Bring To Light: Preparing for an Assessment

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Students will be able to identify properties of light energy to produce an informative skit.

Big Idea

Paper and pencil assessments can be boring and less informative than an activity that makes thinking visible. This lesson allows students to be creative while sharing what they know.


5 minutes

To build excitement and motivation for today's activity, I ask the students to think about how they might teach someone that 3+7=10 without saying a word.  I then ask the students to act out their idea with their shoulder partners.



Mini Lesson

10 minutes

I explain that they will be doing just this type of activity today in order to teach others a fact about light energy.  Their task, with their groups, will be to choose a fact from a basket, create a silent skit, and film their skit using an iPad. All of this is on our Learning Target Board

I also explain that in charades, which is what this is like, the players want the others to guess.  That identification means they have acted out well enough for others to understand without verbalizing anything. 

I then create groups of 3-4 students and have them choose a light fact charade card from a basket.  I tell them to keep this silent, as they don't want to reveal their fact until showtime tomorrow!

Also I supply them with a light charade movie checklist, in order to help them stay on task and organize their group's ideas. 

Then, off they go to produce!

Active Engagement

15 minutes

During the student's brainstorming sessions, I will roam around the room to listen in for misconceptions, opportunities to re-teach, or add some advice. 

This group was working on brainstorming how to act out an opaque object blocking all light. When I got there, I noticed I needed to nudge the speaker to try to hear what the other's might think and what they might do in the skit. I am very aware that during an exciting activity, some students forget to share the floor.  It takes some simple questions to re-direct them and remind them. 

This team was already preparing their checklist and had a clear idea of what they were ready to do.  I simply checked in with them in order to be sure they understood what their fact meant and how they might display it. 


5 minutes

As a closing, I simply asked students to practice the skits they wrote one more time and reminded them that it should be silent, as they were trying to teach without using words. 

I also asked them to take 2 minutes to talk in their groups about what they accomplished today and what their plan for tomorrow would be.  Time for students to assess their work and plan their time is essential in helping them become independent learners, so I like to do this frequently.