4th Grade Performance Task
Contributed by: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
Description:
The exercise is intended to show students how a compass can be affected
by placing it near different objects. The students are given a penny
and a bar magnet and asked to place these items, one at a time, in
the center of a shaded rectangle. The compass is to be placed at five
different points around the shaded rectangle. The students are asked
to draw arrows to show the direction the compass needle is pointing
with each object.
Students will be working in groups of 46 for the experiment/activity
part of this exercise. Each student must record the information in
his or her own booklet (test papers). Allow from 20 to 25 minutes
to complete the group work, and a similar time period for students
to write their individual answers to the test questions.
This task is designed to take students approximately 4050 minutes
to complete.
Overall Task Content Area:
 Physical Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:
 Magnetism
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 3: Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism: Grades
K4
3.4 Magnets attract and repel each other and certain kinds
of other materials.
4A SI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry: Grades K4
1.4 Use data to construct a reasonable explanation. This
aspect of the standard emphasizes the students’ thinking as they
use data to formulate explanations. Even at the earliest grade levels,
students should learn what constitutes evidence and judge the merits
or strength of the data and information that will be used to make
explanations. After students propose an explanation, they will appeal
to the knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explanations.
Students should check their explanations against scientific knowledge,
experiences, and observations of others.
(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page
to see the full text of related National Science Education Standards.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
DAP1: Formulate questions that can
be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant
data to answer them:
Grades pre K5 f. represent data using tables
and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, and line graphs
DAP3: Develop and evaluate inferences
and predictions that are based on data:
Grades pre K5 b. propose and justify conclusions
and predictions that are based on data and design studies to further
investigate the conclusions or predictions
PS1: Build new mathematical knowledge through problem
solving:
Grades pre K5
RP2: Make and investigate mathematical conjectures:
Grades pre K5
COM1: Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking
through communication:
Grades pre K5
Materials for "Magnetic Mapping":
At this station students should have:
 1 compass
 1 bar magnet
 1 penny
 1 pen or pencil
 1 colored pencil
Students should be instructed to orient their maps so that the
top of the magnetic map points to the direction North. This is necessary
so that the arrows already marked on the magnetic map point in the
same direction as the compass does when the penny is placed on the
map.
Advance Preparation:
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.
Students should be instructed to keep the penny and the magnet on
the floor besides their desk when these objects are not being tested
on the magnetic map.
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.
Extensions/modifications:
 Task does not easily lend itself to including mathematical
criteria in the rubric.
Advanced Preparation Set Up:


Determine North for the classroom.

Align North on direction sheet to North in classroom.





Tape directions to desk.

Organize student work station.

