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NAME: _______________________________________________________________________

DATE: ________________________________

CLASS: _______________________

Subject Area:

Science

Grade Level:

Middle School, grades 5-8

Unit of Study:

Scientific Method

Topic of Study:

Scientific Inquiry

 Step-by-step CFA process  CFA Alignment


 Scoring Tools
 Student Handouts

Scientific Inquiry Assessment


Answer all of the assessment questions on the handout. Complete all short answer questions in the
space provided and fill in information in the tables and diagrams when directed.

Base your answers to questions 1 through 3 on the information and table below and on your
knowledge of science.
A farmer grows and sells flowering plants. The best-selling plants are the ones with
the most blossoms. The farmer reads an advertisement for a plant food saying that it will
make plants grow faster and taller. The farmer predicts that taller plants will have more
blossoms and performs the following experiment to test this hypothesis.
Two groups of 10 plants each are grown in identical pots filled with equal amounts of
identical soil. The amount of sunlight, the room temperature, and the amount of water are
held constant for both groups. Group A is given plant food at regular intervals according
to the instructions on the package. Group B is not given plant food.
The farmer observes the plants after 15 weeks of growth. The results are recorded below.

1. State the farmers original hypothesis. [1]


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2. Based on the results of this experiment, is the farmers original hypothesis correct?
Circle one: Yes No
Explain your answer. [1]
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General Studies Workshop: Common Formative Assessments with Kris Nielsen  Erie 1 BOCES  www.wnyric.org/irt
This page may be reproduced for educational purposes only.

April 2009

3. Explain how the farmers original hypothesis is similar to and different from an inference. [2]
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Base your answers to questions 4 through 6 on the information below and on your knowledge
of science.

A student adds a sugar cube to a cup of iced tea and a cup of hot tea. She notices that the
time needed for the sugar cube to dissolve in each cup is different. She thinks this has
something to do with the temperature of the tea.

4. Draw the sugar cube in the HOT Tea and the ICED Tea with arrows showing what will happen to the
sugar [1]

Key/Legend:
= Sugar Cube
= movement of
molecules

5. Based on your drawings from Question #4, describe your observations about how the sugar cube
dissolves in the HOT Tea and the ICED Tea. [1]
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General Studies Workshop: Common Formative Assessments with Kris Nielsen  Erie 1 BOCES  www.wnyric.org/irt
This page may be reproduced for educational purposes only.

April 2009

6. Predict what would happen to a sugar cube placed in ROOM temperature and explain your thinking [1].
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Base your answers to questions 7 and 8 on the information below and on your knowledge of science.

A student observed that shaking a container of sand caused the temperature of the
sand to rise.

7. Fill in the table below with the information requested define the term and give an example. [6]
Term

Definition

Example

Inference

Prediction

Explanation

8.

Would it make sense for the student to make an inference, prediction or explanation as their next
step? WHY? [1]

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General Studies Workshop: Common Formative Assessments with Kris Nielsen  Erie 1 BOCES  www.wnyric.org/irt
This page may be reproduced for educational purposes only.

April 2009