by Mary Baker

SmartSpace@NIU Lesson Plan Designing Alien Lifeforms and Their Worlds

Lesson Information

Lesson Author(s)

Mary Baker, SmartSpace@NIU Project Coordinator

Gillian King-Cargile, STEM Teen Read Project Coordinator

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson Length

3-5 class sessions, depending on length of class session and depth of activities

Lesson Overview

Get Inspired

Students will be introduced to concepts regarding biology/physiology of living organisms, space, gravity, and travel in space.  Students will look at artwork depicting imaginative alien life forms and worlds.  Students will discuss why the aliens have certain features, possibly for protection, to survive in their environment, or to catch prey.  Students will also discuss possible atmospheres and planet surfaces and habitats of the creatures and worlds.  

Collaborate & Create

Students will work in groups to discuss a world they wish to create.  Half of the group will work on constructing the world, while the other half will build the creature that lives in that world.

Write & Share

The group will collaborate on completing a scientific chart on their creature and writing a story about their creature and their world.

Tags/Metatags

No text or image added.

Grade Level(s)

Grades 6-12

Lesson 1: Unusual Creatures and Their Environments

Lesson Overview

Students will be introduced to concepts regarding biology/physiology of living organisms, space, gravity, and travel in space.  Students will look at artwork depicting imaginative alien life forms and worlds.  Students will discuss why the aliens have certain features, possibly for protection, to survive in their environment, or to catch prey.  Students will also discuss possible atmospheres and planet surfaces and habitats of the creatures and worlds.

Lesson Length

1 class session, depending on length of class session and depth of activities

Grade Levels

Grades 6-12

Standards

IL.25.A.3d
> Visual Arts: Identify and describe the elements of value, perspective and color schemes; the principles of contrast, emphasis and unity; and the expressive qualities of thematic development and sequence.
IL.27.A.3a
> Identify and describe careers and jobs in and among the arts and how they contribute to the world of work.
NGSS-2013.MS-LS1-5
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.]
NGSS-2013.MS-PS2-5.SEP.A.1.1
Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and museums and other public facilities with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles. (MS-PS2-3)

Objectives

  • Students will discuss the jobs of a scientific illustrator, biologist/entomologist, and physicist and will describe how their research is used in the fields of science and art.

  • Students will analyze physical characteristics of various living organisms and determine their purposes.

  • Students will describe various environments in which unique organisms might live based on their physical and social behavioral traits.

Procedures

Introduce concepts of the biology/physiology of living organisms (i.e. insects).  Watch a video on the anatomy of strange insects and how body features of a particular living thing affects how it functions, survives, and thrives in its environment. The video above is Ender's Day Bugging Out Part 2: The Anatomy of a Bugger, featuring Dr. Jon Miller from NIU. 

How might these insects or creatures look like on a different planet with different environmental factors?  

Show examples of unusual creatures (both real and imaginative).

Have the students describe the body features they see and possible functions for each feature.

In what kind of environment or planet would this creature live? (This will be entertaining, especially when real creatures are added to the mix). 

What sort of climate or physical makeup would this planet have?

Show an image of an unusual imaginative planet.

Have the students discuss what body features a creature would need to live on this type of planet.

Have students go to the board and add a different feature onto a creature's body and then describe with help from their classmates how the feature functions and assists the creature with surviving, acquiring food, physical movement (individually or in a group), body processes, etc.

Tell the students they will soon do an activity where they will work in groups to design their own unique creature and planet and will write a story about an adventure with their creature.

Assessment

Student Participation in a Group Discussion Rubric

 

Target (3)

Meets (2)

Partially Meets (1)

Does Not Meet (0)

Communication

Discusses artwork in a fair, respectful, and encouraging way and is considerate of the feelings of others.

Discusses artwork in a fair, respectful way, but may not have been encouraging.  Considers the feelings of others.

Discusses the artwork in a fair way, but was discouraging or did not consider the feelings of everyone. 

