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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2013, Grade 5 Science and Technology/Engineering

  Question 10: Open-Response  
A prairie ecosystem includes many different organisms, such as grasses, coyotes, trees, mushrooms, snakes, and mice, as shown in the picture below. The energy needed by all the organisms in the ecosystem comes from one primary source.
The picture of the prairie ecosystem below shows a tree, grass, a snake, a mouse, mushrooms, and a coyote.
  1. Identify the primary source of energy in the prairie ecosystem.
  2. Identify one producer, one consumer, and one decomposer shown in the picture of the prairie ecosystem.
  3. Explain how the energy from the primary source you identified in part (a) moves through the prairie ecosystem. Be sure to include producers, consumers, and decomposers in your answer.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of how energy derived from the Sun is used by plants to produce sugars and is transferred within a food chain from producers to consumers to decomposers. The response correctly identifies the primary source of energy in the prairie ecosystem, correctly identifies one producer, one consumer, and one decomposer shown in the picture, and clearly explains how the energy from the primary source moves through the prairie ecosystem.
4
3
The response demonstrates a general understanding of how energy derived from the Sun is used by plants to produce sugars and is transferred within a food chain from producers to consumers to decomposers.
2
The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how energy derived from the Sun is used by plants to produce sugars and is transferred within a food chain from producers to consumers to decomposers.
1
The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how energy derived from the Sun is used by plants to produce sugars and is transferred within a food chain from producers to consumers to decomposers.
0
The response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

Grade 5 Science and Technology/Engineering

Question 10: Life Science
Question 21: Technology/Engineering

Return to the MCAS 2013 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: June 4, 2015
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