Designing Effective Projects : Teaching Thinking
Assessing Thinking in an Intermediate Phase Classroom

Assessing Thinking: Grades 3-5
In The Great Bean Race Project Plan, young botanists investigate plant growth as they compete in a lima bean stalk growing competition with learners from other geographic locations.

Assessing Process
As learners conduct a series of experiments about plans, they write in their journals drawing conclusions about what they observe. The teacher uses the following checklist to assess their scientific thinking.

1. Observations are recorded in clear, scientific language.
2. The hypothesis is stated in a good sentence that includes a conclusion about what was observed and the reason it occurred.
3. Hypothesis is testable.
4. The hypothesis is supported logically by the observations.

Assessing Product
The following rubric describes levels of thinking about the science that learners are learning.

Science Content Rubric






At the end of the project, the learners will write a reflection in which they answer the following questions:

  1. During this project, when did you think most like a scientist?
  2. What evidence shows that you were thinking like a scientist then?
  3. What was the easiest kind of thinking for you during this project?
  4. What was the hardest kind of thinking?
  5. What are you going to work harder on during the next science project?


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