Grade 8 literacy in science: Straw rockets

Applying Newton's three laws of motion, students design an investigation involving straw rockets. The five tasks have students develop their writing skills by having them practice formulating a question, paraphrasing text, developing a hypothesis, constructing a procedure, and analyzing data to draw a conclusion. The final Common Core-aligned performance task requires them to aggregate these portions of a lab report as well as make real-world connections from what they learned. More specifically, the task requires students to write a lab report that demonstrates their knowledge of science content (laws of motion) as well as literacy skills, in which they support their hypothesis, conclusion and application using evidence from informational texts. This content is usually taught towards the end of the year, so students should already have a basic understanding of the scientific method and lab procedures. This task can be used as a year-end exit project.