23 August 2019

TEACH-NOW . . . Module 5, Week 2, Activity 1: Assessing Project Based Learning

Subject: ART 

Objectives - Students will create a mask out of recyclables and air-dry clay. In the process, they will learn about the causes of air pollution, brainstorm solutions, and learn how to use art as a tool for activism.

Grade Level Focus: Bilingual Year 7 and 8 students.
Length: 4 - 6 weeks, 2 hours per week 

Product to Be Delivered: A finished mask out of recyclables and air-dry clay, a presentation about air pollution with possible solutions.

21st Century skills to explore:

  • Problem solving – Students will research and track air quality in Nantong, China. Based on their findings, the students will problem solve ways the community can cut down on air polluting practices and brainstorm solutions to the air pollution crisis. 
  • Communication – Students will communicate in a variety of ways throughout this project. Students will communicate with each other as they are building their masks and working with and around each other. Students will communicate with the class during their presentation, relaying information and facilitating questions. Students will communicate with the community by displaying their masks in a formal gallery setting, including process photos and research findings. 
  • Critical thinking – Students will evaluate and analyze research findings on air pollution. Students will develop best practices for building mixed media sculpture. 
  • Creativity – Students will use creativity in a variety of ways during this project. Students will use creative problem-solving skills to create solutions for the air pollution crisis in China. Students will use creativity to build and make their masks out of recyclables. Students will use creativity to decide on how best to present their information to the class using tech-focused tools.


Air pollution is a major source of frustration and health concerns in various parts of the world. Air pollution has become a major issue in China and poses a threat to public health. In 2016, only 84 out of 338 major Chinese cities attained the national standard for air quality. Because I am living and working in China, I have chosen to focus my project on air pollution.

Provocation Questions:
  • What is pollution?
  • What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘pollution’?
  • What different forms of pollution do you know of?
  • How does pollution affect our health?
  • What kinds of things cause pollution?
  • How can we reduce pollution?
  • What can we do to increase the awareness of environmental pollution?
  • Describe how human activities affect the environment.

Content, Knowledge, and Skills

  • Principles
    • Hand Building with Clay
    • Mixed Media Sculpture
  • Examples
    • Images of Mixed Media Masks
  • Clay Methods and Techniques
    • Pinch
    • Coil
    • Slab
  • Working with Recyclables
    • Fixatives to Use: Glue, Duct Tape, etc.
    • Best practices When Combining Clay and Recyclables
    • Adding Color to The Finished Product
  • Tech Skills
    • Presentation Format Possibilities
  • Presentation Skills
    • Preparing A Presentation
    • Visual aids
    • Managing nerves and anxiety
    • Projection, Intonation, Emphasis and Pacing
    • Non-verbal Communication
    • Structuring
    • Passion and Enthusiasm.

Assessment: Students will be assessed on 5 criteria directly related to the art making process.

Craftsmanship – Student’s project is carefully planned from start to finish. The mask is built with integrity and strength in mind. You can tell what the piece is and that it will be used as some sort of mask. 

Creativity – St
udent’s design is unique and displays elements that are totally their own. Evidence of detail, pattern, or a unique combination of materials. 

Production/Effort – S
tudent uses class time efficiently and is always on task. Time and effort are evident in the execution of the piece.

Work Habits/Attitude – Student is respectful and open to positive suggestions. Cleans work area thoroughly.

Tech Use and Presentation – Student’s research is thoughtful and presented well. Student has used a tech-focused presentation to present information and facilitate questions.

Each criteria will be assessed in a different way.  

Craftsmanship - Teacher Reflection. Each week, I will reflect on student progress via short--but valuable--paragraphs kept on a Google Doc. Each class will have a separate document, all kept in one folder labeled with the project name. And each of these class docs will be used for reference when semester and final grades are called upon. In each of these Google Docs, I can upload images of student work, write out questions I have for each student, create ideas for feedback, and make decisions about future lessons.

Creativity - Student Reflection. Self-reflections provide students with opportunities to think deeply about their learning and artistic achievements (Douglas, K. and Jaquith, D. 2009). Mid-way through this project, I will have students take partial class time to write a reflection on their tablets or laptops. This reflection will focus on the following questions:
  1. Think about the mask that you are creating and describe it in 3 sentences.
  2. What is your favorite part of this project and why?
  3. Were you inspired by any of your classmates on this project, or any of the artists we have looked at so far this year? List 2 reasons why or why not.
  4. What has been challenging for you during this project? Do you feel more confident in your ability to overcome creative challenges? Why or why not?
  5. What would you like to get better at? How can that happen?

Production/Effort - Group Sharing Session. While working, students receive a variety of comments from their classmates. Most students value and appreciate constructive criticism. But learning to filter out or ignore unhelpful remarks is easier for some than others. When students come together for sharing sessions, it is a time for the class to give their full attention to their classmates. Every two weeks, students will gather and share about their mask making: focusing on technique, effort, ideas, and/or meaning. 

Work Habits/Attitude - Survey. As a way to see if the students are engaged in their project and enjoying the process, I will conduct a quick survey using sticky notes and questions. A large poster with a question on it will be presented to the students as they leave the art studio at the end of each class period. Using sticky notes, they will respond with questions or affirmations. The responses to each question will be collated and reviewed at the beginning of the next class. Questions might be:
  • Were you satisfied with your work ethic today? Is there anything you would have done differently?
  • How was your disposition and approach to your project today? 
  • Did you have enough space and materials to work with today? Is there something specific you might need before next class?

Tech Use and Presentation - Rubric. Teacher and student will collaborate on filling in the rubric after the student's final presentation. I will meet with each student for 10 - 15 minutes to discuss feedback and we will grade the final presentation together using the following rubric.

This amazing idea comes from an artist friend of mine teaching in Taiwan.


Douglas, K. M. and Jaquith, D. B. (2009) Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom. New York and London: Teachers College Press.

Incredible Art Department. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2019 from the https://www.incredibleart.org/.

Lee, M. @mizzzlee_art Instagram Feed. (October 24, 2018) Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/BpUFFzYH8bV/?igshid=mr430ynjnp9q.

National Geographic. (2017, October 16). Air Pollution 101 [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://youtu.be/e6rglsLy1Ys

Pollution in China. (Last edited on 20 June 2019). Retrieved on June 21, 2019 Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution_in_China.

No comments:

Post a Comment