works-Cited/Works-Consulted pages/slides. Documentation is error-free (grammar, spelling, sentence flow).

The end product clearly demonstrates a minimum of 20 hours worth of work was done as contracted, displays creativity, originality, and appropriate presentation quality (6plus1). The product was turned in on time and shows significant synthesis of research and study by the student.


Student posed a focused project involving them in challenging research and study AND appropriate to the end grade contracted.

Student gathered information from a variety of relevant sources--print and electronic

Studentís written product shows good effort was made in analyzing the credible information collected. Student logically organized the product and made good connections among ideas

Student documented sources with some care, Sources are cited, both in-text/in-product and on Works-Cited/Works-Consulted pages/slides. Some grammar, spelling, sentence flow errors.

The end product clearly demonstrates a minimum of 15 to 20 hours worth of work,† was done as contracted, displays creativity, originality, but presentation quality (6plus1) was insufficient AND/OR The product was turned in late but still shows significant synthesis of research and study by the student.


Student constructed a project that lends itself to readily available answers with little need for research or study.

Student gathered information from a limited range of sources and displayed minimal effort in selecting quality resources

Studentís written work could be supported by more credible information. Level of research and analysis could have been deeper. Student could have put greater effort into organizing the product

Student need to use greater care in documenting sources. Documentation was poorly constructed or absent. Too many errors in grammar, spelling, or sentence flow; not proof read before turning-in.

The end product demonstrates a less than 15 hours worth of work was not done as contracted, did not display creativity or originality AND/OR presentation quality (6plus1) was insufficient. AND/OR The product was turned in late but still shows significant synthesis of research and study by the student.


Student relied on teacher-generated questions or developed a project requiring little creative thought.

Student gathered information that lacked relevance, quality, depth and balance.

Studentís written work lacked new information and showed lack of using studied research information beyond his/her common knowledge. Student work is not logically or effectively structured.

Student clearly plagiarized materials.

The end product demonstrates a less than 10 hours worth of work was not done as contracted, did not display creativity or originality AND/OR presentation quality (6plus1) was insufficient. AND/OR The product was turned in late AND/OR shows no synthesis of research and study by the student. Product does not effectively communicate research findings.









Rubric for a Contract Project Presentation




Subject Knowledge

Graphics / Mechanics


Eye Contact


Length of Presentation


Student presents information in logical, interesting sequence which audience can follow.

Student demonstrates full knowledge (more than required) by answering all class questions with explanations and elaboration.

Student's graphics explain and reinforce screen text and presentation. Presentation has no misspellings or grammatical errors.

Student maintains eye contact with audience, seldom returning to notes.

Student uses a clear voice and correct, precise pronunciation of terms so that all audience members can hear presentation.

Within one minute of allotted time.


Student presents information in logical sequence which audience can follow.

Student is at ease with expected answers to all questions, but fails to elaborate.

Student's graphics relate to text and presentation. Presentation has no more than two misspellings and/or grammatical errors

Student maintains eye contact most of the time but frequently returns to notes.

Student's voice is clear. Student pronounces most words correctly. Most audience members can hear presentation.

Within three minutes of allotted time.


Audience has difficulty following presentation because student jumps around.

Student is uncomfortable with information and is able to answer only rudimentary questions.

Student occasionally uses graphics that rarely support text and presentation. Presentation has three misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

Student occasionally uses eye contact, but still reads most of report.

Student's voice is low. Student incorrectly pronounces terms. Audience members have difficulty hearing presentation.

Within four minutes of allotted time.


Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information.

Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about subject.

Student uses superfluous graphics or no graphics. Student's presentation has four or more spelling errors and/or grammatical errors.

Student reads all of report with no eye contact.

Student mumbles, incorrectly pronounces terms, and speaks too quietly for students in the back of class to hear.

Too long or too short; five or more minutes above or below the allotted time.