Friday, February 1, 2013

Chapter 14 QtC's

Explain four formal and informal assessments you will use in your lesson plan to provide you with feedback and involve the students in assessing their own learning.

Here is a sample lesson plan I created:

Lesson Plan: Site Based
Course: Art
Grade Level: 12th
Class Time: 3-1.5 hour periods and outside of class time expected

Unit Title and Unit Goals
Title: 3-D Construction, Assemblage with found natural materials

Goals or Concepts: Students should gain an appreciation for working on site with no man made materials. The students should learn how to use only what they have access to and create a conceptual sculpture on site. Students should learn about the area that they choose to work on and become more familiar with working in nature.


1.1            Demonstrate the use of knowledge and technical skills in at least one specific medium.

2.2            Critique the use of structures and functions in a work of art, written and/or verbal (i.e.,
formal or informal).

3.2            Evaluate subject matter that reflects personal experiences and environments.

Instructional Objective: After viewing a selection of pieces by Michel Davo, the 12th grade student will be put in pairs, plan a site to work, travel to the site on school grounds and construct a 3-dimensional sculpture using only found materials from the site they chose, photograph the piece in its environment, and prepare a presentation to allow the class to view their piece.

images of Michel Davo’s work
sketch paper

Other Resources: previous students examples, photos around the room of different Michel Davo’s work and other land artists, books on land art and natural material works.

Instructional Procedures and Design:
Motivation Strategies: The teacher will share a brief history of land art and show a presentation on Michel Davo as well as show examples of previous students pieces. The teacher will explain the concept behind site-based works of art and natural materials. Students will be informed that their photos of their work will be displayed in the student gallery with reception for the community.


Site-based: picking a specific site and working with the site and basing every decision off that particular area

Earth Works: an artistic work that consists of a large-scale alteration or modification of an area of land in a configuration designed by an artist or of an artist's sculptural installation, as in a museum or gallery, of soil, rock, or similar elemental materials.

Key Questions:
Why is it important to only use natural materials?
When did this movement really take off and people starting doing more site-based work?
How do I create an artwork without using any man made materials?

Classroom Strategies- Instructional Preparations/Suggestions/Safety:

1.  The teacher should set up displays that contain examples of site-based art works.
2.  Review information on Land Art and its historical content.
3.  Prepare discussion questions about how to work with all natural materials.
4.  The teacher should have a variety of possibilities to show the students about site-based work.
5.  The teacher should explain to students how to capture the work photographically, and explain the reason that is so important.
6.  The teacher should allow students time in class to discuss their ideas and their thoughts on site-based work.
7.  Teacher will walk the school grounds as students have works days on their sites.
8.   The teacher should prepare a way to print photos of the students work to hand in the gallery.

Learner Involvement-Student Activities/Procedures

1.  Students will view the photos and books on Michel Davo and Land art.
2.  Students will listen to the teacher’s presentation and participate in class discussion (guided by the teacher prepared discussion questions) on site-based art works, land art, and earth works.
3.  Students will ask any questions they have concerning site-based works using only natural materials.
4.  Students will work in pairs with peers and discuss possible sites and ideas for the sites.
5.  Students will go out onto the school grounds and work on their site with materials from the site.
6.  Students will create a sculpture using only natural materials.
7.  Students will document process of building the sculpture by taking photos.
8.  Students will photograph the finished piece.
9.  Students will put together a photo presentation to present to the class on their process of working.
10.          Students will allow the elements to act on the sculpture by leaving it there for its life span.

Practice and Review: Teacher will rotate to around sites on the school grounds to monitor students and assist when need be, review concepts as students work on site, and giving assistance when necessary.

Learning Environment: (classroom set up/class layout of supplies, etc): Students will work with partner on planning for their piece, students will go out onto the school grounds to work during the class period.

Clean Up:
1.  Students will clean up site if need be. .

Ending Comments- Address conceptual issues of site based work. Note final idea in sculpture.

Alternative Activities:
Special Needs Considerations- May have special needs students work closer to the building with teacher constructing sculptures.

