Biology: Year 8 Cells Poster Rubric

Subject Area: Year 8 Biology
Author: Shirley Lu, Julia Barry, Hamish Denmead, Tim Nguyen


You will have four lessons to complete an inquiry task based on the question “Why don’t we look like Onions?” In the first lesson you will hypothesize and research why humans and onions do not look alike. You will research structural and functional differences between animal and plant cells. Drawing on your research, you will design an experiment to compare the structure of animal and plant cells and then complete a demonstration of  the practical investigation you have designed. In the last lesson you will create a poster in the format of an experimental report. Remember to include the aim, hypothesis, method, results, discussion and conclusion on your poster. Make sure you refer to the research you conducted and how you designed your experiment.


  • Inquiry prac focussing on “Why don’t we look like Onions?”
  • Students scaffolded to forming questions based on cell structure

Students come up with methods of viewing and comparing human and onion cells

Curriculum links

​This assessment piece attempts to address several parts of the Victorian Curriculum. This includes cells being the basic unit of living things (VCSSU092), and also attempts to address the student as a developing scientist in regards to planning an investigation (VCSIS108), processing and analysing data (VCSIS110, VCSIS111 and VCSIS112) and communicating findings (VCSIS113). The poster is an attempt to allow students to collate, summarise and present their results to a scientific community. The content within the poster is in regards to cell theory.  

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2016). Victorian curriculum foundation-10: Science curriculum.

Retrieved from


Domain Strand Capability
Victorian Curriculum:

Science Level 7/8

1 Biological Science 1.1 Cell structure and function (VCSSU092)
2 Science Inquiry Skills 2.1 Plans and predicts scientifically
2.2 Processes and analyses data
2.3 Communicates



Procedural Properties

  1. Purpose: ​The purpose of this assessment is to support students in understanding the processes involved in a scientific investigation and to assist them in communicating scientific ideas to the wider community. In addition, students will be scaffolded to make inquiry based questions relating to why humans and onions don’t look alike and will design an investigative task to explore this question.
  2. Administer: ​The assessment task will be administered over three periods within one week (with each period being 1 hour).
  3. Record: ​Practicals done throughout the semester, that culminated with this assessment piece, were recorded in their logbooks and monitored by the teacher to determine their current conceptual knowledge leading up to this assessment piece.
  4. Interpret: ​The matrix developed for this piece will give students an indication of their progress in relation to three aspects of science learning; their current knowledge of organs and systems, ability to connect prior knowledge with inquiry based activities, and ability to convey information to a scientific community.
  5. Use: ​Student performance in this assessment task will be used as a form of feedback for the teacher and considerations will be made as to whether the matrix needs to be reevaluated. The assessment will be used to shape future pedagogical practices and interventions within the classroom to support students.




Level E

Students in this ZPD grouping are learning to draw links to broader biological concepts through critically evaluating evidence and information synthesised from experimental findings.


Level C-D

Students are learning to analyse organelle functions, justify their experimental procedures and use evidence to support conclusions.


Level A-B

Students in this ZPD grouping are learning to recall organelles and create a poster in the format of a scientific report.





click to enlarge


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