This project offers a menu of choices for each of these three categories: research, writing, and presentation, with choice components in each category that appeal to students' interests and preferred learning/presentation styles.
I use this project as a culmination to my non-fiction research project (which focuses on non-fiction text features, informational text research, and informational writing). It is a perfect anchor type activity that can be accomplished alongside other instruction (I run this project in conjunction with studying pronouns and pronoun usage).
The duration of this project is three weeks. I require one component be due each week. Some activities include more class work time, some more home work time, especially the family interview and genealogy research components. As students finish up what they can do in class with one activity, they move on to the next (e.g. interview questions are developed in class but the interview has to occur outside of class with a family member).
I have done this project for several years and it is always a favorite with my students. I introduce the menu on a Friday so that students have the weekend to decide which components they want to do. I also introduce it to parents at conference time because parent support is nice to have on many of the components.