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      K-4 Elementary

      5-8 Middle/
      Jr. High School

      9-12 High


    Standards &



  54 Alternative Geography
Assessment Items

This section provides teachers with 54 alternative assessment items that can be copied and used to measure student knowledge of important physical and human geography concepts and principles. There are 18 items in each of the K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 grade level groupings. Each item in the separate grade groups assesses student knowledge on one of the eighteen national geography standards in Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, 1994, as well as on one of the Illinois State Board of Education learning standards in Illinois Learning Standards. The classification for each of the items is given in Table 1 and appears also on the bottom of each test item in this section.

Five items in each grade group have been field tested with students at the appropriate grade level. They are identified with an asterik in Table 1. Scoring rubrics and selected student responses at four different performance levels are included for each field tested item in
Student Samples of this document. Teachers can use the rubrics to score any of the field tested items they choose to administer to their students. The selected responses for each item illustrate four different student performance levels and are useful for comparison purposes.

Educators interested in using alternative assessment in geography as part of their school improvement program are encouraged to use the items included here not only to measure student achievement on specific standards, but also as examples to guide the development of additional alternative assessment items. Also, they should consult both the state and national geography standards to obtain ideas for the development of additional items that relate to their specific curriculum in geography (
See Standards & Geography Skills).