administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Do You See What I See?
Administration Procedures

2nd Grade Performance Task
Developed for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
Authors: Betty Crocker, Janette Fentress, Virginia Malone, Theresa Weeks


Students will observe a terrarium to brainstorm and explain the role of rocks, soil, and water in the terrarium.

Students will create a model to explore the water cycle.

This task is designed to take approximately 30 minutes.

Overall Task Content Area:

Earth Science

Specific Knowledge Areas:

Earth Processes

Performance Expectations:

  • collecting data by observing terrarium
  • organizing observations on a chart

National Science Education Standards:

4 AS I 1: Communicate investigations and explanations. Grades K-4
1.5 Students should begin developing the abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students. This communication might be spoken or drawn as well as written.

4 CL S 2: Life cycles of organisms. Grades K-4
2.1 Plants and animals have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:

Data Analysis and Probability Standards (DAP1): Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.

e. collect data using observations, surveys, and experiments

f. represent data using tables and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, and line graphs

 (Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page to check the full text of related National Science Education Standards, if desired.)

General Instructions to the Teacher:

This task is designed to take students approximately 1 class period of 30 minutes.

Students will be working both individually and in groups 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 "Do You See What I See?":

At each station students should have:

  • Classroom terrarium
  • Water Journal for each student
  • KWL Chart for collecting student ideas
  • What I Know...What I Want to Know...What I Learned

Advance Preparation:

Several days in advance, build a terrarium large enough for the class to observe. Plants need to be established in the terrarium. There should be droplets of water visible on sides or top of the terrarium. The terrarium should be a closed system meaning that it will not be opened once everything is set-up and a lid is sealed.

Teacher Talk: This terrarium can be made from a one liter plastic bottle. This terrarium will be used again in the summative assessment.


  • 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.


  • "Do You See What I See" is one part of a five part assessment that was administered. The other four stations are "Up, Up, & Away," "Here It Comes Again," "Here Comes the Rain," and "The Rainmaker."


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