21 Creative Ways to Assess Students

If you’re a teacher looking for more creative ways to assess students, then this post is for you. 

As teachers, we possess a number of assessment tools in our teaching toolkit that gauge how well students are progressing with learning standards. 

However, sometimes you may want to include more non-traditional assessments.

That’s there where creative assessments come in. These fun ways to test knowledge lead to increased student engagement and offer more insight.

Creative assessments also tap into students’ unique strengths and learning styles.

In this post, you’ll discover a resource of creative ways to assess students that you’ll want to add to your collection of assessments. 

Creative Way to Assess Students

1. Connect Using Flip.

Using Flip, a video discussion app, teachers can build classroom groups where students share ideas and learn from each other.

2. Move Around the Room Writing Graffiti.

This assessment works well with science or social studies concepts.

  • Take four pieces of chart paper, and place one on each of the walls in your classroom.
  • Write a different sentence starter on each piece of chart paper.  The sentence starter should relate to the lesson’s topic. For example, if you’re studying the planets, the four sentence starters could be… “Mars is…”, “Earth has…”, “Saturn is different because…”, and “Venus is…”.
  • Divide students into 4 groups, and choose one child in each group to be the recorder. 
  • Provide each of the four recorders with a different-colored permanent marker. Everyone else in the group is an active participant.
  • To begin, each group stands next to a chart paper.
  • When you give the signal, groups have a minute to discuss and note any information that completes the sentence starter. 
  • After the minute, give a signal, and the groups rotate clockwise to the next chart paper, repeating the process.
  • Continue as such until all groups have visited each chart paper.

At a glance, you’ll see how well each group has grasped the concept you are assessing because all responses are color-coded.

3. Talk to the Hand.

At the end of a lesson, tell students to “talk to the hand.”

Give each student a piece of paper and have them trace a hand on it.

Instruct students to create a list of six words related to the main points of the lesson. Rank the words in order of importance. 

The most important word should be written on the palm of the hand. The remaining five words are written on the fingers and thumb.

4. Write a How-to Manual.

Students need to explain the topic to someone else by writing a how-to manual. 

This creative assessment works best for lessons that involve steps, such as a math technique or science concept. 

The how-to manual should break the topic into individual steps. Each step should include a short set of instructions.

5. Illustrate the Topic.

Students draw a picture that represents the topic. 

The only requirement is that the picture conveys at least three points discussed during the lesson.

6. Utilize Explain Everything.

Explain Everything is an online platform that allows teachers to create engaging, interactive lessons plus assign activities and tasks such as creative assessments.

7. Fill Out an Exit Ticket.

An exit ticket can assess a child’s understanding of a topic and help develop their thinking skills. 

The typical exit slip includes a question or a writing prompt and a space for students to write their responses. 

There are a variety of creative exit ticket ideas that teachers may utilize.

creative assessment idea

8. Write a Poem.

Poetry is one of the most creative ways to assess students.

Choose a poem format or allow students to choose from different options, such as limericks, haikus, or free verse poetry. 

Instruct learners to write a poem based on the topic discussed in class.

9. Create an ABC Book.

An ABC book encourages creativity, critical thinking, and memorization skills. 

Require students to create a book or a list of words related to the topic. Each word should represent one of the letters in the alphabet.

10. Make Meaningful Connections With a Tic-Tac-Toe Graphic Organizer.

This creative assessment encourages students to go beyond memorizing definitions by looking for connections and patterns among ideas.

To use this assessment, ask students to draw a simple tic-tac-toe board or provide one.

They fill each space on the board with a vocabulary word from a unit or lesson. 

Now learners choose three words in any row, column, or diagonal.  They write five meaningful sentences using the three terms. 

As students use a set of three words, they cross it out.

Students cannot repeat the same set of three words. However, a word may repeat if part of another set.

creative ways to assess students

11. Teach the Teacher.

The “Teach the Teacher” assessment helps boost student engagement and participation. 

It works best as a group activity, allowing students to call out answers and responses.

Pretend that you have amnesia and no longer remember the information discussed. Instruct students to teach you everything you need to know about the topic.

12. Make an Informational Pamphlet.

Instruct students to create an informational pamphlet that provides a summary of the facts and information covered during the lesson. 

Students can use a single sheet of standard printer paper. Fold the paper in thirds, creating six sections of a cover and five pages of facts.

13. Create a Board Game.

Divide the class into small groups of three to four. Each group should create an original board game that teaches about a topic.

14. Fill Out a Concept Map.

Concept maps help visualize relationships between ideas or break down a complex concept into smaller parts. 

Give students a word that represents a concept they’ve been learning in class. They then map out a series of sub-ideas that relate to the main topic.

See how to do concept mapping easily.

15. Draw an Original Comic Strip.

Of all the creative ways to assess students, this one is a favorite.

Use a comic strip to assess students’ knowledge of historical events, science concepts, math techniques, or other topics. 

It’s helpful to provide learners with clear guidelines, such as the number of panels to use in the comic strip.

16. Turn a Graphic Organizer Into a Foldable.

This is one of those creative ways to assess students that engage learners from start to finish.

Using a simple graphic organizer as inspiration, ask students to turn it into a 3-dimensional piece of work using nothing more than paper, creativity, and knowledge.

See Foldables activity ideas

17. Summarize the Lesson Using the ABCs.

Take small magnetic letters or simply write each letter of the alphabet on a separate note card.

Place the letters in a bag and shake them. Have a student draw one letter from the bag. 

If he pulls an “S”, he must state a word (related to the concept being assessed) that begins with that letter.  

For example, if the assessment covers the three states of matter, the student might say…

“Solid. A solid is a state of matter and holds its shape.”

Permit a few more students to pull from the bag.  If someone pulls the same letter, she shares a different word.

You will discover how well learners understood the concepts by how deep or detailed are their responses.

18. Complete an Activity From a Learning Styles Menu.

One of the most creative ways to assess students is to use multiple intelligence activities. 

Create a learning styles menu (see below), or simply list a few activities from which learners may choose. 

Students complete one activity.

See multiple intelligence activity ideas.

creative ways to assess students

19. Choose an Activity from a Think-Tac-Toe Board.

Similar to choice boards, students choose activities to complete from the board. 

With a Think-Tac-Toe assessment, however, learners choose three tasks from any row, column, or diagonal to complete.

20. Make a Top Ten List.

One of the most simple yet creative ways to assess students is by having them make a top ten list.

Students create a list of the top ten facts or key pieces of information covered during a topic. 

21. Integrate Video.

Edpuzzle is an online platform where teachers can engage students using the power of video.

22. Create an Infographic.

Infographics are visual representations of facts or information presented in a clear, concise manner with a combination of words and images.

Require students to create an infographic based on a lesson. The infographic should cover the most important facts. 

creative assessment idea

Final Thoughts: Creative Ways to Assess Students

Now you have a collection of creative ways to assess students of all ages.

These simple assessment strategies do the job well. So pencil a few of these fun and unique assessments into your instruction this week.