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Middle School Grade Level (6-8)
Tasks

Tasks for the middle school 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:

  • Elicit—Access and ascertain prior knowledge and understanding
    • Teacher can frame “What do you think?” questions.
  • Engage—Generate enthusiasm and stimulate interest and thinking
    • Teacher can surprise students, get students thinking, or raise questions through compelling demonstrations or presentations.
  • Explore—Provide opportunities to observe, record data, design experiments, interpret results, organize findings
    • Teacher can frame questions, suggest approaches, provide feedback, and assess understanding.
  • Explain—Introduce models, laws, and theories
    • Teacher can guide students toward generalizations and provide terminology and questions that help students explain their explorations.
  • Elaborate—Provide opportunities to apply knowledge to new domains
    • Teacher can introduce new variables and pose new questions/scenarios in which students practice transfer of knowledge.
  • Evaluate—Provide formative and summative assessment opportunities, including self-reflection
    • Teacher can conduct ongoing assessment of student learning through all phases.
  • Extend—Provide additional challenges that allow students to apply knowledge
    • Teachers can provide new contexts for application of knowledge that allow students to go one step further.1

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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Everyone’s a Winner:
A Study of Conflict and Mediation

Grade 6

Grade 6 Social Studies Task: Everyone’s a Winner

This task provides an introduction to mediation and the ethics behind it by way of examination of historical and contemporary conflicts. Students learn various mediation techniques and apply their new knowledge and skills. In their investigations, they will consider political and historical conflicts and derive alternative solutions. In their independent research, students will participate in a group simulation of a current conflict of local, state, national, or international interest. Students will then reflect on the process and what the future might hold.

Final Product Option(s):

  • For each issue, prepare to hold a conflict resolution meeting. Students should come to the meeting prepared to play the role they have chosen and researched, with talking points, background information, and decisions about what is negotiable and what is not negotiable.

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Instant Millionaire

Grade 6

Grade 6 Mathematics Task: Instant Millionaire

This task builds student understanding of the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percentages. Students create and present a budget for a real school or class activity by estimating the costs and presenting their product graphically and tabularly. Read More

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Products in Motion

Grade 6

Grade 6 Science Task: Products in Motion

In this task, students study force, motion and energy and the application of these scientific principles through simple machines. Student learning culminates in the development of a machine that moves an object (product) from one point to another. Read More

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Culture Shock

Grade 6

Grade 6 Social Studies Task: Culture Shock

In this task, students explore a different country. Students become familiar with the culture, geography, and landmarks that are significant in that country. Read More

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Rites of Passage

Grade 7

Grade 7 Social Studies Task: Rites of Passage

In this task, students choose a Texas Native American or immigrant group and study that group’s rites of passage. Read More

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Lifestyles of the Fit and Famous

Grade 7

Grade 7 Interdisciplinary Task: Lifestyles of the Fit and Famous

This task will generate awareness of healthy lifestyle choices among students and community members. Read More

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Game of Life ™

Grade 7

Grade 7 Interdisciplinary Task: Game of Life

In this task, students will begin to explore their career options. Read More



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Tell a Tale of a Trail

Grade 7

Grade 7 Social Studies Task: Tell a Tale of a Trail

Students will choose a Texas historical trail and research the physical and historical impacts of the trail. Read More


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Figure It Out!

Grade 8

Grade 8 Mathematics Task: Figure It Out!

This task allows students to explore the uses of statistics in everyday life and to develop survey research skills. Read More

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Analyzing Awesome Authors

Grade 8

Grade 8 English Language Arts and Reading Task: Analyzing Awesome Authors

In this task, students study an author and his/her influences, motivations, and experiences. Read More

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Challenging the System

Grade 8

Grade 8 Science Task: Challenging the System

This task allows students to explore living and non-living systems and the roles those systems play in the environment and society. Read More

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Sudden Impact

Grade 8

Grade 8 Social Studies Task: Sudden Impact

This task allows students to study influential individuals, groups, ideas, and documents from various periods of history. Read More

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Time Travel

Grade 8

Grade 8 English Language Arts and Reading Task: Time Travel

This task allows students to explore an historical event through a piece of literature. Read More

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Pursuit of Passion

Grades 6—8

Grade 7 Mathematics Task: Time Travel

This task allows students to explore the relationship between their personal interests and future opportunities. Read More

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