administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Coat Caper
Task with Student Directions
Contributed by: Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)


TASK: S2- "The Coat Caper"                     GRADE 11
Student Name: _______________________________________________
School Name:________________________________________________ School Code: _________


Write your name, school name and school code on the lines above.

You will have a total of 45 minutes to complete this task. You may use up to 20 minutes to complete the group work. When your group is finished with the group work, one member of the group should tell the facilitator that you have finished. Then you may go on to the individual work. You may not talk while you are working on those pages.

Your group should have the following materials:

  • 3 samples of fibers
  • 1 "mystery coat" fiber sample
  • 3 pollen slides
  • 1 "mystery coat" pollen slide
  • 4 microscope slides
  • eyedropper
  • pencils
  • paper towels
  • 2 microscopes
  • cover slips
  • small cup of water
  • forceps
  • 1 ruler for each student


Suppose an old coat has just been donated to Boonesboro State Park by one of Daniel Boone's descendants. Park officials must determine whether the coat could be authentic before putting it on display. Your group will act as a team of forensic specialists. You will examine pollen and fibers taken from the garment, make an analysis, and advise the park officials concerning the coat's authenticity.

Your group has a fiber sample taken from the coat. You also have three different fibers to use for comparison with the coat sample.

Your group also has a sample of pollens taken from the coat. Pollen is produced by local plants and gets caught in clothing. Different plants produce different kinds of pollen. The slide made from the coat contains many different kinds of pollen, a situation that is normal and expected. For comparison, you also have slides of pollen from three plants that were common in Kentucky during the late 1700s. These pollens would be found on any garment that had been present in Kentucky during that time period.

  1. Using the materials provided, your group must conduct an investigation to determine whether the coat could be authentic. Work together to plan your procedures. Use the space below to records all of the data and observations from your investigation. All students must record all data on their own forms.













    When you are finished with the work on this page, one member of the group should tell the facilitator that your group has finished its group work. Then do the individual work. Remember that you must work along on those pages. You may not discuss the questions or share information.


  1. Construct a chart that clearly displays the data and observations from your group work.




  2. Write a letter to Boonesboro State Park officials to report your conclusion from your investigation. The following issues must be addressed in the letter:

    1. Your conclusion about whether the coat could or could not be authentic;
    2. A complete and thorough explanation of the evidence that supports your conclusion;
    3. A description of the specific patterns in the evidence that led you to your conclusion; and
    4. Your recommendations about further tests or observations that should be done to further analyze the authenticity of the coat.


Write your letter in the space below.










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