Work samples


Year 8

Above satisfactory

Rock formation processes

Summary of task

In a teaching and learning unit on the rock cycle, students engaged in several activities relating to the formation of sedimentary rocks, focusing on the processes of chemical and physical weathering, erosion, deposition, compaction, cementation and fossil formations. They conducted a practical experiment analysing the effect of cooling rate on crystal size and had used these understandings to describe how intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks form. They read and summarised a section of a textbook relating to the processes involved in the formation of metamorphic rock, including regional, contact and dynamic formations.

This work sample consists of two related tasks. In the first task, students were given samples of different rock types and they were asked to observe and categorise them based on their properties. They were then asked to produce a short video clip in which they describe the rock samples, classify them as sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic, and explain the processes involved in their formation. Students were given 20 minutes to prepare their responses for the video recording.

In the second task, students were asked to answer a series of questions relating to concepts covered in the unit on the rock cycle. This task was given as an in-class summative assessment.

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 8, students compare physical and chemical changes and use the particle model to explain and predict the properties and behaviours of substances. They identify different forms of energy and describe how energy transfers and transformations cause change in simple systems. They compare processes of rock formation, including the timescales involved. They analyse the relationship between structure and function at cell, organ and body system levels. Students examine the different science knowledge used in occupations. They explain how evidence has led to an improved understanding of a scientific idea and describe situations in which scientists collaborated to generate solutions to contemporary problems. They reflect on implications of these solutions for different groups in society.

Students identify and construct questions and problems that they can investigate scientifically. They consider safety and ethics when planning investigations, including designing field or experimental methods. They identify variables to be changed, measured and controlled. Students construct representations of their data to reveal and analyse patterns and trends, and use these when justifying their conclusions. They explain how modifications to methods could improve the quality of their data and apply their own scientific knowledge and investigation findings to evaluate claims made by others. They use appropriate language and representations to communicate science ideas, methods and findings in a range of text types.

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