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Ecosystems | Activity 5.4

Activity 5.3: Ecosystems Unit Posttest (20 min)

Students retake the pretest that they took at the beginning of the Unit and assess what they have learned.

Materials You Provide

  • Pencils (1 per student)
  • Computers with an Internet connection (1 per student, for online version)

Resources Provided


Print one copy of the 5.4 Ecosystems Unit Posttest for each student. If you are administering the pretest on the computer, register the class on the NREL website in advance, and prepare one computer with an Internet connection per student.


1. Pass out the unit posttest to each student.

Explain the purpose of the unit posttest to students:

  • It will help you as a teacher understand how students think about what happens when animals move, grow, and function..
  • It will help them think about what they learned and how their ideas changed over time.


Students should be able to answer the questions correctly, so it is reasonable to grade them at this point. Use 5.4 Grading the Ecosystems Unit Posttest to check student answers. If you administer the test online, you will receive an analysis of your students’ responses that includes (a) the responses themselves, (b) grading of true-false and multiple-choice responses, and (c) estimates of the learning progression levels of your students. If you administer the test online ( you can use the My Students’ Answers feature to interpret your students’ ideas.

Extending the Learning

Have students compare their answers from the pretest with their answers from the posttest to see how their ideas have changed through the course of the unit.