TITLE: A Good Sock
CONTENT AREA AND GRADE: 9th Grade General Science
SCHOOL: John F. Kennedy Senior High School



All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.

Strand A. Habits of Mind: Building upon knowledge and skills gained in preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students will:

1. When making decisions, evaluate conclusions, weigh evidence, and recognize that arguments may not have equal merit.
3. Engage in collaboration, peer review, and accurate reporting of findings.
4. Explore cases that demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of the scientific enterprise.

Strand B. Inquiry and Problem Solving: Building upon knowledge and skills gained in preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students will:

1. Select and use appropriate instrumentation to design and conduct investigations.
2. Show that experimental results can lead to new questions and further investigations.

Strand C. Safety: Building upon knowledge and skills gained in preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students will:

1. Understand, evaluate and practice safe procedures for conducting science investigations.


All students will gain an understanding of natural laws as they apply to motion, forces, and energy transformations.

Strand B. Energy Transformations: Building upon knowledge and skills gained in preceding grades, by the end of Grade 12, students will:

1. Explain how the various forms of energy (heat, electricity, sound, light) move through materials and identify the factors that affect that movement.

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  1. The students will write a lab report that introduces the lab by explaining what was done in the lab and why, they will identify the variables in the experiment and create a scientific hypothesis, they will include a detailed procedure, list of materials, graph and table of data, conclusion stating what knowledge was gained during the lab and list of sources of error in the lab.

  2. The students will keep a log during the experiment to record their data and procedure during the lab.

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Setting: Students will imagine that are quality control testers at a sock factory and are determining how their socks would protect feet when they are wet as compared to when they are dry.

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Level I: Acquiring Data - Data students will acquire in this standards-based task:

  • Vocabulary: Students will define: insulator, conductor, heat, and temperature
  • Skills: Using a thermometer and inserting into stopper, scientific process, and graphing
  • Concepts: Students will learn the concept of conduction, and how the arrangement of molecules affect conduction
  • Processes: students will practice implementing the scientific method

Level II: Visualizing Information - Data from Level I that are visualized as information in this standards-based task:

  • Organizing: Students will organize the data that they collected and use it to draw a conclusion as to why the a wet sock allowed the "foot" to get cold.

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Student Involvement - The students will complete the task as a cooperative group in teams of 3-4 students per group, but the lab reports will be completed individually.

Instruction - Activities will be organized and delivered as a teacher-facilitated set of hands-on activities. The teacher will set up the bottles to model the feet in a warm water bath before class. The teacher will insert the thermometers into the stopper tops for safety.

Use of Resources - The school will provide bottles, thermometers, and graph paper. The school will also provide computers with Excel and Word for the students to create their graphs and lab reports. The students will provide one pair of socks for each group.

Assessment - The students will present their work as a lab report handed to the teacher for evaluation. Students will have an opportunity to revise their work after receiving feedback. 

Scoring - The lab report will be assessed by a checklist rubric and will be worth 100points

Timeline - It will take 3 periods to present information, 1 period for a prelab, 1 period to complete the lab, and one period for a post lab.

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The students will complete a lab where they compare temperature changes over time, between a bottle covered in a dry sock, and a bottle covered in a wet sock.  The bottle will be used to model a foot to determine which is the better insulator, a dry sock or a wet sock. The students will record the temperatures in the bottles every minute, create a graph and table, and then determine which is the better insulator. The students will discover the dry sock is the better insulator. Next, they will have to determine why the wet sock is a poor insulator. They will answer that the wet sock is a poor insulator because water fills in the spaces between the sock, and the particles of water are closer together than the particles in air, therefore the wet socks will more easily conduct heat energy.

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Student Performance One: Accurate measurements

Assessment Benchmarking Example: The students will make accurate measurements and record them.

  • Students will use the lab equipment in a safe manner.
  • Students will research to help find the conclusion to this lab.
  • Students will create a neat lab report that has all of components as given to them in their lab handout.

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Holistic Rubric: Completing a Task

Science Lab Rubric : Completing a Task
Level 4
  • The student completes all important components of the lab and communicates ideas clearly in a lab report.

  • The student demonstrates in-depth understanding of the relevant concepts and/or process and lab techniques (measuring and graphing).

  • The student is able to draw an accurate conclusion based upon the data, and answer questions to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts.
Level 3
  • The student completes most important components of the lab and communicates clearly the purpose of the lab in an introduction.

  • The student demonstrates understanding of major concepts and lab techniques even though she/he overlooks or misunderstands some less important ideas or details.

  • The student is able to draw a conclusion based upon their data and answer most of the questions to demonstrate their understanding.

  • The student is able to setup a table and graph that accurately displays their data, is easy to read, and has proper labels.
Level 2
  • The student completes some important components of the lab and communicates those clearly.

  • The student demonstrates that there are gaps in his/her conceptual understanding, the student is not able to communicate the purpose of the lab, identify the variables and how they affect each other

  • The student is not able to interpret the data and draw a conclusion based upon their data.
Level 1
  • The student shows minimal understanding, is unable to communicate the purpose, identify the variables and communicate how they affect each other.

  • The student is unable to generate strategy; answers may display only recall effect, lack clear communication and/or be totally incorrect or irrelevant.

  • Student is unable to create a graph and table to clearly display the data
  • The student is unable to draw conclusions based upon their data

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Two-thirds of the students reached levels 3 and 4 on the scoring tool. Many of the students who did not reach the level 3 were on the right track. The other third that did not reach level 3 needed to be reminded of the scientific method principals regarding experiments. They needed refreshing in variables and graphing. Students who did not reach level 3 were given an opportunity to "gain" back points by completing a graphing assignment and a "sponge bob variables" worksheet that reinforced how to identify the independent and dependant variables, and to identify how they affect each other.  Majority (96%) of the students grasped the technical aspects of this lab (measuring and setting up a controlled experiment) which makes this a success.

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