Students will be completing two different assessments for our plant unit. Our instruction focused on plant structures and the life cycle of a plant. The students will be representing each of these in their own way with materials provided.
This assessment supports NGSS Science and Engineering practices 2, Developing and Using Models. The students will be making a model of a plant and of the life cycle to reflect their learning. Scaffolding is provided with the materials that are used.
I have my students participate in both assessments over the course of two days. You could choose one of the assessments or have the students choose to fit your assessment needs.
The materials are set up at a work station accessible for the students (see photo). I give the students directions for the assessment. I say to the students, You are going to show me what you know about the parts of a plant. You are going to use the materials that I have out on the table here to make a model of a plant on this piece of construction paper. Decide which materials make the most sense to be each part of the plant. Make sure that you include all the parts of a plant (to differentiate this assessment, you can determine whether you want to tell students the parts of a plant or have them come up with the parts on their own).
The students begin working on their diagrams. I circulate around to observe their work. I refrain from providing assistance to the students because I want this to be a true assessment of their knowledge about the part of the plant.
After the students have completed their diagram, I conference with them. See video. During this time, I use the recording sheet to see if they included each part of the plant. I then record if they can name the parts and the function of each part on the recording sheet. We discuss anything that may have been missed.
All materials are set up in work station. I give the students the directions for the activity. I say, Now it is time for you to show me what you know about plant life cycles. You will be using the materials in the work station to create a life cycle and glue it on the construction paper. I will be looking for at least four major steps in the life cycle, but you can include more. You can use whatever materials you want to represent the plant at different stages in the life cycle. After you have completed the life cycle, you will be explaining the steps in the life cycle to me. When the students are done with their work, I use the assessment checklist to determine their level of knowledge about plant life cycles. Understanding a basic life cycle is an essential science skill and one that will be built upon in science instruction in years to come.
The students begin working and I circulate around the room to observe their work. When they are done creating their life cycle, I conference with them using the checklist to record their level of understanding.