Grade 58 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department
(NYSED)
NYS Alternative Assessment in Science Project (1996)
Description:
Students will observe, measure, and graph a model
of slow downslope movement representing soil creep.
This task assesses students' abilities to collect,
record, and organize data, set up graph axes, plot data points,
draw line graphs, apply mathematics, infer based on observational
data, predict based on a model, and apply models to other situations.
This task is designed to take students approximately
3040 minutes to complete.
Overall Task Content Area:

Earth Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:

Structure of the Earth System
Performance Expectations:
 conducting investigations
 gathering, organizing, and representing data
 formulating conclusions from investigational data
 applying scientific principles to solve new problems
National Science Education Standards:
8 ASI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry
1.4 Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions,
and models using evidence. Students should base their explanation
on what they observed, and as they develop cognitive skills, they
should be able to differentiate explanation from description — providing
causes for effects and establishing relationships based on evidence
and logical argument. This standards requires a subject knowledge
base so the students can effectively conduct investigations, because
developing explanations establishes connections between the content
of science and the contexts within which students develop new knowledge.
1.8 Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
Mathematics is essential to asking and answering questions about
the natural world. Mathematics can be used to ask questions; to
gather, organize, and present data; and to structure convincing
explanations.
8 D ESS 1: Structure of the earth system
1.3 Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive
and destructive forces. Constructive forces include crustal deformation,
volcanic eruption, and deposition of sediment, while destructive
forces include weathering and erosion.
(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home
page to check the full text of related National Science Education
Standards, if desired.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
Algebra (AL1): Understand patterns, relations and functions.
Number and Operations (NO1): Understand numbers, ways
of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number
systems.
Algebra (AL2): Represent and analyze mathematical situations
and structures using algebraic symbols.
Data Analysis and Probability (DAP2): Select and use
appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.
Measurement (MEAS1): Understand measurable attributes
of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Measurement (MEAS2): Apply appropriate techniques, tools,
and formulas to determine measurements.
Algebra (AL3): Use mathematical models to represent and
understand quantitative relationships.
Algebra (AL4): Analyze change in various contexts.
Data Analysis and Probability (DAP3): Develop and evaluate
inferences and predictions that are based on data.
Problem Solving (PS1): Build new mathematical knowledge
through problem solving.
Reasoning and Proof (RP2): Make and investigate mathematical
conjectures.
Representation (REP1): Create and use representations
to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas.
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take approximately 3040 minutes to complete.
Students will be working individually during this exercise.
Students should be ready to work as soon as the period begins.
The materials should be set out at each lab station, if possible.
A central supply area, if needed, should be easily accessible. All
supplies should be clearly labeled.
Materials for "Creeping":
The teacher will need:
 Borax
 water
 food coloring
 white glue
 bucket
 stiff stirring stick
 Ziplock for storage
 laminated photocopy of E.S.R. Table ruler
At each station students should have:
 125ml "glop"
 beaker for "glop"
 clipboard or student tray
 timer
 blocks
 tape
 calculator (optional)
Advance Preparation:
Recipe for "Glop"
 Dissolve 75 ml cup Borax in one liter of water and set aside
(1:16 ratio).
 Mix equal parts of white glue and water.
 Add several drops food coloring to the glue mixture.
 Measure 50 ml of borax solution and place in a Ziplock plastic
bag.
 Measure 150 ml of the glue mixture and place in a Ziplock plastic
bag.
 Just before using, combine the glue mixture and the Borax
mixture, in a 3:1 ratio, seal the bag again and knead to form
"glop".
 Mix until the glop has the consistency of silly putty.
 A more concentrated solution of borax will give you a stiffer
mixture.
 Store the glop in the Ziplock bags.
 Refrigerate in sealed plastic bags for longterm storage.
 ***Do not use the fluorescent Elmer's Glue. It is not always
successful.
 "Glop" may be mixed and stored in any sealable container.
 Make a transparency of the metric ruler on the front cover of
the Earth Science Reference Tables. Make sure the metric ruler
is in the center of the transparency sheet.
 Tape the transparency to the back of the clipboard OR
 If using Metric adhesive tape, stick the tape directly onto
the back of the clipboard and place a piece of masking tape perpendicular
to the metric tape at the place where the lip of the beaker will
rest. Record the mark as the starting point.
 The clipboard rests on a pile of wood blocks. The clip end should
be resting on the blocks.
 Use masking tape to keep the beaker steady on the clipboard
by taping across the beaker onto the clipboard.
Safety:
 The glop mixture contains Borax which is poisonous if ingested.
If this material is accidentally eaten, call the poison control
center immediately.
 Borax is also an eye irritant. Eyes that may have been contaminated
with glop should be flushed with water immediately.
 Students should be cautioned before task and instructed to wash
their hands after completing the task.
 Be careful.
 Teachers and students should always exercise appropriate safety
precautions and utilize appropriate laboratory safety procedures
and equipment when working on science performance tasks.
Extensions/Modifications:
 Variations in slope; experiment to change the viscosity i.e.
temperature change.
 Place toothpicks in "glop" to show change in rate
of flow; i.e. glacial movement.
 Teacher Demonstration version  glop and transparent plastic
clipboard on an overhead.
