perhaps you're worried that you don't have time to do a long, involved project
Capture the learning. Ask students to document and assess their process, identifying the thinking skills they've used.
Grading creative projects can be difficult, so create a rubric that includes students' process. Have them tell the story of their thought process. And have them write a paragraph about their intent, as this allows those with lesser making skills to explain what they were trying to convey. Grade craftsmanship, because no matter their skill level, sloppy projects detract from the creator's intended message.
Design thinking allows teachers to have control over messy maker projects. You can set distinct time restraints for different steps of the process that will keep everyone on roughly the same timeline.
Asking them to express an idea translated into another medium requires them to know something holistically and more deeply. They must understand both its complexities and its parts. It's the same as knowing something well enough to teach it -- you have to understand it completely, as well as how all the different pieces fit together.
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