Level 1

Alaska Science
Key Element B2

A student who meets the content standard will design and conduct scientific investigations using appropriate instruments.


red rule

Performance Standard Level 1, Ages 5–7

Students use appropriate measuring and observation instruments to explore the natural world around them.

Sample Assessment Ideas

red rule

Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students use a magnifying glass to observe an object (e.g., rock, bug, hair, skin, plant); draw a picture to describe how the object looks different compared to viewing with only their eyes.

  • Students weigh and measure a salmon or other meat before and after smoking in a smokehouse. Compare the data from before and after smoking.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

red rule

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students investigate how a change in environment affects a plant’s growth. Changes might include amount of light, water, soil type, etc.


Students will:

(allow four weeks)

  1. Each receive a newly potted plant.

  2. Divide into three groups: Group 1 will water their plants one day per week. Group 2 will water their plants two days per week. Group 3 will water their plants three days per week (each group will use the same amount of water).

  3. Record daily observations (amount of water added, changes in appearance, and measurements of height or diameter).

  4. Develop their thoughts as to how and why their plants grew the way they did.

  5. Make graphs comparing growth rates.

  6. Make predictions about what is needed to grow healthy plants.

  7. Discuss what instruments they used for measuring the amount of light, water and plant growth. Discuss differences between the groups.

Reflection and Revision

Record the optimum conditions for growing plants in their science journal.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
stage fish stage fish
stage fish stage fish

Student work is complete, correct, and shows higher-order thinking skills and relevant knowledge. Measurements are accurate, instruments are chosen without teacher prompt and are used appropriately.
Stage 3
stage fish
stage fish
stage fish
Student work is generally complete and correct. Measurements are accurate and instruments are used appropriately. There may be some evidence of misconceptions or discrepancies between journal entries and actual observations.
Stage 2
stage fish
stage fish
Student work is mostly incomplete or incorrect. While an attempt was made to grow plants, measurements and observations are inaccurate or incomplete. The student is able to choose correct measuring instruments following teacher prompts.
Stage 1
stage fish
Student work is incomplete and incorrect. Attempts to grow plants, if made, do not include measurements or recorded observations.
Standards Cross-Reference red rule

Standards Cross-References
( Alaska Department of Education & Early Development Standards

National Science Education Standards

Plan and conduct a simple investigation. In the earliest years, investigations are largely based on systematic observations. (Page 122)

Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses. In early years, students develop simple skills, such as how to observe, measure, cut, connect, switch, turn on and off, pour, hold, tie, and hook. Beginning with simple instruments, students can use rulers to measure the length, height, and depth of objects and materials; thermometers to measure temperature; watches to measure time; beam balances and spring scales to measure weight and force; magnifiers to observe objects and organisms; and microscopes to observe the finer details of plants, animals, rocks, and other materials. Children also develop skills in the use of computers and calculators for conducting investigations. (Page 122)

Scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer with what scientists already know about the world. (Page 123)

Simple instruments such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers provide more information than scientists can obtain using only their senses. (Page 123)



People can often learn about things around them by just observing those things carefully, but sometimes they can learn more by doing something to the things and noting what happens. (Page 10)

Raise questions about the world around them and be willing to seek answers to some of them by making careful observations and trying things out. (Page 285)

Table of Contents  |  Return to Alaska Native Knowledge Network