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Intermediate Grade Level (3-5)
Tasks

Tasks for intermediate grade levels have two components.

  1. Phase I, Learning Experiences, is a suggested series of TEKS-based lessons and performances to be used in large groups, in small groups, and/or individually. Phase I allows students to work with advanced content and processes through a discipline-based research model. Phase I is developmental and formative.
  2. In Phase II, Independent Research, students utilize and extend their learning from Phase I to develop a product. The product provides students with opportunities to synthesize learning, apply knowledge to a novel situation, and provide an advanced, high-quality demonstration of the student's knowledge and skills.

In order for students to have the necessary support to complete their projects, users are encouraged to support student completion of the learning experiences and independent research as described in each of the task descriptions. Two or more students may collaborate in Phase I and/or Phase II. When there is collaboration, each student’s individual learning must be documented.

7E Model

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is redesigning the TPSP tasks to reflect a 7E framework. Currently, approximately half of the TPSP tasks have been restructured to reflect a 7E instructional framework. These tasks have been included on this website for download via the link that appears just below the original TPSP task download button.

The 7E model is an extension of the original 5E model developed by a team of educators at the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study to maximize student engagement in learning. The seven “Es” of the model are as follows:

For those TPSP tasks adapted to the 7E format, Phase I Learning Experiences provide suggested activities aligned with Elicit, Engage, Explore, and Explain. Phase II Research Process provides suggested activities to Elaborate, Explain, Evaluate, and Extend. While 7E tasks will always begin with Elicit and Engage and end with Evaluate and Extend, the sequence of Explore, Explain, and Elaborate can vary, often with recurrences of Explore and Explain throughout the task.

1For more information on the 7E model, see Eisencraft, A. (2003). Expanding the 5E model. The Science Teacher, 70(6), pp. 56–59. Retrieved from http://its-about-time.com/htmls/ap/eisenkrafttst.pdf

 

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Building a Business: Games and Toys

Grade 3

Grade 3 Interdisciplinary Task: Building a Business: Games and Toys

This task generates an understanding of marketing, consumer awareness, and business models through study of the games and toy industry. Students will learn about the making and selling of their favorite toys. In small groups, students will found their own toy companies. Each group will develop a prototype of a new toy, along with one of the following: a business plan for a toy/game company, marketing campaign to sell the toy/game, or plan to mass produce the toy/game.

Final Product Option(s):

  • A business plan for a toy/game company, including a budget and a marketing research plan
  • A marketing campaign to sell the toy/game including the creation of at least two of the following: a slogan, jingle, commercial, advertisement, billboard, or brochure
  • A plan to mass produce the student's product, including a way to sell the product, take and fill orders, and manage inventory

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Mathematics in Nature

Grade 3

Grade 3 Mathematics Task: Mathematics in Nature

In this task, students examine mathematical patterns found in nature, such as tessellations, the Fibonacci sequence, the golden ratio, and pi. For example, the students can create a tessellation jigsaw puzzle. Each student draws a tessellation pattern on a sheet of paper, cuts it out, jumbles up the pieces, and passes the pieces to another classmate for reassembly. In this way, the student looks at tessellations from two different perspectives: from constructing his or her own and from putting together a classmate’s tessellation jigsaw puzzle. .

Final Product Option(s):

  • A class fair in which other students from the school come to learn about symmetry and nature. Each student creates an activity or a display to be part of the fair. The product should have an interactive component so that the viewers can explore the pattern as well.

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News Show Production

Grade 3

Grade 3 English Language Arts and Reading Task: News Show Production

In this task, students will explore the content, format, and production aspects of a news show. Students will learn about different types of informational writing and practice thinking critically when analyzing news stories. Students will compare objective news stories with persuasive, opinion/editorial writing and will analyze how design elements such as graphics and sound add to or detract from a message.

Final Product Option(s):

  • The production of a news show complete with content and branding

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Utopian Destination

Grade 3

Grade 3 Social Studies Task: Utopian Destination

In this task, students imagine, research, plan and design the city of their dreams. Through hands-on activities and explorations building off of the history of the local community, students gain awareness of ways in which people in the local community and other communities meet their needs for government, education, communication, transportation, and recreation. Students compare and contrast urban and rural locations, as well as study how cities evolve over time.

