Contributed by: Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)
Description:
Students work with a set of objects to set up both quantitative and
qualitative classification systems.
As a group, students follow an example to design and complete
two classification systems using a set of objects provided. Individually,
they describe how another object would fit into one of their systems,
describe other classification systems the group could have used,
and relate classification to everyday life.
This task is designed to take students approximately 4050 minutes
to complete. The activity portion is done in small groups. The followup
questions are completed individually by each student working alone.
Overall Task Content Area:

 Life Science
 Physical Science
 Earth/Space Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:

 Nature of scientific knowledge
 Properties of objects and materials
Performance Expectations:
 conducting investigations
 using equipment
 gathering, organizing, and representing data
 formulating conclusions from investigational data
 applying scientific principles to develop explanations and solve
new problems
National Science Education Standards:
4 B PS 1: Properties of objects and materials: Grades K4
1.1 Objects have many observable properties, including
size, weight, shape, color, temperature, and the ability to react
with other substances. Those properties can be measured using tools,
such as rulers, balances, and thermometers.
12 G HNS 2: Nature of scientific knowledge: Grades 912
1.1 Science distinguishes itself from other ways
of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge through the use of
empirical standards, logical arguments, and skepticism, as scientists
strive for certainty of their proposed explanations.
12 A SI 1: Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry: Grades
912
1.3 Use technology and mathematics
1.4 Formulate scientific explanations and models
1.5 Analyze alternative explanations
1.6 Communicate a scientific argument
(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:
AL3: Use mathematical models to represent and understand
quantitative relationships:
Grades 912 d. identify
essential quantitative relationships in a situation and determine
the class or classes of functions that might model the relationships
GEO1: Analyze characteristics and properties of two
and threedimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical
arguments about geometric relationships:
Grades 912 m. explore
relationships (including congruence and similarity) among classes
of two and threedimensional geometric objects, make and test
conjectures about them, and solve problems involving them
MEAS1: Understand measurable
attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of
measurement:
Grades 912 m.
make decisions about units and scales that are appropriate for
problem situations involving measurement
PS2: Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in
other contexts:
Grades 912
COM2: Communicate their mathematical
thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others:
Grades 912
CNX1: Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking
through communication:
Grades 912
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately 4050 minutes
to complete.
Students will be working in groups of 35 for the experiment/activity
part of this exercise. Students work together for up to 20 minutes.
They are instructed to notify you when finished with the group work,
and then to go on to the individual work inside the "Student Response
Form." If students are still working together 20 minutes after the
testing begins, instruct them to cease their group work and begin
individual work. At this point, they may no longer talk. Whether
or not they are just beginning their individual work, remind students
that they now have 25 minutes to complete the individual activity.
Students should be ready to work as soon as the period begins.
Group assignments should be made in advance. 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 "Classification in Action":
At this station students should have:

 One piece of string
Plastic bag containing bolt, nail, large nut, paper clip, nickel,
wood cube, plastic cube, button, wood dowel, Lego“
block
Metric ruler or each student
Calculator for each student
100 ml graduated cylinder
small beaker
large beaker
balance
magnet
paper towels
sharpened pencils
"Mystery Object" for each student (round, plastic bead with
a hole alone one axis, and is different color than the other
objects in the classification set)
Advance Preparation:
Fill the small beaker with water before students begin. Remove
the assorted small objects when the group work is complete, and
then pass out the Mystery Objects (individual marbles/beads).
Safety:
 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.
Kentucky Department of Education
Performance Events 199495
