Plaid Pete is Finding Earth's Place in the Universe Unit Assessment

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SWBAT show what they know about Earth's Place in the Universe.

Big Idea

Students take a 4 part Unit Assessment where they apply their understanding of the Disciplinary Core Idea of Earth's Place in the Universe, as well as use their knowledge of vocabulary, and analyzing and interpreting data.

Setting Up the Investigation

Connection to the Next Generation Science Standards:

Students who demonstrate understanding of the Disciplinary Core ideas of Earth's Place in the Universe of the Next Generation Science Standards; and the Crosscutting Concepts of Patterns and, Cause and Effect, will be able to complete this individual assessment with 75% or better accuracy.

I am also including a scoring guide that is calibrated for a standards based grading system.  

Preparation time is minimal for this Lesson.  Scoring of the assessment is dependent on the number of students.  I estimate it takes approximately 3-4 minutes per student.  I score a page at a time, which goes much more quickly.


One copy for each student of the Plaid Pete Is Finding Earth's Place in the Universe- End of Unit Assessment

One copy of the Plaid Pete is Finding Earth's Place in the Universe Unit Assessment - Scoring Key

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete is Finding Earth's Place in the Universe - Unit Scoring Guide


60 minutes


Today is the big day - the last one!  I hand out the Plaid Pete Is Finding Earth's Place in the Universe- End of Unit Assessment to my students.  I assure them that they have studied and are well prepared for this assessment.

I can say that with confidence, because as I do each and every time -  I have had my students write "Study for Science Test" on their planners for the past few days, and required a parent initial so that I know it has been done.  Students who did not have an initial received an invitation to stay in at recess and study.  I want my students to be successful, but I also know that some students may not have the support in their home environment.

Notebook Revision

When students are finished with the assessment, I tell them to return to the of their Science Notebooks, where they have written the Big Ideas for unit:

#1 The Sun is our closest star, and is the central and largest body in our solar system.  

#2 Regular and predictable patterns of motion of Earth and the moon, relative to the sun, can be described as a result of the force of gravity.  These movements are responsible for the natural phenomena that occur on our planet (e.g. day, night, shadows, moon phases, seasons, etc.).

I read the Big Ideas out loud.  I ask students to think about all they have learned in this unit, and to create a pictures or series of pictures on each half of the page where each Big Idea is written that best represents their new learning.  

This is another assessment piece that will give me a window into student understanding.  It is also a way I can compare my written assessment with the pictorial representations of my English Language Learners.  It gives me another way to determine their acquisition of concepts without the interference of language and vocabulary.  I allow students time to work and then collect their notebooks.  This is a student example of one revision. 

This is one student's notebook:

Reflection & Closure

5 minutes


Wow!  What an amazing year it has been!  I hand out the double chocolate chip brownies that Plaid Pete's mom sent over :) and tell the kids that I have a letter to share with them.  I read the Letter from Plaid Pete.  

We reminisce about what a terrific year of learning it has been and all agree that it just wouldn't have been the same without our friend Plaid Pete!