Level 1

Alaska Science
Key Element C8

A student who meets the content standard should understand that acceptance of a new idea depends upon supporting evidence and that new ideas that conflict with beliefs or common sense are often resisted.


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Performance Standard Level 1, Ages 5–7

Students observe and discuss phenomena that conflict with common sense.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students discover the answer to the question “When is a jar full?” Fill a jar with small rocks; ask the question, “Is the jar full?”; add gravel to jar and shake; ask, “Is the jar full?”; repeat process using sand and finally water.

  • Students view, predict length, and then measure the true length of various optical illusions.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students describe their common-sense impressions regarding equal volumes of water placed in differently shaped containers; identify evidence that supports the idea that the volumes of water involved are equal.


Students will:

  1. Divide into teams.

  2. Observe containers of different shapes that contain (unbeknownst to them) equal volumes of water.

  3. Describe their impressions about which containers contain the most and least water.

  4. Arrange containers from perceived largest to smallest volumes of water.

  5. Use a measuring container to establish that the volume of water in each container is equal to the volume in any other.

  6. Pour the contents of containers back and forth between each other.

Reflection and Revision

Discuss the evidence supporting the idea that the volumes of water in all containers were equal.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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stage fish stage fish

Student participates fully, makes accurate observations, demonstrates mastery of concepts and skills, clearly describes and communicates findings, and relates conclusions to other processes and concepts. Student participates fully in class discussion, clearly describes and communicates findings and concludes the activity without evidence of misconceptions regarding the volume of water.
Stage 3
stage fish
stage fish
stage fish
Student participates substantially, makes largely accurate observations, understands the concepts and skills, and effectively describes and communicates findings and conclusions. Student participates in class discussion, describes and communicates findings but may conclude the activity with minor misconceptions regarding the volume of water.
Stage 2
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stage fish
Student participates, makes observations, grasps the concepts and skills, and attempts to describe and communicate findings and conclusions. Student is a reluctant participant in class discussion and although an attempt is made to describe the findings, the student concludes the activity with misconceptions regarding the volume of water.
Stage 1
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Student minimally participates, gives inaccurate observations, does not grasp the concepts and skills. Student does not participate in class discussion or describe the findings and concludes the activity with major misconceptions regarding the volume of water.
Standards Cross-Reference red rule

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

National Science Education Standards

Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations. (Page 123)



When people give different descriptions of the same thing, it is usually a good idea to make some fresh observations instead of just arguing about who is right. (Page 10)

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