5th Grade Science

Science – Grade 5
An Overview of Concepts and Themes The science curriculum in 5th grade can be organized into three major strands: Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science.   Below is a brief description of the learning standards for each strand. 

Life Science (Unit A & D) Students will examine the differences between living things and nonliving things.  They will compare life processes in plants and animals and structure of plant and animal cells.  Students will explore the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and excretory systems of humans.  The life cycles of several animals and plants will be examined.  Students will examine populations and ecosystems of living things and their relationship with each other and their environment.  Students will understand the roles that different organisms play in an environment.  They will find out how materials that organisms need cycle through ecosystems and will trace the flow of energy through them.  They will examine the Earth’s biomes as well as large water ecosystems.  Students will discover the importance of biodiversity.  

Earth Science (Unit B & E) Students will investigate the characteristics of planets, stars, galaxies, and other objects in space.  They will examine the components of the solar system and the universe, as well as the possibilities for human and extraterrestrial life in space. Students will examine minerals and rocks, their composition and structure, and how Earth is structured.  Students will identify different rocks and minerals and how various types of rocks and minerals are used.  They also will learn how rocks change.  They will examine a model of Earth to learn some of the ways our planet changes. 

Physical Science (Unit C & F) Students will examine types, properties, and states of matter, forms of energy and changes in matter and energy.  Students will learn to differentiate between matter and energy as well as between kinetic and potential energy.  They will investigate physical and chemical changes in matter.  They will learn that energy often undergoes change in form.  (Unit C in the textbook) Students will investigate the nature and properties of light and sound waves and how waves transfer light and sound energy.  Students will discover the nature of light and sound and the ways light and sound interact with matter.  Students will also explore reflection and refraction of light and how color is produced.