Hints on Exercise 1, Task 1
As written, this exercise is intended to foster the connections standards. It makes the students connect their general knowledge with German-language knowledge on a particular topic. To foster these standards, however, the student outcomes must be assessed in terms of knowledge: a statement that identifies several vocabulary items in proper relationship is "worth" ("'Bestenstern' ist 'Komet' oder 'Schweifstern'") more than a grammatically-correct simple sentence based on a cognate ("Hale-Bopp ist ein Komet").
If grammaticality is stressed in
assessment, then this task can easily be arranged to foster
communication -- it is a natural for checking command of
prepositions ("Hale-Bopp ist neben dem 'Fuhrmann', über
dem 'Grossen Hund," usw.).