Design the Summative Assessment

Section 5 of the Coming-of-Age Unit Planning Toolkit




Assessments are most effective when students find them meaningful and relevant, and when they help students to clarify their ideas, engage with real-world problems, and reach a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. With these ideas in mind, we have designed a summative assessment option, a “This I Believe . . .” personal narrative, that educators can use or adapt for their own coming-of-age unit. 

This assessment invites students to explore their core beliefs and values in order to consider how, when taken together, these reflect a personal philosophy of being in the world. In the spirit of the original 1950s This I Believe radio series, participating students will join thousands of others who have shared their guiding principles in short written and recorded statements that respond to the sentence starter: “This I believe . . .”


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"This I Believe . . .” Personal Narrative Summative Assessment

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Explore Additional Facing History Writing Resources

Designed to support argumentative essay writing, our Common Core Writing Strategies guides include pre-writing, outlining, and revision activities, as well as graphic organizers that educators can easily adapt for a range of writing genres and contexts.

Go to the Educator Workbook

After reviewing the teacher resources for the “This I Believe” Personal Narrative Summative Assessment, use Section 5: Design the Summative Assessment to identify your assessment goals and criteria and to plan formative assessments that will support students’ growth as writers and thinkers and prepare them for the summative assessment.

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