Discusses the artwork in an unfair, disrespectful way and was inconsiderate of the feelings of others.

Analysis

Provides very insightful comments on material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles.

Accurately comments on material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles.

Inaccurately comments on 1-2 components of the artwork, including material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles.

Most of the comments on material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles is inaccurate.

Interpretation

Forms a reasonable interpretation about the meaning of the artwork and provides adequate supporting evidence to justify the interpretation.

Forms a reasonable interpretation about the meaning of the artwork but could have provided additional supporting evidence to justify the interpretation.

Attempts to form an interpretation about the meaning of the work but provides little or no supporting evidence to justify the interpretation.

Makes no attempt to form a reasonable interpretation about the meaning of the artwork.

Feedback or Suggestions

Provides thought-provoking feedback or suggestions on artwork components that reinforce or could reinforce the meaning of the work.

Provides adequate feedback or suggestions on artwork components that reinforce or could reinforce the meaning of the work.

Attempts to provide feedback or suggestions on artwork, but the feedback or suggestions do not reinforce the meaning of the work.

Does not make an attempt to provide feedback or suggestions on artwork.

Requirements

Meets all of the requirements for the assignment.

Meets most of the requirements for the assignment.

Meets some of the requirements for the assignment.

Does not meet the requirements for the assignment.

Total

 

 

 

/12

 

Lesson 2: Traveling to a Foreign Planet

Lesson Overview

Students will discuss space travel, watch video clips from physicists, analyze spaceship diagrams, and construct their own shock-absorbing system for a space craft.

Lesson Length

1 class session, depending on length of class session and depth of activities

Grade Levels

Grades 6-12

Media, Materials, and Resources

Materials for Design of the shock-absorbing system:

  • Thick Cardstock (can also substitute for index cards)
  • Index Cards
  • Disposable cups
  • Regular and miniature marshmallows
  • Rubber bands
  • Straws
  • Scissors
  • Tape
Resources:
anatomy of the spaceship...this design works because...this doesn't work because...
 
Here's some cool spaceship art:
 
Please see attached for the PowerPoint on Insects

Standards

IL.SEL.31C.4a
Identify strategies to make use of resources and overcome obstacles to achieve goals.
NGSS-2013.MS-PS1-6.CC.E.1
Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used. (MS-PS1-3)
NGSS-2013.MS-PS2-5.PS2.B.2
Gravitational forces are always attractive. There is a gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass—e.g., Earth and the sun. (MS-PS2-4)
NGSS-2013.MS-PS2-5.SEP.A.1.1
Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and museums and other public facilities with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles. (MS-PS2-3)

Objectives

  • Students will discuss travel in space.

  • Students will construct shock-absorbing systems that are designed to protect space travelers.

  • Students will test their systems using gravity and discuss the results with the class.

Procedures

This lesson has been modified from an activity located at http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators/resources/touch_down.html

Students will be introduced to travel in space. 

They can watch these videos with physicists discussing space travel.

Additional videos: 

Students can look at illustrations and diagrams of spaceships (both real and fantasy-based) and suggest the functions of various parts.  How might the parts help the ship travel through space?

Activity: Students will design a shock-absorbing system to protect the space travelers inside. 

Join STEM Outreach Associate and Scientist Jeremy Benson as he leads the participants of Ender's Day in an experiment: Can you land your spacecraft on an alien planet safely?

 

An activity description and materials for students can be found here http://pbskids.org/designsquad/pdf/parentseducators/DS_NASA_04Touchdown_CS.pdf

Students will test their shock-absorbing systems to determine the most effective designs for protection of the travelers/astronauts.  They will explain why some designs worked and others didn't and will determine most effective design strategies used.  They can also suggest better design alternatives.

Assessment

Rubric for Design of Shock-Absorbing System

 

Target (2pts)

Partially Meets (1pt)

Does Not Meet (0pts)

Use of Materials & Design

Inventively and successfully chooses tools and materials to produce the spacecraft, creating great visual interest.

