Assessment task 2: Sharing a life story (summative assessment)
You will plan and compose a short life story. At the conclusion of the unit, you and your peers will read and view each other’s life stories and contribute to the assessment of the collection. You should use the resources and stories shared in class and in the Resources for this unit as your guides in this task. Note the following details regarding the assessment task:
- You may use traditional or digital media, or a combination of both to tell the life story.
- There are strict limits to the length of the life story:
- If you tell your story through print, it must be between 500 and 1000 words in length, though you may add photographs, maps or other visual materials if you wish.
- If you create a digital story similar to those studied in class, using iMovie, Photo Story or similar software, it must be between 2 and 3 minutes in duration, and contain sufficient oral or print text to support the narration of the story.
- You must submit your Life story proposal worksheet and the Information and consent form to your teacher before commencing the process, or before the deadline provided.
- You must follow the Ethical principles of life writing we have discussed. Failure to do so may mean that you will be unable to submit your task for assessment.
- Ensure that you are able to submit your best work by the due date, and use the Assessment task 2 rubric to ensure that you are on track.
Taking it step by step
This is a significant task that requires planning and the dedication of time across the course of the unit. For this reason, it is set out in steps below to support your organisation and progress:
- Choose your subject. The person should be someone readily available to you for 90 minutes worth of interviews. If possible, this is best done in two stages of 30 minutes so that you can keep your focus and follow up on any loose ends in a second interview. The additional 30 minutes will be needed later on when the subject looks at your draft of the life story and signs the second part of the Information and consent form.
- Contact your subject and ask them if they would be able to assist you in this assignment by sharing an aspect of their life story. Be clear about what aspect of their life you believe may be interesting. If they are unable or unwilling, don’t be discouraged and try someone else. You might discover that this was the best thing to happen but only if you find out early in the process.
- Provide the person with the Information and consent form that you will need to collect and return to school for your teacher’s files.
- Make firm arrangements for your interview, explaining the process and the time limit you have.
- Prepare thoroughly for your interview, and ensure that you allow time after the interview so that you can go over your notes and add or clarify notes while everything is still clear in your memory.
- Conduct the interview and collect or photograph any relevant artefacts or photos. Thank the subject and arrange a follow-up interview if necessary.
- Be creative and inquisitive and talk to others about the best angle for the story, and begin to map it out in print or storyboard format. Refer to the Assessment task 2 rubric, and to the word and time limits to ensure that you are on the right track.
- Continue to develop your story, with a follow-up interview if necessary. Remember that it is the development of the life story that matters most here so don’t put all of your energy into great media effects at the expense of the story.
- Consult with your teacher, friends and family to get their reactions and continue to refine and develop your story until your draft is ready to show your subject. Ensure that you are keeping within the time and word limits.
- Show your story to your subject, respond to their feedback and collect their signature on the Information and consent form. Provide your subject with their own copy of their life story in CD, paper or digital format according to their preference.
- Complete a final edit of your story if necessary, then attach the Information and consent form to your life story and submit it to your teacher.
The assessment process
After the life stories are submitted, they will be made available to share within small groups of four, allowing time for others to learn about your subject and his or her life story. After each life story is presented, each person in the group will be asked to provide the following feedback for each story:
- The strongest aspect of the story (for example, the mood of the piece, the images, the use of metaphor).
- One aspect worth rethinking or refining if you were asked to do this again (for example, collect more photos, match the images and words more closely, create a stronger story line, remove details that might not be necessary).