Middle Grades 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 2014 National Theatre Standards and illustrated with examples of adjudicated student work. MCAs have been created for the middle grades students at grade 8.
Pantomime: 8th Grade Model Cornerstone Assessment
MCA Title: Pantomime
Grade Level: 8th grade
Authors: Written by the 2014 National Theatre Standards Writing Team
Artistic Processes: Creating, Performing, Responding, Connecting
Task Description: Students will create, rehearse, revise, and present a short pantomime in the form of a story with a beginning, conflict, and ending resolution that expresses meaning, emotion, and character. This pantomime will be done in small groups around a theme that involves solving a community issue (e.g. need for a new park, clean ground water, healthier cafeteria food). Proficiency will be demonstrated through the use of facial expression, gesture, full body movement (stage picture), movement in space (blocking), and cessation of movement (tableau). Although done in small groups, the assessment should be done individually.
"Pantomime" demonstrates ways to measure student learning in theatre using the development of a collaborative pantomime performance 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.
Illustrating the Process: Sample of Student Work
Although the 8th grade pantomime was a collaborative group task, students were each scored individually. Keep an keep an eye on student 24 (seated) student 25 (light blue shirt) student 26 (pigtails), all of whom scored At Standard during the benchmarking.
Illustrating the Process: Measuring Student Learning
Additional Tools and Resources
Other Grade Levels
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- Click to Teach Lessons for Online Learning
- DEI & Theatre for Social Justice
- Resources for Creating Virtual Performances
- Social & Emotional Learning
- Instructional Resources
More MCA Units
Enjoy several free Model Cornerstone Assessment Units below.
HS-II Accomplished MCA: Bringing Shakespeare to LifeUsing scenes from Shakespeare's 12th night students will analyze text and learn how to use the language of Shakespeare to guide their performance. Authors: Theatre Educator Maura Vaughn with Kristen Giroux, Oregon Shakespeare Festival