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MarylandFine Arts Education Instructional Tool Kit
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Maryland Fine Arts Education
Developing Fine Arts Assessments
Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Thematically Linked Integrated Assessment Tasks

A thematically linked integrated task (item set) is an assessment activity focused on an idea or concept that involves the integration of learning objectives in two or more content areas.   Learning objectives addressed in the task should encompass all four VSC content standards.   The item set typically includes a specified number of selected response and/or constructed response items, a performance-based task, and a self-reflection component.

The following are examples of assessment tasks — thematically linked item sets — that integrate skills and knowledge in the fine arts content areas with non-arts curricula.   Each task is presented in a framework that enables teachers to modify components as they see fit.

Unlike a high-stakes summative assessment, these integrated thematically linked activities need not be administered under highly controlled and standardized conditions.   For that reason, directions have not been scripted as they might be for a standardized performance task.

It is suggested that educators read all instructions thoroughly (instructions to the task administrator appear in bold letters) and decide ahead of time the degree to which they wish to use the directions as worded.   Teachers might choose to deliver directions orally, have students follow along in a text as they are read aloud, or provide the directions for students to read and follow on their own.

A Student Booklet may be generated for those who wish to administer the tasks under more standardized conditions.   If teachers wish to present the assessment in this fashion, they should introduce all student directions with the instruction to “follow along as I read aloud.”

Educators also have the discretion to determine how much time should be allotted for each activity or group of activities, or if a time constraint should be imposed at all.

In addition, they should feel free to add, remove, or change activities to suit their instructional and assessment purposes.   Such changes might include:

  • Presenting the background or directions in a more informal way, rather than having students follow along as the teacher reads directions
  • Providing more scaffolding to activate prior science knowledge
  • Modeling hands-on activities

Dance Thematically Linked Integrated Item Set (PDF: 288k)

Music Thematically Linked Integrated Task Item Set (PDF: 280k)

Theatre Thematically Linked Integrated Task Item Set (PDF: 248k)

Visual Arts Thematically Linked Integrated Task Item Set (PDF: 220k)


Following are examples of student work from thematically linked item sets as administered.


Dance Example

Music Example

Theatre Example

Visual Arts Example (not available)

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