This year I decided to try something new (no shock there) with my US History students. As I have done in the past, I wanted to create a semester-long project with multiple check points – in “teacher speak” we call these formative assessments – rather than a standard, summative assessment. What I changed was the creativity options – teachers call this differentiated learning – for this project. This year, I offered my students a wide range of artistic options to show their understanding of the historical content covered in class.
“DJ Justin,” an amazing international student, took my artistic challenge and ran with it. I am so excited to show you his three checkpoint submissions: songs he wrote that discuss his personal interpretation of the content from our second-semester units. Go Justin!
Johny Johny (lyrics in PDF form)
Enjoy these final two submissions, which were provided in audio format.
Struggle (lyrics in PDF form)
A Dream (lyrics in PDF form)
Looking for a different way to assess student learning outside of the multiple choice test or writing prompt? How about a PowToon?
PowToon.com is an online tool which is used to create animated videos and presentations. The animations help to grab student attention by making content come to life and, there are ready-made templates so that a finished product could be ready within minutes.
That said, be sure you have a high quality internet service and a fast computer processor. For the assessment on our first unit, I asked students to create a PowToon which illustrates their learning. Some students had no problem creating the cartoon, but others, those with slower internet connections or perhaps older computers, really struggled with the platform. Keep this in mind if you decide to utilize PowToons in your classroom engagement.
Here are a few finished cartoons from the last unit.