Historical Fiction Scrapbook Project: Self-Assessment of Ideas

Stage 1: Desired Results

Students will understand how historical fiction is different from history texts and historical documents.
Students will understand that historical fiction varies in terms of reliability.

Stage 2: Proposed Assessment

Create a scrapbook compiled by a character in the novel with images, quotations, and other important artifacts the character would have saved.

How likely is it that a student could do well on the assessment by

  1. Making clever guesses based on a limited understanding? Very unlikely.
  2. Parroting back or plugging in what was learned, with accurate recall but limited or no understanding? Somewhat likely.
  3. Making a good-faith effort, with lots of hard work and enthusiasm, but with limited understanding? Somewhat likely.
  4. Producing lovely products and performances, but with limited understanding? Somewhat likely.
  5. Applying natural ability to be articulate and intelligent, with limited understanding of the content in question? Very unlikely.

How likely is it that a student could do poorly on the assessment by

  1. Failing to meet the performance goals despite having a deep understanding of the big ideas? (For example, the task is not relevant to the goals.) Somewhat likely.
  2. Failing to meet the scoring and grading criteria used, despite having a deep understanding of the Big Ideas? (For example, some of the criteria are arbitrary, placing undue emphasis on things that have little to do with the desired results or true excellence at such a task). Somewhat likely.

Reflection: This could be a beautiful project, but students might have trouble demonstrating that they understand the Big Ideas with it. I think it could be done, and one could argue that the challenge in figuring out how to solve this problem would be a good one, but I would need to look closely at my criteria to make sure students understood what artifacts would demonstrate an understanding of the Big Ideas versus what artifacts would be pretty, but might only demonstrate reading comprehension.

Back to Historical Fiction project page.