Chooses tools or materials to produce the spacecraft, but a choice of tool/material does not match the desired outcome.

Does not choose appropriate tools or materials to produce the spacecraft.

Effectiveness of Shock Absorbing System

Demonstrates an advanced understanding of a shock absorbing system.

Demonstrated some understanding of a shock absorbing system.

Did not demonstrate adequate understanding of a shock absorbing system.

Working with Others

Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Tries to keep people working well together.

Usually listens to, shares, with, and supports the efforts of others. Does not cause \"waves\" in the group.

Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Often is not a good team player.

Analysis of Shock Testing

Provides very insightful comments on the effectiveness of the system with explanation of material usage and conceptual design.

Comments on the effectiveness of the system with explanation of material usage and conceptual design but needed additional explanation.

Does not adequately comment on the effectiveness of the system with explanation of material usage and conceptual design.

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

Student Participation in a Group Discussion Rubric

 

Target (3)

Meets (2)

Partially Meets (1)

Does Not Meet (0)

Communication

Discusses artwork in a fair, respectful, and encouraging way and is considerate of the feelings of others.

Discusses artwork in a fair, respectful way, but may not have been encouraging.  Considers the feelings of others.

Discusses the artwork in a fair way, but was discouraging or did not consider the feelings of everyone. 

Discusses the artwork in an unfair, disrespectful way and was inconsiderate of the feelings of others.

Analysis

Provides very insightful comments on material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles.

Accurately comments on material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles.

Inaccurately comments on 1-2 components of the artwork, including material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles.

Most of the comments on material usage, conceptual design, or use of the elements & principles is inaccurate.

Interpretation

Forms a reasonable interpretation about the meaning of the artwork and provides adequate supporting evidence to justify the interpretation.

Forms a reasonable interpretation about the meaning of the artwork but could have provided additional supporting evidence to justify the interpretation.

Attempts to form an interpretation about the meaning of the work but provides little or no supporting evidence to justify the interpretation.

Makes no attempt to form a reasonable interpretation about the meaning of the artwork.

Feedback or Suggestions

Provides thought-provoking feedback or suggestions on artwork components that reinforce or could reinforce the meaning of the work.

Provides adequate feedback or suggestions on artwork components that reinforce or could reinforce the meaning of the work.

Attempts to provide feedback or suggestions on artwork, but the feedback or suggestions do not reinforce the meaning of the work.

Does not make an attempt to provide feedback or suggestions on artwork.

Requirements

Meets all of the requirements for the assignment.

Meets most of the requirements for the assignment.

Meets some of the requirements for the assignment.

Does not meet the requirements for the assignment.

Total

 

 

 

/12

 

Lesson 3: Creating Creatures and Worlds

Lesson Overview

Students will work in groups to create their own unique creature and world by considering scientific concepts, such as species physical and behavioral characteristics, planet atmosphere/climate/weather, planet systems, etc.

Lesson Length

2 class sessions, depending on length of class session and depth of activities

Grade Levels

Grades 6-12

Media, Materials, and Resources

Materials:

  • Species Data Chart (attached) 
  • Masking tape
  • Newspapers or newsprint
  • Tablets or computers
  • App or Web 2.0 tool for illustration (iPad- Lux Draw, Fingerpaint Magic, computer- Pixr.com)
 
