At Christian schools, we want our students connecting:

  1. Content/skills and life. We want students connecting ecology with how they dispose of trash.
  2. Content/skills and Biblical principles. We want students connecting decisions made by government with Biblical principles regarding justice and peace.
  3. Biblical principles and life. We want students connecting Biblical principles regarding wealth, love, and the sanctity of life with the movies they watch.

Question: How can you help your students make connections?

Answer: By giving assessments that require your students to connect content/skills and Biblical principles or content/skills, Biblical principles, and life.

In other words, don't give an assessment that leaves things disconnected. That’s like putting café latte ingredients (coffee, water, and milk) in separate containers—then eating the coffee, drinking the water, and then drinking the milk. Which would you rather have: a real café latte or the ingredients of a café latte?

Question: Got any sample assessments that require students make connections?

Answer: Check out the assessment prompts below.

Bottom line: Require your students to make connections. Today.

Here are some sample assessments that require students to make connections:

English:

How significant a part of what’s wrong with the world is the tendency to disregard the human dignity of others, and how should a Christian respond? Support your answer with (1) examples from literature, history/current events, and your own experience, and (2) the Biblical principles of respecting God’s image bearers and loving our neighbors.

Using a book that you’ve already read for independent reading this year, prepare a 2-to-3-minute presentation in which you give an exciting introduction to the plot, a brief explanation of the conflict and theme, a Biblical perspective of the conflict and theme (including how the book shows “taking a stand”), and a satisfying conclusion.

Using examples from various literature and from the Bible , explain the nature of evil, its relationship to suffering, and what you can do to respond Christianly to both.

Math

Construct a model of the solar system that accurately represents planet size and planet distance from the sun. Next, write a paragraph in response to the following question: What does math have to do with God’s world? In your paragraph, make three connections between the Biblical truths we studied in class and the model you made. Include quotations from two Bible passages.

Mr. Hall wants to buy an Apple computer and doesn’t have enough money to pay up front. As Mr. Hall’s financial advisor, use a spreadsheet analysis to explain the credit-card payment plan, the Apple credit-account plan, and the Apple education lease plan. Next, advise Mr. Hall on which payment plan he should choose, basing your recommendation on a Biblical perspective of wealth and material goods that was studied in class.

Science

Write a two-paragraph report about a dinosaur of your choice. Include where the dinosaur lived, when it lived, what it ate, what it looked like, its size, how it got its name, who found it, and any other interesting facts you found. Give three examples of how your dinosaur shows God’s creativity and power.

Give a 5-minute presentation on a piece of electricity-related technology in which you present the electrical device, the science of how it works, and a response to the following questions: How has this device impacted society? What’s a Biblical perspective of that impact?

Use three carbon footprint calculators to estimate your family’s and your greenhouse gas emissions. Compare your results with national averages. In the context of using your learning to care for God’s creation, identify three ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Next, make a poster that shows what you learned, including your calculations, a graph of your personal footprint, a Biblical perspective of carbon footprints, and three steps you could take to reduce your carbon footprint.

Social Studies

Write a one-page essay about the following: Based on what the Bible teaches about war, would you have fought in the Revolutionary War on the side of the colonists? In your answer, explain what the Bible teaches (cite two Bible verses). Next, use what the Bible teaches to evaluate reasons colonists fought in the war. Conclude with what you would do and why.

Teach your classmates about the aspect of ancient Egyptian culture/history you researched. Show what the Bible teaches about it and how it connects to you.

Michael B. Essenburg, Close the Gap Now

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