Similar to other subjects in 5th grade, science lessons emphasize to students the importance of analyzing what they learn in order to deepen their thinking, expand their knowledge, and develop their own ideas and conclusions. For example, as fifth graders conduct experiments and investigate topics, they are encouraged to use these experiences to come up with ideas, draw conclusions, and ask further questions for future experiments and investigations. Furthermore, they are asked to support these ideas and questions with specific proofs and reasons.
As in other grades, the specific topics studied in science vary according to state. However, common topics studied in 5th grade include: earth and space; plants; the cycle of life; animals; the human body; electricity and magnetism; motion; and sound. Students also often learn about these topics in relation to their location and where they live. Consult your child’s teacher or research your state’s science standards for more details.
In order to build science skills, your 5th grader:
- Conducts experiments using the scientific method (there are many different ways people present "the scientific method," but here's a basic example):
- Questions, observes, and researches
- Develops a hypothesis (based on observations and research)
- Makes predictions
- Develops a conclusion
- Develops further questions to research and experiment with based on previously done experiments and previously realized conclusions.
- Develops and explains ideas based on investigations and experiments; uses specific reasoning and evidence to explain her assertions.
- Presents the findings and conclusion of an experiment, both in writing and orally.
- Researches and takes notes on information about a variety of topics using both text and digital resources.
- Collects and uses data to support experiments and what he learns.
- Experiments with different types of materials and matter — such as solid, liquid, and gas — to observe different types of physical and chemical changes.
- Works independently, in partnerships, in small groups, and as a class to conduct experiments and create projects.
- Studies and creates models of systems and objects to further explore and show an understanding of the scientific concepts learned.
Science Activities: 5th Grade
- Prove It!: When your child asks a question about a scientific concept or when someone says something about a scientific concept, see if you and your child can prove it. Conduct an experiment using the scientific method and see if the result of your experiment answers your question or supports the fact stated.
- Make Matter Matter: When you encounter matter that changes in everyday life, point it out and talk to your child about it. For example, when you are cooking, ask your child why bubbling water boils and talk about the reason together. Try boiling other things to see what happens to them and compare the differences and similarities.
- Make a Model: First, ask your child's teacher what topic your child is currently learning about. Then, make a model of a related object. For example, if your child is learning about human cells, use crafts objects, clay, or even different foods to make a model of a cell and its parts. You can also make a model of a system, such as machine or the digestive system.
- Look for Real-Life Science: These days, so much progress is happening in science. Read articles with your child about scientific topics and progress made in the world, then talk about the articles — as well as the effects this progress may have. If possible, your child can do further research on a topic she finds particularly interesting.