Here's some cool planet art:
Attachments

Standards

IL-ISBE-ELA-CC-2010.K-12.W.R.5
Production and Distribution of Writing: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
IL.25.A.3d
> Visual Arts: Identify and describe the elements of value, perspective and color schemes; the principles of contrast, emphasis and unity; and the expressive qualities of thematic development and sequence.
IL.26.B.3d
> Visual Arts: Demonstrate knowledge and skills to create 2- and 3-dimensional works and time arts (e.g., film, animation, video) that are realistic, abstract, functional and decorative.
IL.26.B.4d
> Visual Arts: Demonstrate knowledge and skills that communicate clear and focused ideas based on planning, research and problem solving.
IL.27.A.3a
> Identify and describe careers and jobs in and among the arts and how they contribute to the world of work.
IL.SEL.31C.4a
Identify strategies to make use of resources and overcome obstacles to achieve goals.
NGSS-2013.HS-LS2-8
Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on: (1) distinguishing between group and individual behavior, (2) identifying evidence supporting the outcomes of group behavior, and (3) developing logical and reasonable arguments based on evidence. Examples of group behaviors could include flocking, schooling, herding, and cooperative behaviors such as hunting, migrating, and swarming.]
NGSS-2013.MS-LS1-5
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms. [Clarification Statement: Examples of local environmental conditions could include availability of food, light, space, and water. Examples of genetic factors could include large breed cattle and species of grass affecting growth of organisms. Examples of evidence could include drought decreasing plant growth, fertilizer increasing plant growth, different varieties of plant seeds growing at different rates in different conditions, and fish growing larger in large ponds than they do in small ponds.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include genetic mechanisms, gene regulation, or biochemical processes.]

Objectives

  • Students will utilize information presented by experts to conceptualize an alien life form with consideration of body structure and function, as well as environmental needs and concerns, and will complete a data species chart.

  • Students will make use of basic resources (masking tape and paper) to construct their alien life form sculptures.

  • Write an artist statement of your alien creature, describing how you used the elements of art and principles of design to illustrate the function of your creature’s anatomy.

  • In their creature artist statements, students will describe how environmental factors influenced the design of their creature's body structure.

  • Write an artist statement of your planet or environment describing how you used the elements of art and principles of design to illustrate the atmosphere, systems (weather/climate/water), how gravity affects objects, and physical makeup/materials of which the planet possesses. 

  • Students will use drawing software or various materials and a digital camera to illustrate an imaginative creature. 

Procedures

Students will work in groups to create their own unique creature by considering items on the Species Data Chart.  

Items include the following:

  • Species Name
  • General Appearance
  • Mature Height/Length/Width
  • Growth Rate
  • Life Expectancy
  • Coloration
  • Typical Diet
  • Predators
  • Protection
  • Unique Body Systems (i.e. How does the creature breathe, move, digest, heal/regenerate)
  • Other Notable Features
  • Group Behaviors (i.e. herding/schooling)
  • Planet Name
  • Planet Atmosphere/Climate/Weather
  • Length of Day
  • Length of Year
  • General Topography

Have the groups divide themselves into students who will construct the creature and students who will illustrate the planet. 

Creatures: Students will use masking tape and newspaper or newsprint to build the body of their creature.  Show the students examples and demonstrate techniques for creating different types of body features.  Students will have to decide if their creatures are humanoid.  

Student Examples

Planets: Students will use computers or tablets to illustrate the planets.  They will have to consider the planet atmosphere, climate, weather, topography, etc. 

Give the students time to get creative.

After an hour, have the students complete the Species Data Chart on their creature.

Allow ten minutes for whole class discussion on the student products.  

Assessment

Checklist for the Species Data Chart

Species Data

Yes (1pt)

No (0pts)

Species Name

 

 

General Appearance

 

 

Mature Height/Length/Width

 

 

Growth Rate

 

 

Life Expectancy

 

 

Coloration

 

 

Typical Diet

 

 

Predators

 

 

Protection

 

 

Unique Body Systems (i.e. How does the creature breathe, move, digest, heal/regenerate)

 

 

Other Notable Features

 

 

Group Behaviors (i.e. herding/schooling)

 

 

Planet Name

 

 

Planet Atmosphere/Climate/Weather

 

 

Length of Day

 

 

Length of Year

 

 

General Topography

 

 

 

Total: ____/ 17

 

Rubric for Creature Sculpture/Planet Illustration

 

Target (3)

Meets (2)

Partially Meets (1)

Does Not Meet (0)

Composition (Considers the Elements of Art & Principles of Design)

Effectively demonstrates understanding of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and successfully applies the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity).

