Skip navigation

Standards-based assessment and Instruction

Science Task as Reading Assessment

Enhanced Assessment

NECAP Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for Reading End of Grade 3

Passage-Related Reading Items for Literary Text: "What is Static Electricity"

Have you ever wondered what static electricity is? Read the passage to find out what it is and how to make it. Then answer the questions that follow.

What is Static Electricity?

Have you ever wondered why a balloon will stick to the wall after you rub it on your hair? When you've walked across a rug and reached for a door knob, have you wondered why you got a little shock? No, it is not a mysterious force that has suddenly come alive! It is static electricity. That means that electrical charges have built up on one object and seem to be "jumping" from that object to another!

Word Watch

The word static means "not moving." Static electricity is the electric energy that builds up on an object.

To understand how static electricity works, we need to know that everything is made up of microscopic particles that have electrical charges. Static electricity is created when the electric charges - electrons - build up on an object. One way static electricity is created is by rubbing one object against another object. When you rub a balloon against your head, electrical charges from your hair get moved to the balloon. Your hair becomes positively charged, because it lost some electrons. The balloon becomes negatively changed, because it got more electrons from your hair.

If you hold the balloon near your head, your hair will stand on end. Your hair and the balloon are attracted to each other because they have opposite charges - positive and negative. Opposite charges attract objects and make them seem to stick to each other the same way a magnet attracts some objects

We see static electricity in many places. One example of static electricity is when your hair stands up after taking off your hat in winter. Another example in nature is lightning. Lightning is created when an electrical charge builds up and then is released - discharged - from the clouds and seems to jump to the ground.

A Static Electricity Experiment

It is easy to create static electricity. Here is an experiment to see how static electricity works. First you'll need to gather your materials.

Materials List

  • Balloon that is blown up
  • Pieces of wool
  • Pieces of tin foil
  • Paper
  • Salt
  • Rice
  • Paper clips
  • Packing or Styrofoam peanuts
  • Water (to de-charge or take the charge off of objects so they won't stick)

During this science experiment, you will use a balloon and 4 common objects to explore and observe what static electricity is and how it behaves. Follow these steps and you will see how static electricity works.

  1. Choose 4 materials to test and list them on the recording sheet.
  2. Make a prediction about each of the materials. Will this material be attracted (stick) to the balloon?
  3. Rub a balloon with a piece of wool to charge it for your investigation.
  4. Touch each of your objects against the balloon, one at a time. Observe each material to see which materials are attracted (stick) to the balloon.
  5. Record your results - what really happened - on your recording sheet.
  6. Read over your results and tell something you learned about static electricity.
Recording Sheet
List materials tested Make a prediction - will it be attracted (stick)? What really happened? Was it attracted to the balloon?
1.    
2.    
3.    
4.    

This rewritten task is based on an Exemplars science performance task. To see the original version and other math and science performance tasks, please visit exemplars.com.

Back to top

Passage-Related Reading Items for Informational Text:"What is Static Electricity?"
Sample Reading Items for End of Grade 3 Information about the Items

1. The picture of the lightning shows

A. how common static electricity is.

B. an example of static electricity in nature.

C. how to create static electricity.

D. the dangers of static electricity.

Key: B

R-3.7.1 (use text feature - illustration)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-7.1: Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by… Obtaining information, from text features (e.g., illustrations)

Depth of Knowledge: Level 2 - Obtain information using text features of informational text

2. Explain how the recording sheet helps the reader understand how to complete the science experiment.

R-3-7.1 (text features - illustrations)

KEY: Scoring Guide

Item Type: CR - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-7.1: Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by… Obtaining information, from text features (e.g., illustrations)

Depth of Knowledge: Level 2 - Obtain information using text features of informational text; Describe the characteristics or features of various types of text

3. What is the MAIN IDEA of the first paragraph?

A. to introduce the topic

B. to explain why static electricity is important

C. to introduce the problem

D. to explain how to do the science experiment

KEY: A

R-3-7.2 (central idea)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-7.2: Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by…Using information from the text to answer questions related to explicitly stated main/central ideas

Depth of Knowledge: Level 2 - Recognizing appropriate generalizations about text (e.g., possible titles, main ideas)

4. The FIRST paragraph includes information about

A. how easy it is to create static electricity.

B. common examples of static electricity.

C. how the author feels about the topic.

D. a reason to do the experiment.

Key: B

R-3-7.2 (key details)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-R-3-7.2: Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by…Using information from the text to answer questions related to explicitly stated details