Addressing Diversity- Have students research certain types of materials on their site and inform the class about them.

Evaluation Strategies:
Formal- Use rubric to identify use of natural materials and how the piece works with the specific site.
Informal-  With the class, orally review key concepts from goals and objectives. Display work in school gallery.

Re-teaching: Most would occur in-process, troubleshooting as problems arise. 

Many types of informal assessments could be used in the art classroom. With this lesson plan, I would observe and question the students behavior. During the process, I would ask the students challenging questions about what they are doing. Another informal assessment I could do would be to collect the students sketchbooks at random throughout the semester. They will be asked to draw something daily in their book and I will take them up at random to assess their work and progress. Another informal assessment I could give would be to have students explain their work while in process. Asking students to stand in front of the class and describe their plan, progress, etc. would allow me to test art vocabulary, creativity, and their ability to stay on task. A fourth informal assessment I could do would be to play a word association game with the students. I would create guidelines asking students to name artists, names of various artworks, and techniques used in this form of art. With the game method, I could test vocabulary, art history, elements and principles of design, etc.

As far as formal assessments are concerned, I would begin with a paper and pencil assessment. Testing students knowledge in this manner is a productive way to gain a good grasp on what students have learned or have yet to learn. Another type of formal assessment could be to have students give a planned, oral presentation on an artist or work of art centered around this lesson plan. A third type of formal assessment could be to have students critique their own work and the work of their peers. Students would be aware of the date of the critique in advance and could plan questions and thoughtful feedback on their own work and the work of their peers. A final type of formal assessment could be to bring in an artist and have the students plan questions in advance to ask him or her. Students would prepare a thoughtful and reflective array of questions that both implies what they already know and what they are interested in learning.

Compare norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments:
Norm-referenced assessments: compares performance to that of peers.
Criterion-referenced assessment: indicates mastery or non mastery of specific topics.

I can see pros and cons of both. There is a certain danger to comparing students to their peers. Age standards, as far as art is concerned, is a very western idea. Students begin in the scribbling stage, move forward around age 5 to the schematic age, etc. The problem with assuming that all students will stay within these guidelines like their peers assumes that they have all the same cultural and societal influences. For example, in Africa, children tend to draw the figure with an enlarged head, even into the  Decision Stage (ages 14-16), because African culture places more importance on the head and mind than any other part of the body. A pro to comparing students to their peers is that it gives the teacher a frame of reference. Often students who do not fall into the same stage or "talent" level of their peers is because they could be suffering from an emotional, physical, or learning disability. The stages of artistic development are a good evaluator for judging students emotional and mental health. This website describes the stages of artistic development in great detail:

As far as criterion-referenced assessment is concerned, I think the pros and cons are very similar. I think this is helpful because it tells the teacher exactly what the students knows or does not know. However, these types of assessments are often biased to convergent thinkers. The problem with giving students an either "pass" or "fail" leaves no room for divergent thinking or creativity. I can see the benefits of using this in art when it comes to art history or the elements and principles of design but I don't imagine this would be a beneficial method of testing when it comes to creativity. Check out this website for more information on criterion and norm-referenced methods of assessment :

Assessing students in art can be confusing and challenging but I imagine one can only treat it as any other subject and ignore arts subjectivity. All opinions aside, students need to be tested on their ability to follow directions, their mastery of art vocabulary and art history, their cleanliness, tidiness, and beahvior in the class, and their attempt at thinking divergently. Creating a grading rubric such as this for the art classroom would hopefully rid of some of the grey area and make for a successful assessment process.

1 comment:

  1. I've always wondered how art teachers were able to give grades for a students' artwork. I recall getting an A in middle school, but I was Definitely no good... but I did try. My so-called artwork was even put up in my school's art gallery for a week. All modesty aside, it was terrible, but an A is an A I guess. (criterion-referenced assessment).

    As art is so subjective and varying for each student, I see how you incorporated both formal and informal assessments to bring out the best in a student. Though it is still a bit confusing, I understand the realm of the art teacher better.