Level 2

Alaska Science
Key Element

A student who meets the content standard should use the processes of science; these processes include observing, classifying, measuring, interpreting data, inferring, communicating, identifying variables, developing models and theories, hypothesizing, predicting, and experimenting.


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Performance Standard Level 2, Ages 8–10

Students observe, measure, and collect data from experiments and use this information to classify, predict, and communicate about their everyday world and verify their predictions.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students measure the water level of a local stream, river, or ocean three times a day for one week; predict water levels for the next three days.

  • Students roll marbles down an inclined plane onto surfaces of different texture to collect data on the effects of friction.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students design their own experiment to explore the effect of sunlight on bean plants.


Students will:

  1. Plant lima beans in identical containers and soil. Place half of the containers in sun or under grow lights, and half in darkness.

  2. Predict what will happen and record the predictions.

  3. Observe and measure plant growth daily over the course of two weeks; record observations.

  4. Divide into groups of four and classify the plants in at least two different ways.

  5. Share observations and classification schemes with the class. Give students the opportunity to go back and revise their classification scheme based on class discussion.

Reflection and Revision

Revise their classification schemes based on the class discussion and make predictions for growth of other plants.


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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stage fish stage fish

Student work is correct, complete, and appropriate. Student makes accurate measurements, accurate observations, evidence-based predictions, develops reasonable classification systems, and clearly communicates their ideas. Predictions and classification systems are creative and elaborate as well as accurate. Methods of communication are detailed and creative.
Stage 3
stage fish
stage fish
stage fish
Student work is generally correct, complete, and appropriate. Student makes accurate measurements, accurate observations, evidence-based predictions, develops reasonable classification systems and clearly communicates their ideas. There are some elaborations in observation, measurement, prediction, data collection, and communication but there may be some flaws in accuracy in those process skills.
Stage 2
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stage fish
Student measurements, observations, predictions, classifications, and communication are partially accurate with some inaccuracies or sloppy methods. There is little evidence of elaboration or extensions.
Stage 1
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Student shows little or no ability to observe, measure, predict, classify, and communicate. There is no evidence of elaboration or extension.
Standards Cross-Reference blue rule

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

National Science Education Standards

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)

Use data to construct a reasonable explanation. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the students’ thinking as they use data to formulate explanations. Even at the earliest grade levels, students should learn what constitutes evidence and judge the merits or strength of the data and information that will be used to make explanations. After students propose an explanation, they will appeal to the knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explanations. Students should check their explanations against scientific knowledge, experiences, and observations of others. (Page 122)

Communicate investigations and explanations. Students should begin developing the abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students. This communication might be spoken or drawn as well as written. (Page 122)

Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations. (Page 148)

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)



Scientific investigations may take many forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments. Investigations can focus on physical, biological and social questions. (Page 11)

Results of scientific investigations are seldom exactly the same, but if the differences are large, it is important to try to figure out why. One reason for following directions carefully and for keeping records of one’s work is to provide information on what might have caused the differences. (Page 11)

Scientists’ explanations about what happens in the world come partly from what they observe, partly from what they think. Sometimes scientists have different explanations for the same set of observations. That usually leads to their making more observations to resolve the differences. (Page 11)

Offer reasons for their findings and consider reasons suggested by others. (Page 286)

Recognize when comparisons might not be fair because some conditions are not kept the same. (Page 299)

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