At the end of a unit, I work to design an activity that will assess my students’ successful learning. My goal is to make the activity both an enjoyable and authentic evaluation task.
• Fish Template
The students came into the class after recess. I have them sit down on their carpet squares and explain, “We’ve learned about fish this unit. We know about the parts of a fish and how the fish uses them. Today, we get to create our own fish today!”. I show them a worksheet that has a collection of fish parts. The first part of the task is to take the appropriate parts (head, body, fin, tail) and create an entire fish. The second part is to defend the choices- explain to a partner why they chose the parts and placed them in a certain spot. I'm looking for them to share comments like ("I put the tail there because it needs to move the fish forward." or "The fins go on top to turn the fish the right way.") with their peer. Answers like these show both that students grasped the information about fish parts and it's intended purpose and are able to explain it to someone else.
I have them go back to their tables and pass out the worksheets. While my goal is to have the students access their new knowledge and complete the worksheet on their own, I take a minute to remind them of the fish parts and their purpose. As they select, cut, and glue the parts, I mingle around the class and check in with the students about their choices. An option for students who finish early is to color in the fish like one that they have observed either in the classroom or in a picture. The resulting products and related explanation act as the informal assessment that I share with each student as I circulate. I use the attached Assessment Rubric as a formal assessment of any project based learning to review and record the students' learning patterns of the course of the year. It's in .docx format so you can customize it to suit your needs.