• Exemplars Assessment Rubric.
    Our Standards-Based Science Rubric allows teachers to examine student work against a set of analytic criteria to determine student performance. It also provides teachers with guidelines for giving meaningful feedback to their students.
  • Exemplars Student Rubric.
    Our student rubric presents learners with important information about what is expected and what kind of work meets the standard. It may also be used to develop self- and peer-assessment abilities.
  • Exemplars Anchor Papers.
    Each science task includes annotated student anchor papers at the 4 performance levels of the Exemplars science rubric. These tools demonstrate for teachers and students what work meets or does not meet the standard and explains why.
  • Science Performance Tasks.
    Exemplars offers rich performance tasks to enrich instruction and assessment. Hands-on investigations utilize the 5E model – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate.
  • Exemplars Planning Sheet.
    Teacher Planning Sheets accompany every task. This resource outlines the science concepts and skills that students will need to know as well as valuable teaching tips, guiding questions and possible solutions.

Delivered online, this K–8 resource provides educators with a compilation of science tasks and teaching tools developed to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

220 authentic investigations help students develop conceptual understanding while utilizing the skills of inquiry, engineering, and communication. Material is organized by Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices.

Exemplars is the perfect supplement to any science curriculum!


Our inquiry-based performance tasks may be used for instruction, assessment, and professional development.  

Published in K–2, 3–5, and 6–8 grade spans, hands-on investigations are uniquely designed to engage students and help them develop conceptual understanding in science while utilizing the skills of inquiry, engineering, and communication.

Tasks focus on the content areas of Earth and Space Science, Physical Science, and Life Science. Interdisciplinary links are included with each investigation along with suggestions for children's literature at the elementary level.

Material is organized Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices.

Reviewed and approved by NSTA Recommends.

science task

Science Planning Sheets icon Planning Sheets

Preliminary Planning Sheets serve as a teacher's guide for every task and outline the science concepts and skills students will need to know. Valuable teaching tips, guiding questions, and possible solutions are also provided. This resource assists with lesson preparation and assessing student work. 

Science Planning Sheets sample


The Exemplars Standards-Based Science Rubric allows teachers to examine student work against a set of analytic criteria to determine student performance. There are 4 performance levels – Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner (meets the standard), and Expert.

This assessment tool is designed to identify what is important, define what meets the standard, and distinguish between different levels of performance. It also provides teachers with guidelines for giving meaningful feedback to their students. 

Student rubrics, written in kid-friendly language, are also included. These may be used to develop a child's ability to self- and peer-assess.


Anchor Papers

Annotated student anchor papers and assessment notes are provided at the 4 performance levels of the Exemplars science rubric and accompany each investigation.

These tools demonstrate for teachers and students what work meets (and does not meet) the standard in accordance with the assessment rubric and explains why.

They are also a valuable staff development tool that may be used with students as a basis for self- and peer-assessment.

Implementation Support

To assist schools and districts new to performance-based assessment and instruction, Exemplars offers a complimentary Implementation Planning Webinar. During this session, your leadership team will gain a deeper understanding of Exemplars inquiry-based science materials and resources as well as tips for getting started successfully. We'll also put together a schedule of periodic check-ins that make the most sense for your needs and goals.

Exemplars also offers full-day on-site professional development workshops designed to generate immediate and sustained results.

Material includes:

  • 220 open-ended performance tasks for assessment, instruction, portfolio pieces, and staff development for grades K–8
  • Assessment rubrics that offer teachers clear guidelines for evaluating students' understanding and for providing meaningful feedback
  • Student rubrics that encourage self and peer-assessment
  • Annotated student anchor papers that demonstrate and explain what it looks like to meet (and not meet) the standard for each investigation
  • Rich, teaching notes and Planning Sheets to guide instruction and assessment
  • Interdisciplinary links to extend learning across the curriculum
  • Alignments for NGSS and national STEM standards
  • Online delivery for teachers.
  • Integrated with Google Classroom.

Access to the Exemplars Library requires a computer with one of the following Internet browsers: Internet Explorer 8+, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Please contact us or call 800-450-4050 for more information about getting started with Exemplars. 

The links below contain a variety of resources provided free to our many users and to those of you just learning about Exemplars. We hope you find these resources useful.