Depth of Knowledge: Level 1 - Locate or recall facts or details explicitly presented in text

5. According to the passage, what step comes after you list your materials on the recording sheet?

A. Write down a prediction about what you think will happen.

B. Rub the balloon with a piece of wool.

C. Tell what you learned about static electricity.

D. Touch each object against a balloon.

KEY: A

R-3-7.2 (use explicit information- details)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-7.2: Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by…Using information from the text to answer questions related to explicitly stated details

Depth of Knowledge: Level 1 - Locate or recall facts or details explicitly presented in text

6. According to the information in the passage, water

A. is negatively charged.

B. increases the power of the charge.

C. takes away the charge on objects.

D. makes static electricity.

KEY: C

R-3-7.2 (key details)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-7.2: Demonstrate initial understanding of informational texts (expository and practical texts) by… Using information from the text to answer questions related to explicitly stated details

Depth of Knowledge: Level 1 - Locate or recall facts or details explicitly presented in text

7. What is the MAIN purpose of the passage?

A. to inform about life science

B. to give reasons for making static electricity

C. to convince readers that static electricity is important

D. to teach how to make static electricity

Key: D

R-3-8.3 (central ideas)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-8.3: Analyze and interpret informational texts, citing evidence where appropriate by… Making basic inferences, drawing basic conclusions, or forming judgments/opinions about central ideas that are relevant

Depth of Knowledge: Level 2 - Recognizing appropriate generalizations about text (e.g., possible titles, main ideas)

8. Which of the following sentences from the passage is an OPINION?

A. "No, it is not a mysterious force that has suddenly come alive."

B. "Static electricity is the electric energy that builds up on an object."

C. "The balloon becomes negatively changed, because it got more electrons from your hair."

D. "It is easy to create static electricity."

KEY: D

R-3-8.4 (fact/opinion)

Item Type: MC - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-8.4: Analyze and interpret informational texts, citing evidence where appropriate by… Distinguishing fact from opinion

Depth of Knowledge: Level 2 - Distinguish between fact and opinion

9. Explain how static electricity is formed. Use details from the passage to support your answer.

R-3-8.5 (inference - cause-effect) KEY: Score Guide

Item Type: CR - related to passage

Alignment to GLE R-3-8.5: Analyze and interpret informational texts, citing evidence where appropriate by… Making inferences about causes or effects

Depth of Knowledge: Level 3 - Make and support inferences about implied causes and effects about text (e.g., possible titles, main ideas)

Supplemental Information about Text Passages Used for End of Grade 3
Title of Passage Text Type Text Descriptors

"What is Static Electricity?"
rewritten science investigation from Science Exemplars

Informational

Practical

  • Informational/practical text includes simple directions for following a procedure
  • Varied vocabulary, but generally familiar; Technical words (static, static electricity, charge) are explained in context
  • Straightforward sentence and text structures
  • Content builds from familiar materials (e.g., balloons, pieces of wool and paper, etc.) and experiences (directions/procedures for science investigation - testing and recording results)
  • Uses clear format (e.g., graphic of lightning, numbering of steps, sample recording sheet, text box with definition) to support understanding of content
  • Text features include subheading (materials list) and numbered steps in process
  • Punctuation used - periods, commas, question marks, exclamation

For more information about "Increasing Text Complexity,"
see NECAP Reading GLEs Grades 3-8 - Appendix F

For more information about Suggested Informational and Literary Texts,
see NECAP Reading GLEs Grades 3-8 - Appendix A

View Passage at the top of the page

© January 2005. Produced in partnership with New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont Departments of Education, Education Development Center, and the Center for Assessment. Permission to photocopy is granted for use in individual classrooms and professional development settings.

Back to top

Our teacher-friendly tasks are designed to support both the Common Core and Citywide instructional expectations. GO Math! alignments are also available.
Set up your FREE 30-day Trial today!

Explore our latest K-5 math material and begin using it in your classroom.
Set up your FREE 30-day Trial today!

Here's What People Are Saying

I find your samples and your rubrics very useful in my consulting work with teaching teams that include students with disabilities and in my work with teachers on differentiating instruction

R. Olendar

Consultant

Exemplars | 271 Poker Hill Road | Underhill, Vermont 05489 | ph: 800-450-4050 | fax: 802-899-4825 | infoREMOVETHISBEFORESENDING@exemplars.com

Copyright © 2010–2016 Exemplars. All Rights Reserved.