Elementary Science - Grade 5


Eastern Bluebird
(Image courtesy of Creative Commons.)
Earth and Beyond
Essential Unit Outcomes
In this unit our fifth grade scientists will
  • Identify and describe the variety of things in the universe through first-hand observations using the unaided eye, binoculars or telescopes or videos and/or pictures from reliable sources.
  • Identify and compare properties, location, and movement of celestial objects in our solar system.
  • Recognize and describe the causes of the repeating patterns of celestial events.
Planet Earth
Essential Unit Outcomes
In this unit our fifth grade scientists will
  • Recognize and explain how physical weathering and erosion cause changes in the Earth’s surface. 
  • Describe how weathering wears down Earth’s surface: Water, Ice, wind
  • Cite evidence to show that erosion shapes and reshapes the Earth’s surface as it moves Earth’s materials from one location to another (water, ice, and wind)
  • Cite and describe the processes that cause rapid or slow changes in Earth’s surface.
  • Identify and describe events such as hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding which changes Earth’s surface features rapidly.
  • Cite examples that demonstrate how the natural agents of wind, water and ice produce slow changes on the Earth’s surface.
  •  Explain how rock is formed from combinations of different minerals and that smaller rocks come from the breakage and weathering of bedrock (solid rock underlying soil components and larger rock; soil is made partly from weathered rock, partly from plant remains- and also contains many living organisms).
  • Identify components of a variety of rocks and compare the physical properties of rocks with those of minerals to note major differences.
  • Describe ways that the following processes contribute to changes always occurring to the Earth’s surface: erosion, transportation, deposit.
  • Recognize that the natural forces of gravity causes changes in Earth’s surface features as it pulls things towards Earth, as in mudslides, rockslides, avalanches, etc.
  • Recognize and explain that fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago and about the nature of the environment at that time.
  • Recognize and explain that the remains or imprints of plants or animals can become fossils.
  • Identify what an animal or plant fossil is able to tell about the environment in which it lived: Water, Land.
  • Examine and compare fossils to one another and to living organisms as evidence that some individuals survive and reproduce.
  • Observe and classify a collection of minerals based on their physical properties: color, luster, hardness, and streak.
  • Recognize and describe that the amount of water on Earth continues to stay the same even though it may change from one form to another.Describe how water on Earth changes: condensation, precipitation, evaporation.
  • Explain how the sun is the main source of energy that causes the changes in the water on Earth.
  • Based on data, explain the importance of water’s ability to exist in all three states in temperatures normally found on Earth.
Essential Unit Outcomes
In this unit our fifth grade scientists will
  • Explain the idea that in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some less well, and some cannot survive at all. 
  • Recognize and explain how renewable and non-renewable natural resources found in Maryland are used by humans to meet basic needs. 
  • Recognize and describe that people in Maryland are affected by the environment. 
  • Recognize and explain that decisions influencing the use of natural resources may have benefits, drawbacks, unexpected consequences and trade-offs. 
  • Recognize and describe that consequences may occur when Earth’s natural resources are used.
  • Explain ways that individuals and groups of organisms interact with each other
  • and their environment.
  • Encourage your children to enjoy science. Help them believe that they are scientists!
  • Provide experiences related to the environment, such as recycling, landscaping, gardening, nature walks, and/or star gazing.
  • Read books, magazines and websites about science.
  • Encourage your children to conduct experiments and collect data to find the answers to real life problems.
  • Take trips to local nature/environmental centers.
  • For more parent tips visit the U.S. Department of Education Website, “Helping Your Child Learn Science.” http://www.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/science/brochure.html