Demonstrates understanding of the most of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and successfully applies some of the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity).

Attempts to demonstrate understanding of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and apply the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity) but product provides limited evidence of this knowledge.

Does not demonstrate understanding of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and does not apply the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity) in the design.

Use of Materials

Inventively and successfully chooses tools and materials to produce the work, creating great visual interest.

Appropriately chooses tools and materials to produce the work.

Chooses tools or materials to produce the work, but a choice of tool/material does not match the desired outcome.

Does not choose appropriate tools or materials to produce the work.

Visual Product Content

The product relates well to the artist’s intended message, and the message is apparent to the audience.

The product mostly relates to the artist’s intended message, and the message is somewhat apparent to the audience.

The product partially relates to the artist’s intended message, and the message is confusing to the audience.

The product does not relate to the artist’s intended message, and the message is not at all clear to the audience.

Requirements

Meets all of the requirements for the project.

Meets most of the requirements for the project.

Meets some of the requirements for the project.

Does not meet the requirements for the project.

Relation to Curricular Content

Demonstrates an advanced understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Demonstrates an adequate understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Demonstrates limited understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Does not demonstrate an understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Total

 

 

 

/15

 

Rubric for the Artist Statement

 

Target (3)

Meets (2)

Partially Meets (1)

Does Not Meet (0)

Description of the Composition (Considers the Elements of Art & Principles of Design)

Effectively explains the use of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and successfully describes application of the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity).

Somewhat effectively explains the use of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and successfully describes the application of some of the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity).

Attempts to explain the use of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and describe application of the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity), but the description provides limited evidence of this knowledge.

Does not adequately explain the use of the elements of art (line, color, texture, space, shape and form) and does not effectively describe the application of the principles of design (balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, unity). 

Description of Content

Effectively and impressively describes how the artwork relates to the intended message.

Adequately describes how the artwork relates to the intended message.

Attempts to describe how the artwork relates to the intended message.  The description is mostly confusing to the audience.

Does not adequately describe how the artwork relates to the intended message, and the message is not at all clear to the audience.

Relation to Curricular Content

Demonstrates an advanced understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Demonstrates an adequate understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Demonstrates limited understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Does not demonstrate an understanding of the curricular content covered in class related to this project.

Writing Conventions

Makes 0-1 grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors and is easy to read.

Makes 2-4 grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors and is easy to read.

Makes 5-7 grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors and is somewhat difficult to read.

Makes 8 or more grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors and is very difficult to read.

Organization

The statement is very well organized and contains a logical order of information that is presented in an interesting way. 

The statement is mostly well organized and contains a logical order of information.

The order of information in the statement is somewhat confusing.

The statement is not organized in a logical way and is very confusing.

Requirements

Meets all of the requirements for the assignment.

Meets most of the requirements for the assignment.

Meets some of the requirements for the assignment.

Does not meet the requirements for the assignment.

Total

 

 

 

/18

 

Lesson 4: Creature Story

Lesson Overview

Students will work in groups to create their own unique creature and world by considering scientific concepts, such as species physical and behavioral characteristics, planet atmosphere/climate/weather, planet systems, etc.

Lesson Length

2 class sessions, depending on length of class session and depth of activities

Grade Levels

Grades 6-12

Media, Materials, and Resources

Materials:

  • Species Data Chart (completed) 
  • Google Docs (tutorial attached)
 
Related Videos

Yale Factor, NIU Professor Emeritus in the School of Art and former scientific illustrator, talks about how his art relates to Ender's Game. In this video, Yale shows off his art, and the fantastical alien worlds he can create with only art supplies and his imagination.

Attachments

Standards

IL-ISBE-ELA-CC-2010.K-12.W.R.5
Production and Distribution of Writing: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Objectives

  • Students will write a sci-fi story to describe their creature in the world in which the creature lives and will describe a situation or challenge that the creature encounters.

