Scholastic Explorer

Formal Assessment Ideas

Be an Explorer paper
Have students learn more about a local Native American culture either through a trip to a local museum or through Internet research. Ask students to mirror a Scholastic Explorer expedition by writing a mission, a description of the field site, and several field reports. Students should use their imaginations to imagine they are archaeologists on a real-life expedition. See Be an Explorer Writing Rubric below.

Research Paper
Have students write a research paper on the culture and the change of culture of Native Americans. Depending on the maturity of the students and the amount of time available, have students write about one of the expeditions or compare two or more of the expeditions. Students can also look at one of the cultures and research the change of that culture over time. Students should follow the step-by-step process of the Writing Workshop: Writing a Research Paper where they will be guided on the steps of writing a research paper. Students can also use the Research Starter on Anasazi and Pueblo Indians to get the background on their chosen topic.

See Research Writing Rubric below for help on assessing student papers.

Informal Assessment Ideas:

Self Evaluations

After students present their information, have students read the “Evaluation section” of the “Be an Explorer” section. Ask them to write a self-evaluation. Students should ask themselves questions such as:

  • Did my research answer my original question?
  • Were my facts organized?
  • Was my presentation in the best format?
  • Did I present my information in a clear and cogent manner?
  • What did I like best about my presentation?
  • What could I have done better?

Meet with students to discuss their self-evaluations.

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Writing Rubric

Use the writing rubric as a way to assess your students’ writing skills. This rubric can also serve as a model for a modified version that might include your state’s writing standards.

Open Be an Explorer Writing Rubric

Open Research Paper Writing Rubric

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Post your students’ research papers on your homepage for parents and peers to read and enjoy. Go Now.
  Some of the resources on this page are in PDF format. To download them, you will need Adobe Adobe Acrobat Reader Software.