Level 3

Alaska Science
Key Element

A student who meets the content standard should use science to understand and describe the local environment (Local Knowledge).


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Performance Standard Level 3, Ages 11–14

Students conduct research to learn how the local environment is used by a variety of competing interests including local plant and animal populations, individual families, the local community, and outside sources such as oil and mining companies, hunting groups, and tourists.

Sample Assessment Ideas

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Sample Assessment Ideas

  • Students take a field trip to a local beaver pond; note evidence of animals, types of plant life, types of fish, soil conditions, and so on; predict what might happen to the stream habitat if beavers move in.

Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

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Expanded Sample Assessment Idea

  • Students develop a model plan to maximize the benefits and minimize the negatives of managing local fish or wildlife.


Students will:

  1. Brainstorm a list of local fish and wildlife resources.

  2. Select small groups to research different resources on the list.

  3. Research local, traditional, and regulated methods of management.

  4. Prepare a plan that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the negatives of managing the local fish or wildlife.

  5. Present the plan to the class using visual aids.

Reflection and Revision

What is the best part of each plan? How can the plans be compiled into one, comprehensive plan?


Levels of Performance

Stage 4
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stage fish stage fish

Student work is complete, is based on thorough research that includes in-depth interviews and multiple sources, and shows evidence of logical reasoning. Plan to manage local fish or wildlife is balanced and takes into consideration traditional stories and local history. Presentation is well organized, interesting, informative, and includes several visual aids.
Stage 3
stage fish
stage fish
stage fish
Student work is based on research that includes interviews and multiple sources and shows evidence of logical reasoning but may contain minor errors or omissions. Plan to manage local fish or wildlife is balanced and takes into consideration traditional stories and local history. Presentation is organized, interesting, informative, and includes at least one visual aid.
Stage 2
stage fish
stage fish
Student work is limited in scope and background information, may be incomplete or contain errors of science fact and reasoning. Presentation lacks organization and the visual aid, if present, is not used effectively, or does not contain relevant information.
Stage 1
stage fish
Student work is largely incomplete, incorrect, shows little evidence of understanding, contains misconceptions and plan is not based on research, tradition, or local history.
Standards Cross-Reference green rule

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

National Science Education Standards

All organisms cause changes in the environment where they live. Some of these changes are detrimental to the organism or other organisms, whereas others are beneficial. (Page 129)

Soils have properties of color and texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of many kinds of plants, including those in our food supply. (Page 134)

The surface of the Earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. (Page 134)

Some environmental changes occur slowly, and others occur rapidly. Students should understand the different consequences of changing environments in small increments over long periods as compared with changing environments in large increments over short periods. (Page 140)

A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time. All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem. (Page 157)



Waves, wind, water, and ice shape and reshape the Earth’s land surface by eroding rock and soil in some areas and depositing them in other areas, sometimes in seasonal layers. (Page 72)

Rock is composed of different combinations of minerals. Smaller rocks come from the breakage and weathering of bedrock and larger rocks. Soil is made partly from weathered rock, partly from plant remains—and contains many living organisms. (Page 72)

A great variety of kinds of living things can be sorted into groups in many ways using various features to decide which things belong to which group. (Page 103)

For any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. (Page 116)

Insects and various other organisms depend on dead plant and animal material for food. (Page 116)

Organisms interact with one another in various ways besides providing food. Many plants depend on animals for carrying their pollen to other plants or for dispersing their seeds. (Page 116)

Changes in an organism’s habitat are sometimes beneficial to it and sometimes harmful. (Page 116)

Most microorganisms do not cause disease, and many are beneficial. (Page 116)

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