Common Core Standards Initiative – Sample Performance Tasks for Informational Texts: History/Social Studies & Science, Mathematics, and Technical Subjects


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  • Students determine the central ideas found in the Declaration of Sentiments by the Seneca Falls Conference, noting the parallels between it and the Declaration of Independence and providing a summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas of each text and between the texts. [RH.11–12.2]
  • Students evaluate the premises of James M. McPherson’s argument regarding why Northern soldiers fought in the Civil War by corroborating the evidence provided from the letters and diaries of these soldiers with other primary and secondary sources and challenging McPherson’s claims where appropriate. [RH.11–12.8]
  • Students integrate the information provided by Mary C. Daly, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, with the data presented visually in the FedViews report. In their analysis of these sources of information presented in diverse formats, students frame and address a question or solve a problem raised by their evaluation of the evidence. [RH.11–12.7]
  • Students analyze the hierarchical relationships between phrase searches and searches that use basic Boolean operators in Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest’s Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching, 2nd Edition. [RST.11–12.5]
  • Students analyze the concept of mass based on their close reading of Gordon Kane’s “The Mysteries of Mass” and cite specific textual evidence from the text to answer the question of why elementary particles have mass at all. Students explain important distinctions the author makes regarding the Higgs field and the Higgs boson and their relationship to the concept of mass. [RST.11–12.1]
  • Students determine the meaning of key terms such as hydraulic, trajectory, and torque as well as other domain-specific words and phrases such as actuators, antilock brakes, and traction control used in Mark Fischetti’s “Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.” [RST.11–12.4]

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  • Historical context: the work's place in history, how it was received
  • A summary of the work's overall themes (example: "Here, Byron evokes the classic struggle between virtue and temptation...")
  • A description of the work's overall style and tone
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