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Elementary Model Cornerstone Assessments

A Model Cornerstone Assessment is a model of assessment with guidance for instruction which may be customized for use in your classroom.  Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) are aligned to the National Theatre Standards and illustrated with examples of adjudicated student work.  MCAs have been created for elementary students at grades 2 and 5.  

Drama Machine: 2nd Grade Model Cornerstone Assessment

MCA Title:  Drama Machine
Grade Level:  2nd Grade
Authors:  National Theatre Standards Writing Team
Artistic Processes:  Creating, Performing, Responding, Connecting 

Task Description:  Students will collectively and collaboratively use body, voice and imagination in a teacher-led machine to express elements of a main character in a story. The students’ work in the guided drama exercise will demonstrate an ability to creatively respond to teacher side-coaching, questioning, and open-ended suggestions with body, voice and imagination. The students’ reflection on the drama exercise will demonstrate an ability to make connections between self, culture, and community.

"Drama Machine" demonstrates ways to measure student learning in theatre, using the creation of a collaborative machine as a tool for instruction and assessment. This Model Cornerstone Assessment (MCA) is based on a unit which was piloted in a variety of classrooms across the nation. Although in an MCA the emphasis is on the evaluation tools, an MCA does offer enough information for any teacher to create a similar unit of their own. Click on "View the full MCA" below to see strategies for embedding in instruction as a guide for re-creating this unit and assessment customized for your classroom. 

MCAs model effective assessment practice and demonstrate that teaching theatre is specific, rigorous, and measurable by sharing a glimpse into one teacher's classroom. The MCAs on this website come packaged with a suggested strategy for assessing student learning, types of evidence to collect, model rubrics, and samples of student work demonstrating their process and learning. The samples of student work illustrate the unit in action by providing a snapshot of a moment in time showing student response to instruction. 

View the full MCA

Illustrating the Process

Sample of Student Work

Although the drama machine is a collaborative task, students may be scored individually using the rubric at the end of this unit. 

Measuring Student Learning

Drama Machine Performance Rubric


Additional Tools and Resources

View and download the MCA and any additional materials.

  • 2nd Grade Drama Machine Model Cornerstone Assessment Unit
    Access the full Drama Machine MCA unit for 2nd Grade students.

Additional Model Cornerstone Assessments