administration student task rubric student work technical quality
The Nutritional Content of Food
Contributed by: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO/SCASS)


(Only a generic rubric is available for this task. It is recommended that the rubric be adapted for use with specific items on this performance task.)


In this event, the student is asked to use indicators to determine some of the nutrient content in some foods. An indicator is a chemical that reacts with the substance that someone is trying to detect. The reaction usually causes a visible change such as color to indicate the presence of the substance.

In order to see whether the indicator has reacted with the substance, there is a sample which we either know contains the substance or we know doesnÍt contain the substance to which we can add the indicator and then compare it to the unknown sample. This is known as the control.

In question 1, the student records the results of an experiment in which they add a starch indicator to three unknown food samples and water for a control. The experiment is repeated with a protein indicator and fresh samples of the unknowns and water. Water is assumed to contain neither starch nor protein. Also in question 1, the students are to explain why water was tested and to draw some conclusions from the results of the experiment.

In question 2, the student is asked whether the results of this experiment might be useful in food labeling and what other information they think should be provided on a food label. In this question, the student should show understanding that labeling is provided so we know what nutrients we are getting in order to maintain a healthy diet. They should also understand that we need other nutrients besides starches and proteins, the amounts of nutrients and harmful ingredients.


  1. There are methods for experimentally determining the nutritional content of food in order to construct a balance diet.
  2. In order to identify an unknown, a known is needed to compare it to. You can note the similarities and differences.
  3. Different foods have different nutrients and not every food contains all the nutrients we need for a balanced diet.


  • The student completes all important components of the task and communicates ideas clearly.
  • The student demonstrates in-depth understanding of the relevant concepts and/or processes.
  • Where appropriate, the student chooses more efficient and/or sophisticated processes.
  • Where appropriate, the student offers insightful interpretations or extensions (generalizations, applications, analogies).
  • The student completes most important components of the task and communicates clearly.
  • The student demonstrates understanding of major concepts even though he/she overlooks or misunderstands some less important ideas or details.
  • The student completes some important components of the task and communicates those clearly.
  • The student demonstrates that there are gaps in his/her conceptual understanding.
  • The student shows minimal understanding.
  • The student addresses only a small portion of the required task(s).
  • Response is totally incorrect or irrelevant.
  • No response.


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