Tag Archives: grading and assessment

The Great Debaters: Lesson 8

Finally, here is the eighth and last lesson plan of “The Great Debaters” unit plan here on Mark’s Text Terminal. This is the assessment; I sought to create a document that measures thinking and memory rather than students’ ability to get the “right answer.” I wanted students to think about the readings, the movie, and, indeed, their own impressions and thinking about the unit’s content. This is my attempt (and I’ll concede happily and readily that it could use improvement, so by all means–and please!–chime in with your comments on this) to create a metacognitive assessment. I want students, again, to think about their thinking, especially in the way they used their prior knowledge of the real-life figures in the film better to understand the film itself.

I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on the noun cognition; if the lesson goes into a second day–and I planned that it would–here is another on the noun metacognition. I would like students to walk away from this lesson with knowledge of metacognitive assessments, which I think, and research supports, are an important way of helping students to internalize and commit to memory the contents of this or any unit plan.

And, finally, here is the final assessment worksheet itself. I think there are any number of ways to use this. I prefer to conduct this as a group discussion and note-taking exercise during which students can range freely over the material and their reactions to it. Like just about everything else on this blog, this document is in Microsoft Word, so you can alter it to you and your students’ needs and circumstances.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

What to Grade and Why

“It is counterproductive, if not unethical, to teach toward one specific target of learning and grade learners on another.”

Excerpted from: Hillocks, George. Teaching Argument Writing, Grades 6-12: Supporting Claims with Relevant Evidence and Clear Reasoning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2011.