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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2017, Grade 8 Science and Technology/Engineering

  Question 22: Open-Response  
On an ice-covered island in the Arctic, scientists discovered fossils of deciduous trees, such as oak, birch, sycamore, and walnut. Scientists determined that these fossils were formed about 50 million years ago.
  1. Describe two steps in the process that formed these fossils (after the trees had died).
  2. Describe what these fossils indicate about the island’s past climate and explain how they indicate this.

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 fossils support theories that the earth has evolved over geologic time. The response clearly describes two steps in the process of fossil formation. The response also clearly describes and explains what these fossils indicate about past climate.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how fossils support theories that the earth has evolved over geologic time.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how fossils support theories that the earth has evolved over geologic time.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how fossils support theories that the earth has evolved over geologic time.
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 8 Science and Technology/Engineering

Question 10: Technology/Engineering
Question 22: Earth and Space Science

Return to the MCAS 2017 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: August 10, 2015
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