I just finished a long unit and wondered if there was a more engaging way to assess student understanding. With so many students still talking about La La Land (and singing the songs ad nauseum) I decided to tap into the excitement and create something musicalish.
Students didn’t have to create an actual musical. Instead, they had to put pieces together and present an outline of a musical. Here is a link to the project outline.
Here is the example presentation I shared.
The results were amazing. Most students really put some creativity into this and came up with creative show ideas. I was also delighted with the inclusion of historical facts in the presentations. The students did not let me down when it came to including historical characters in their plots, important places in their list of settings, and key events within their plot outlines. They really created a nice fusion of history and narrative.
The biggest surprise for me, however, was parent reaction. So many parents came up to me in the days following this assignment, gushing about how cool it was and how they sat with their children and helped come up with the perfect songs for their musicals. In fact, many parents crossed the line and, perhaps, got a little too excited. One mother confided that her son asked her to leave his room and then locked the door to stop her from “meddling”!
This project was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed moving around each class, listening in to the generation of ideas and the creation of songs. Students stayed busy, showing me what they learned, without even realizing it!
As usual, I would love to hear your thoughts/comments!