Final Product Option(s):

  • A city proposal and product plans such as town charter, governance structure, transportation plan, city street layout and topographic maps, a tourism materials such as brochures or advertisements

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Enigmas

Grade 4

Grade 4 Science Task: Enigmas

This task allows students to study a naturally occurring enigma, an unsolved mystery, using scientific research methods. Students explore in depth an enigma and develop a hypothesis that proposes a solution to his/her chosen mystery. Students will also be able to see how different fields of science fit together and the similarities and differences between different fields.

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The Gift of Age

Grade 4

Grade 4 English Language Arts and Reading Task: The Gift of Age

This task allows students to explore the reality of the process of aging while using research and interviewing methods. This project is designed to help students understand elderly persons in our communities. It promotes mutual understanding between young and old individuals as they interact to learn more about themselves and others.

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Innovation Celebration

Grade 4

Grade 4 Interdisciplinary Task: Innovation Celebration

This task allows students to investigate the process of innovative thinking and to study why society calls for certain inventions at certain times. Students gain an understanding of the process of innovation. Students will also develop an understanding of contributions that individuals have made to society and appreciate the impact of these contributions over time. By studying and "interacting with" famous inventors, scientists, thinkers, and philosophers, students will celebrate the spirit of innovation.

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Download Student Attachments in Spanish (PDF)

Math Around Town

Grade 4

Grade 4 Mathematics Task: Math Around Town

This task allows students to discover the uses of math in the real world, using interviews with professionals who need math skills for their jobs. Students must create one of the following: 1) a board game based on Math Curse, 2) a learning center for another grade level that demonstrates how at least five mathematical skill areas are used in a particular career, or 3) a math scavenger hunt.

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We Are Texans

Grade 4

Grade 4 Social Studies Task: We Are Texans

This task allows students to study the differences between their own communities and those of others, researching what it would be like to live in other places. This project generates a deeper understanding of the population groups that settled Texas. Students will create a museum display that illustrates the contributions of the immigrant groups in Texas history. Students will also assume the role of a docent who explains the display to a group of fourth graders visiting the museum.

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Collectibles: Fad or Fortune

Grade 5

Grade 5 Social Studies Task: Collectibles: Fad or Fortune

This task focuses on collectibles and how they retain, lose, or gain value. (Are they a fad, or a fortune?). In each round of a trading simulation, students learn more about the value of their collectibles and discuss why items gain or lose value. For each round, they will record and reflect on their strategies for assessing value of the collectibles, as well as their trading strategies.. Students will discuss and predict which collectibles will become a fad and which will become a fortune.

Final Product Option(s):

  • A class trading fair in which students bring their collectible to show and possibly trade. Each student will create a graph showing the approximate value of their collectible in the past, its value today, and the expected changes in the value of their collectible in the future.

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Story Quilt

Grade 5

Grade 5 English Language Arts and Reading Task: Story Quilt

This task builds an understanding of the relationship between history, quilting, and storytelling. Students explore the stories told by quilts, how narratives can be represented through the art form of the quilt, and the relationship between story and history. In designing their own quilt, students will apply geometric principles.

Final Product Option(s):

  • A quilt that tells an original story. The student also writes the story.

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Designing Spaces

Grade 5

Grade 5 Mathematics Task: Designing Spaces

In this task, students study how mathematics applies to architecture and the creation of designed environments. Students explore how various designs relate to human needs and functions by observing their environments, drawing, graphing, and taking measurements. Students work together to design and build a variety of architectural spaces within the classroom using simple materials and present their works to an audience.

Final Product Option(s):

  • A building proposal consisting of drawings and schematics, prototypes, a budget, timeline, environmental impacts, references to architects and styles, and safety considerations

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Energy Efficiency Exploration

Grade 5

Grade 5 Science Task: Energy Efficiency Exploration

In this task, students study renewable and non-renewable energy sources and how people use energy in daily life. Students identify ways to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy sources and/or increase energy efficiency.

Final Product Option(s):

  • An invention designed to increase energy efficiency
  • An intervention or product modification that incorporates alternative, renewable energy sources
  • A messaging campaign (e.g., public service announcement) designed to encourage people to reduce energy consumption

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Pursuit of Passion

Grades 3–5

Grades 3-5 English Language Arts and Reading Task: The Pursuit of Passion

This task allows students to explore the relationship between their personal interests and future opportunities. By connecting the two, students will gain well-rounded perspectives that help guide them toward professional or academic future goals.

Final Product Option(s):

  • An original product that includes the student’s point of view, voice, reflection, and examination of the relationship between topic and the real world

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