As with most my units, I work to design an assessment that helps the students better explain what they have learned. In this summative assessment, the student will draw an object made of paper. Then they will identify the type of paper that would be a good material for that object, along with an explanation. I’m looking for something like “I made the bead out of wrappers because it’s colorful.” or “I made the airplane out of copy paper because you can fold it easy.” These types of answers are good illustration that a student can absorb the apply the concepts we learned. This process could be adjusted to represent other types of building materials as well. I’ve included the link to the Google Draw sheet to make it easier for you to adjust to your unique needs.
The students came into the class after recess. I have them sit down on their carpet squares. I ask them to think about the paper we studied. “There were many different qualities that make up paper. Take a minute and share two elements with your partner.” I purposely avoid a group sharing of all elements (colorful, thin, heavy, bumpy, etc.) because my goal with this summative assessment is to see how they apply these elements on their own. “We’re going to create a drawing to show one way paper is used. Then, you’ll add an explanation why that paper is good for that purpose.” I introduce this idea both to help them access the information that different papers have different characteristics suited to unique purposes.
I show them the Assessment paper with a space to draw the picture, as well as a line to explain the choice. Though there are many types of paper, the drawing and explanation will provide me with adequate information for this summative assessment because it pulls together the different parts of the unit.
“We get be artists again and ways to use paper.”
• First, think about the varieties of paper we studied.
• Next, draw one thing that is made out of paper.
• Then, decide which variety of paper is best suited to that thing.
• After, explain why you chose that type of paper.
• Last, explain to a partner why you made this choice.
Filling in a blank would be an easy step, so I create depth (rigor) to it by adding the explanation step. To be successful with no prompting from me, I expect to hear comments like why a certain paper is suited to an application.
I have them go back to their tables and pass out the worksheet. As they make their choice, draw the object, and explain their answer, I mingle around the class and check in with the students about their choice. The resulting products and related explanations act as a way to illustrate their processing of our paper lessons. The project based rubric attached is my way to looking at this unit from a lens of performance based assessment.