4th Grade Performance Task
Contributed by: Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)
Performance Events 199394
Description:
Students will experiment with a pendulum to find out
why it might swing at different speeds at different times.
This task is designed to take approximately 30 minutes.
Overall Task Content Area:

Physical Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:

Position and motion of objects
Performance Expectations:
 measuring time intervals using a stopwatch
 collecting data on the affect of two variables on pendulum swings
 developing conclusions about how each of the variables affects
the number of pedulum swings
 organizing inforation on proscribed tables
National Science Education Standards:
4 A SI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry: Grades K4
1.3 Employ simple equipment and tools to gather
data and extend the senses. In early years, students develop simple
skills, such as how to observe, measure, cut, connect, switch, turn
on and off, pour, hold, tie, and hook. Beginning with simple instruments,
students can use rulers to measure the length, height, and depth
of objects and materials; thermometers to measure temperature; watches
to measure time; beam balances and spring scales to measure weight
and force; magnifiers to observe objects and organisms; and microscopes
to observe the finer details of plants, animals, rocks, and other
materials. Children also develop skills in the use of computers
and calculators for conducting investigations.
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.
4 B PS 1: Properties of objects and materials: Grades
K4
2.2 An object’s motion can be described by
tracing and measuring its position over time.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
ALG4: Analyze change in various contexts.
Grades preK5 c. investigate
how a change in one variable relates to a change in a second variable;
Grades preK5 d. identify and describe situations
with constant or varying rates of change and compare them.
MEAS1: Understand measurable attributes
of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
Grades preK5 a. recognize the
attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time
MEAS2: Apply appropriate techniques,
tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Grades preK5 c. use tools to
measure.
DAP1: Formulate questions that can be addressed
with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer
them.
Grades preK5 e. collect data using observations,
surveys, and experiments
Grades preK5 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 preK5 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 68
RP2: Make and investigate mathematical conjectures:
Grades 68
CON1: Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking
through communication:
Grades 68
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately
45 minutes.
Students will be working both in groups and 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 "Swingers":
At each group should have:
 Information sheet
 Three weights
 Pencils
 Three wires
 Bar
Advance Preparation:
 If the clock with the second hand is on the wall, the students
will have to be placed near it.
 Check that the long wire with the heavey weight does not touch
the floor. If it does, the students will need a thick book or
other object to raise the bar.
 Set up the pendulum for the students using one wire and one
weight.
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:
 Ask students to graph data from tables.
