Assessment

During and after studentsactive exploration of campaign finance issues, there are many ways to assess their learning. As formative assessment, teachers can consider how carefully and accurately students complete their graphic organizers, share ideas with their peers, and/or analyze and evaluate key arguments related to the five schools of thought. After these activities, we suggest asking students to return to the essential question and to choose one of several summative assessment options. Students who prefer analytical writing could compose a letter to an elected official, parent, friend, or newspaper describing his or her answer to the essential question and providing a thorough rationale for their position. Those who enjoy public speaking could prepare a presentation, which they could share at a community center, nursing home, classroom, community meeting, or elsewhere. Meanwhile, artistic students could create a poster, song, rap, political cartoon, game, play, or other product that illustrates issues related to cam- paign finance and accompany these with a clear explanation of the ideas represented. To encourage thoughtful projects in each genre, teachers could require students to include various elements, such as a logical argument, sufficient supporting evidence, and linguistic clarity. Finally, to help students to consider how to achieve their political goals, we recommend that teachers ask students to describe how they might advocate for their views, whether by persuading others, pressuring elected leaders, and building coalitions.

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