The Lives of Animals: Assessment Tasks

Suggestions for Assessment

The range of assessment tasks below are suggestions for ways to synthesise learning from the sequence of lessons based on the text The Lives of Animals.

Teachers could also use evidence from tasks within the lessons to bring together a portfolio of work to show how achievements have been met.


Formative Assessment 1 – Extended Response

Students to write an extended response on the following question:

  • How, and to what effect, does the language used in The Lives of Animals influence the reader’s perceptions of animals?

See the ‘Making Comparisons’ lessons for more details.


Formative Assessment 2 – Reflective Writing

Students to write a 250-word reflection on ONE of the inquiry questions below:

  • To what extent can literature be used to explore local or global concerns?
  • How powerful is fiction in raising awareness of the plight of animals?

See the ‘Fact as Fiction’ lessons for more details.


Formative Assessment 3 – Opinion Piece

Students compose an opinion piece on one of the following topics:

  • A 21st Century education should include an understanding of where meat comes from.
  • Young people need to be given the facts on farmed animal meat production.
  • Alternatives to factory farming need to be encouraged by governments.

See the ‘Animals and Ethics’ lessons for more details


Summative Assessment – Analytical Essay.

Students plan and then compose an essay which draws on their knowledge and understanding of the novella, The Lives of Animals.

Students should aim to support ideas with textual evidence as well as identifying and explaining the effect of literary devices. A standard essay structure is recommended (introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion).

Students to conclude the lesson by composing an essay which responds to one of the following statements/questions:

  • The Lives of Animals, by J.M. Coetzee, explores the complexities of animal rights.
  • “There, there. It will soon be over.” The Lives of Animals is an exploration of one woman’s deep personal concerns. (see pg. 69)
  • “We have closed our hearts to animals”. (see. pg. 4)

See the ‘Reflections’ lessons for more details.

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