Alaska Sea Grant

Scoring Guide for the Unit

An Aquatic Eco-Mystery: The Case of the Missing Otters

1. Shows understanding that an ecosystem is complex and includes both living and nonliving things.
The ecosystem shown or described includes:
4 points Water, physical elements such as rocks, the sun, producers, and consumers.   
3 points
Water, physical elements, at least one producer and one consumer. 
2 points
Water OR physical elements, producer(s) OR consumer(s). 
1 point
Living things only.    
2. Shows understanding of interconnections and interdependence in an aquatic ecosystem.  
The interactions shown or described include:
4 points A food web (more complex than a simple food chain), shelter, adaptations of animals, effects of change.  
3 points
A food chain including producers and consumers, with at least 4 organisms, shelter. 
2 points
A simple food chain with consumer(s) and producer(s).
1 point
One simple interaction between two organisms.
3. Shows understanding of change in an ecosystem.
Description includes:
4 points Selection of an important element, with at least 5 reasonably possible consequences to other elements of the ecosystem.
3 points
At least 3 consequences that are reasonably possible, with little evidence of misunderstanding.  
2 points
At least 2 reasonable consequences, but also includes some incorrect or unreasonable assumptions.    
1 point
One correct consequence of removing something from the ecosystem.  
4. Demonstrates understanding of scientific processes.  
4 points Questioning, Observation, and Data Collection with detailed methods and with reasons given for the importance of following scientific procedures.  
3 points
Questioning, Observation, and Data Collection.   
2 points
Two processes from Questioning, Observation, Data Collection. 
1 point
Questioning, Observing, OR Data Collection. 

4 points indicates complete understanding or an “A” grade.
3 points indicates partial understanding or a “B” Grade.
2 points indicates developing understanding or a “C” grade.
1 point indicates minimal understanding or a “D” grade.

Teachers may want to add additional criteria to the scoring guide to evaluate science notebooks, field etiquette, participation, neatness of work, writing conventions, or other desired outcomes.

Alaska Sea Grant University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Department of Education and Early Development NOAA