  • In these stories, students will describe how their creature's group behaviors (i.e. herding) and cooperative behaviors (i.e. hunting or preparing for battle), as well as how the species interact with another species. 

  • Students will use a Google doc or other collaborative method for planning and revising their story.

  • Students will read each other's stories and will analyze species chart data and story details to form opinions on how likely the species was to survive vs. actual outcomes in the story.

Procedures

Have the students work together in their groups to produce an imaginative story based on their creature.

Students will use the Species Data Chart they completed to begin outlining their story as a group.  In their story, they will discuss the following:

Think about the things you wrote in your Species Data Chart.  

Write the story from the creature's point-of-view.  A possible follow-up activity is to write the story from the human's point-of-view.  

  • What does your creature look like?  
  • What does your creature's planet look like?
  • Describe a situation in which your creature first encounters a human. 
  • How did the creature react?
  • What happened as a result of this encounter?

Students can use a Google doc that is shared with those as a link to collaborate on their story and add images and text. 

Each group can have a separate Google doc, and the links to the docs can be copy/pasted into the chart below, which can be placed in the learning management system or on the lab computers where the students can work, so they click on their link in the table.  

Group

Link

Group 1

 

Group 2

 

Group 3

 

Group 4

 

Group 5

 

Group 6

 

Group 7

 

Group 8

 

Group 9

 

Group 10

 

Group 11

 

Group 12

 

Group 13

 

Group 14

 

Group 15

 

 

Rubric for the Collaborative Story

 

CATEGORY

4

3

2

1

Contributions

Routinely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A definite leader who contributes a lot of effort.

Usually provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A strong group member who tries hard!

Sometimes provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. A satisfactory group member who does what is required.

Rarely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion. May refuse to participate.

Time-management

Routinely uses time well throughout the project to ensure things get done on time. Group does not have to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person\'s procrastination.

Usually uses time well throughout the project, but may have procrastinated on one thing. Group does not have to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person\'s procrastination.

Tends to procrastinate, but always gets things done by the deadlines. Group does not have to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person\'s procrastination.

Rarely gets things done by the deadlines AND group has to adjust deadlines or work responsibilities because of this person\'s inadequate time management.

Working with Others

Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Tries to keep people working well together.

Usually listens to, shares, with, and supports the efforts of others. Does not cause \"waves\" in the group.

Often listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others, but sometimes is not a good team member.

Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Often is not a good team player.

Organization

The story is very well organized. One idea or scene follows another in a logical sequence with clear transitions.

The story is pretty well organized. One idea or scene may seem out of place. Clear transitions are used.

The story is a little hard to follow. The transitions are sometimes not clear.

Ideas and scenes seem to be randomly arranged.

Problem/Conflict

It is very easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face and why it is a problem.

It is fairly easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face and why it is a problem.

It is fairly easy for the reader to understand the problem the main characters face but it is not clear why it is a problem.

It is not clear what problem the main characters face.

Solution/Resolution

The solution to the character\'s problem is easy to understand, and is logical. There are no loose ends.

The solution to the character\'s problem is easy to understand, and is somewhat logical.

The solution to the character\'s problem is a little hard to understand.

No solution is attempted or it is impossible to understand.

Spelling and Punctuation

There are no spelling or punctuation errors in the final draft. Character and place names that the author invented are spelled consistently throughout.

There is one spelling or punctuation error in the final draft.

There are 2-3 spelling and punctuation errors in the final draft.

The final draft has more than 3 spelling and punctuation errors.

Writing Process

Student devotes a lot of time and effort to the writing process (prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and editing). Works hard to make the story wonderful.

Student devotes sufficient time and effort to the writing process (prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and editing). Works and gets the job done.

Student devotes some time and effort to the writing process but was not very thorough. Does enough to get by.

Student devotes little time and effort to the writing process. Doesn’t seem to care.