Summative Assessment for 10th Grade Biology Pennsylvania Standards

Summative Assessment Covers 10th Grade Biology Standards 4.1.10 A-F

The summative assessment I created was for the end of a 10th grade Biology unit that covers the role of different organisms in ecosystems. It’s a unit exam that includes a variety of assessment questions. These questions directly align with the material covered in class. I’ve used a variety of question types as well. The assessment measures student comprehension and aligns with the specific standards for the grade level and subject.

First, the standard 4.10.1E states that students must be able to analyze how humans influence the pattern of natural changes in ecosystems over time. I included a constructed response question that requires students to explain how human activities relate to the loss of biodiversity and places a strain on the environment. The question lists three requirements the student must address in their response.When a student’s response meets each of these requirements, I know that the assessment was an accurate measure of comprehension.

Second, the standard 4.10.1A states that students should be able to examine the effects of limiting factors on population dynamics. To address this standard I included several multiple choice questions that address the various roles that organisms play in an ecosystem. In order to obtain an accurate measure of comprehension I required students to not only identify the role each organism plays, but also choose answers that explain why each organism is important. This helps students to examine the effects each organism has on the larger ecosystem.

Third, standard 4.1.10B requires that students be able to explain the consequences of interrupting natural cycles. In order to accurately assess students’ understanding of this standard I ask students to draw the progression of change in a forest after a forest fire. I provided a space for drawing and required four distinct areas to illustrate the progression. In these areas students can draw the changes that take place during the natural cycle of a regrowing forest, including charred stumps, grasses and shrubs, young evergreens, and fully grown forest.

Fourth, standard 4.10.10 C requires students to be able to explain how energy converts from one form to another throughout a food web. In order to accurately assess knowledge of this standard I provide a realistic image of a pond ecosystem that includes different animals, water, and plants. Students are asked to answer several questions based on the image. For example, students must identify a predator-prey relationship, identify an organism that uses sunlight for energy, and show evidence that sunlight is reaching the bottom of the pond. These responses measure their ability to interpret real-world scenarios and see how organisms and the environment interact.

Last, standard 4.10.10 D requires that students be able to research the practices that impact the biodiversity of specific ecosystems. Throughout the unit students have been required to find and present to the class current events that address issues that threaten the health of our environment like global warming, population, air pollution, and recycling. During the presentations students wrote questions and reactions to the current event presentation in their classroom journals. For the summative assessment, students may use their class journals to find their current event entries and use these notes to answer a set of questions that address threats to our environment. This is an accurate assessment because it requires students to utilize prior knowledge and draw conclusions from it.


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