Since students have been spending quite some time working on their research papers, it's important to give them a time to present all their hard work. Every year we do this through an annual event called Recapture. Students have learned the basics of the requirements for today and now will use that to present their work.
For today, students bring a final copy of their paper, a costume of their person they researched, artifacts, a poster, and 25 questions for guest to ask them. They will organize all these materials at an individual station in the gym. I assign students to sit by topic, so all athletes sit together, all politicians sit together, and so on. We spend one class period getting everything ready. Students organize their materials, change into their costumes, and set up their station during this time. We then use two class periods in which the school community, parents, and friends are invited to see their work. During this time, students are sitting at their stations and guests ask them the questions each student has prepared. This is a great way for students to show what they have learned to the school but also for them to share their enthusiasm and hard work.
I use the Recapture Rubric to grade them during this time. The rest of the eighth grade teachers and I divide the class and we each take a handful of students to grade. The rubric is really a checklist. As long as students have all the requirements, they will do well. Since it is the end of the year and to keep students enthusiastic about this project, I have no problem giving them an easy way to earn a good grade.
This video shows some students dressed as their research topic: Students At Recapture
Here is a video of students performing as The Beatles: John Lennon and Ringo Star Performance