Use the following suggestions to assess student understanding and learning at the beginning, middle, and end of the Level A lessons.
Students’ drawings in the Engage: Picture a Tree lesson can serve as a pre-assessment for the unit. Look at their drawings and note the level of detail students provide: Do they recognize different parts of a tree, such as the trunk, branches, and leaves? Or does their tree more closely resemble a lollipop? Do they include other elements in the environment, such as animals, other plants, clouds, or the sun?
- Compare students’ drawing of a tree in 1: The Closer You Look to those in the Engage: Picture a Tree lesson.
- Check that students constructed their tree vests in 2: To Be a Tree appropriately.
- Periodically review entries from students’ tree journals, checking for increased level of detail in drawings of observations and appropriate articulation of patterns in tree growth and weather.
Final Performance Assessment
Part 1: To assess students’ understanding of tree parts and what trees need to stay alive, give them a copy of the My Tree and Me student page. Have them draw a picture of their adopted tree in the box indicated, including all the different tree parts they observed (such as trunk, bark, leaves, seeds, and roots). Direct them to add things the tree needs to stay alive (such as sunlight and water). On the other half of the page, have them draw a picture of themselves.
Conduct a short interview with each student as follows, recording their ideas on the worksheet:
- Name the parts of the tree. How does each part help the tree?
- Using the picture of you, describe how you’re like a tree and how you’re different. (Follow-up questions might include: How do you get food and water? What about trees? How do they get what they need to grow?) Record student responses on the worksheet.
Part 2: Use students’ drawing from Step 10 of the Adopt a Tree activity to assess their understanding of the changes in the tree and in weather over time. Meet with individual students and ask them to explain their pictures and to describe the patterns, encouraging them to support their ideas with evidence from their journals.
Use the suggested Performance Assessment Sample Rubric teacher page to score student results.