4th Grade Performance Task
Contributed by: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO/SCASS)
Description:
Students investigate variables which may seem to affect the movement
of a pendulum, or "swing." Students are then asked to interpret their
observations and come to the conceptual discovery of the pendulum.
The physical experiment itself is designed for obvious results:
that is, the shorter the string, the faster the swing. The weight
of the pendulum bob (washer) bears no relation to the period of
its swing, nor does the amplitude (the arc incidental to the original
force exerted in setting the bob in motion).
This task is designed to take students approximately 4050 minutes
to complete.
Overall Task Content Area:

 Physical Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:

 Position and Motion of Objects
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 2: Position and Motion of Objects: Grades K4
2.2 An object's motion can be described by tracing
and measuring its position over time.
4 A SI 1: Ability to do scientific inquiry: Grades K4
1.3 Employ simple equipment and tools to gather
data.
1.4 Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
4 A SI 2: Understanding about scientific inquiry: Grades
K4
2.4 Scientists develop explanations using observations
(evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific
knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations.
(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page
to check the full text of related National Science Education Standards,
if desired.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
AL4: Analyze change in various contexts:
Grades pre K5 c. investigate how a change
in one variable relates to a change in a second variable
DAP1: Formulate questions that can
be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant
data to answer them:
Grades pre K5 e. collect data using observations,
surveys, and experiments
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
MEAS1: Understand measurable attributes of objects and
the units, systems, and processes of measurement:
Grades pre K5 a. recognize the attributes of length, volume,
weight, area, and time
PS1: Build new mathematical knowledge through problem
solving:
Grades pre K5
RP3: Develop and evaluate mathematical arguments and
proofs:
Grades pre K5
REP3: Select, apply, and translate among mathematical
representations to solve problems:
Grades pre K5
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately 4050 minutes
to complete.
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 do their individual answers to the test questions.
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 accessible. All supplies should be clearly
labeled.
Materials for "Swings":
At this station students should have:

 2 short pieces of string
2 long pieces of string
2 light washers
2 heavy washers
tape, as needed
clock with second hand or digital watch
pen or pencil
Advance Preparation:
Group assignments should be made in advance.
Teacher: 1) Prepare student workstation.


Student: 1) Tie strings to washers.

2) Tape apparatus to tables or desks.

3) Perform tasks.


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:
 Rubric language should be expanded and targeted to the specific
NCTM standard(s) to be measured.
