I was pleasantly surprised by my students’ engagement during my mini-unit on the French presidential elections. The students were especially excited to find out which candidate was best-suited to their own values (although I encouraged students to answer the questions differently if they prefered to keep their own beliefs private). Although I pretty much followed by plan as I outlined it here, I did make the following modifications to the summative assessments.
- Although I kept the presentational writing task that I had planned (writing a speech for one of the candidates), I decided to assign an interpersonal speaking assessment rather than having the students present the speech they had written. For this task, I projected some of the questions from the political quiz and had the students debate each one small groups (made up of different candidates), playing the role of the candidate they had researched.
- I added this interpretive assessment. For the interpretive reading the students read these pages (1, 2, 3) from this site. Because some of these students will be taking the IB test in a few weeks, I’ve done my best to replicate the IB style in creating my questions. The listening assessment comes from this video and I used true/false with justification questions to assess their comprehension. (IB will start assessing listening in a couple of years, but no word yet on what question types they will use.) The students did very well on the reading portion (with one perfect score) on Thursday, but I haven’t yet graded the listening portion.