Melissa was particularly concerned that we were spending our time "drawing pictures" instead of doing "real work." She complained to me, "Mrs. Steele, why are we doing this? We have to pass ISTEP. They won't make us draw tattoos on ISTEP!" Little did she know that what we were doing was so much more than just "drawing pictures."
1. We had to listen intensely to understand the most important things another person values.
2. We had to think critically about how to represent those ideas with pictures (and no, a boy playing baseball does not represent a boy playing baseball--it is a boy playing baseball; we had to go deeper!).
3. We had to write a paragraph justifying why we put each individual item in the tattoo, colors and all.
4. We had to present the tattoo and our justification in front of an entire class of our peers!
No, Melissa, neither ISTEP nor LAS Links will ask you to design a tattoo. But they will ask you to listen to directions and/or oral stories, think critically about a problem, and write intelligently on a topic. Tattoos were just a tool to practice.