Before using these tasks, consider reviewing the Guidance for Use document, which provides suggestions for the most effective ways the TDSciN Task Library can be used to support high-quality science teaching and learning.


red color river

Driving Phenomenon: Students see a picture of the Ocoee River in East Tennessee, which is a reddish-colored river, and are told that animals in and near the river are becoming sick. Students try to figure out why the river is red and why the animals are sick.

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Tennessee Academic Standards for Science and Next Generation Science Standards Learning Targets

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science

  • 4.ESS2.1: Collect and analyze data from observations to provide evidence that rocks, soils, and sediments are broken into smaller pieces through mechanical weathering (frost wedging, abrasion, tree root wedging) and are transported by water, ice, wind, gravity, and vegetation.
  • 4.ETS2.2: Determine the effectiveness of multiple solutions to a design problem given the criteria and the constraints.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    • Grade 3–5 Element: Construct an explanation of observed relationships (e.g., the distribution of plants in the back yard).
    • Grade 3–5 Element: Use evidence (e.g., measurements, observations, patterns) to construct or support an explanation or design a solution to a problem.
    • Grade 3–5 Element: Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    ESS2.A Earth Materials and Systems

    • Grade 3–5 Element: Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.

    ETS1.A Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

    • Grade 3–5 Element: Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Cause and Effect

    • Grade 3–5 Element: Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
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The Tennessee District Science Network was funded by Arconic Foundation.

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