Potential Task Formats: Asking Questions (SEP1)
Note: A set of task formats for “defining problems” is available at http://researchandpractice.org/NGSSTaskFormats

1

Present students with a scientific phenomenon and questions related to that phenomenon, then
 Ask students to identify which questions are testable scientific questions.

2a

Present students with an observable scientific phenomenon to be explained, then
 Ask students to formulate descriptive questions about the phenomenon they observed.

2b

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, then
 Ask students to formulate a scientific question to investigate the phenomenon.

2c

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, then
 Ask students to generate a scientific question relevant to investigating that phenomenon, and
 Ask students to describe what evidence is needed to answer the question they generated.

3a

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained and a scientific question, then
 Ask students what questions we need to answer along the way to answer the scientific question, and
 Ask students to describe what evidence is needed to answer those questions might and how they help build toward an explanation of the phenomenon.

3b

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained and a scientific question, then
 Ask students to evaluate whether or not the question is relevant to explaining the phenomenon.
 If the question is relevant, ask students to describe what evidence is needed to answer that question.

4

Present students with a textual description of an investigation of an observable phenomenon, a scientific question, and a set of data and findings, then
 Ask students to formulate a followup question to extend the investigation.

5

Present students with a scenario of a scientific argument in the context of an investigation, then
 Ask students to generate questions they would ask to clarify the argument or to ask for elaboration of the ideas presented in the argument.

6

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained and a scientific question, then
 Ask students to revise the question to make it investigable with available resources in the classroom.

7

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained and with a question or a set of questions, then
 Ask students to evaluate and explain whether or not the question(s) is empirically testable.

Potential Task Formats: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (SEP3)
Relevant definitions:
 An investigation plan encompasses a description of data sources and measures to be used, procedures for observing and recording data, and, where relevant, a plan for how observations will be sampled.
 A data source refers to a type of data only (“We would need data on the size of the whitecolored moth population” or “We would need data comparing the color of tail feathers in birds in the mountains and in the city”)

1

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, then
 Ask students to identify questions to ask, and
 Ask students to evaluate different ways of observing and/or measuring to answer those questions, and
 Ask students to conduct the investigation by observing and/or measuring and then making comparisons between data collected.

2

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, a scientific question, and an investigation plan, then
 Ask students to perform the investigation plan and collect and record data.

3

Present students with a scientific phenomenon (or scientific model) to be explained and a scientific question, then
 Ask students to create an investigation plan to investigate the scientific phenomenon (or model), and
 Ask students to describe how the investigation will generate relevant patterns of evidence for answering the scientific question or for supporting the model.

4

Present students with a scientific phenomenon (or a scientific model) to be explained, then
 Ask students to generate a scientific question to investigate the phenomenon (or model) with resources available in the classroom (or with a given list of resources), and
 Ask students to identify the variables needed in the investigation to explain the phenomenon (or model), and
 Ask students to characterize each variable as dependent or independent and to explain any variables to be controlled and why.

5

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, a scientific question, and an investigation plan, then
 Ask students to describe how the data will be collected precisely, and
 Ask students to how much data is needed to be reliable.

6

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, a scientific question, and a description of the type of investigation to be conducted, then
 Ask students to describe the possible confounding variables, and
 Ask students to write an investigation plan that addresses the confounding variables.

7

Present students with a scientific phenomenon to be explained, a scientific question, and investigation plan, and data collected from the investigation, then
 Ask students analyze how well the data collected generated relevant evidence to answer the scientific question, and
 Ask students to revise the investigation plan to be more relevant and to generate more accurate and precise data.

8

Present students with a scientific question, then
 Ask students to generate ideas about data sources they would need to answer the question, and
 Ask students to say how the data sources are relevant to answering the question.

9

Present students with a scientific question and a list of data sources they could gather to answer the question, then
 Ask students to select which data sources are most relevant to answering the question, and
 Ask students to say how the data are relevant to answering the question.
