The last step in our art-based, science assessment was a final art project. Student understanding of evolution, natural selection, and genetics was assessed through their final project. While most of the students chose to create a visual work, many different art forms were represented including: drawing, painting, collage, mixed media, music, and puppetry. A rubric was provided enabling each student creative freedom and support.
Over the course of the unit various art forms were shared with students. Various artists have worked with these themes and examples are available on the internet. A past exhibit at the Henry Art Museum, University of Washington was amazingly forward thinking and futuristic.
I rationed a lot of class time and felt justified with the results. Students demonstrated their comprehension of the topic. Their artwork showed deep understanding and engagement. I am confident I was able to assessment their understanding of science standards through an art-based assessment.
Once our gallery was hanging in the hallway, students reflected on which artwork best represented evolution, natural selection, genetics, and best synthesis of all the topics. I believe this reflection deepened and solidified their understanding. Too often we don’t give the ‘gift of reflection’ in our race through the curriculum.