Posted by: dbjaquith | October 28, 2012

The Attachment Test

The Attachment Test challenges students in grades 3-5 to think beyond tape and glue when joining materials together. This authentic assessment task requires students to create a work of art using alternative strategies for construction. Wrap, twist, insert, tie, and fold are among the strategies used by students in this task. Resulting work must demonstrate artistic thinking as well. Before approaching teachers with their solutions, students show their work to three classmates who help to count their materials and attachments. Students have created cars, people, animals, catapults, symmetrical designs, and even cupcakes for their Attachment Test solutions, which are often elegant in their simplicity.

Race Car showing varied attachment strategies

The purpose of this exercise is to push students beyond the obvious solutions of tape and glue as adhesives. Though tape offers opportunities for improvisation and glue provides permanence with many materials, they are not always the best option. Having other strategies enables flexibility when working in the 3D Design Studio, where engineering and artmaking come together.

Peers record the number of materials and attachments used.

What are students learning? 3D Design brings together innovation, transformation of materials, and structural balance.

Why are students learning this?  3D thinking requires strategies and flexibility.

How will students learn about 3D Design?  Students will practice three-dimensional thinking by problem-finding and problem-solving with 3D materials and self-directed challenges.

A variety of materials are available: foam, cotton, wood, yarn, brass fasteners, paper, foil, cardboard, elastics, and paper clips.


  1. Your blog is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

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