Grade Five Science

Grade 5 Science and Technology/Engineering Benchmarks

Earth and Space Science

  • Explain what a mineral is and how it is formed. Give examples.
  • Identify and test physical properties of minerals (hardness, color, luster, cleavage, streak).
  • Create a diagram of a complex food chain, describing how energy derived from the sun is used by plants and is transferred within the food chain. Include appropriate vocabulary labels such as photosynthesis, consumer, and decomposer.
  • Explain the effects of removing a species from the food chain.
  • Differentiate between observed characteristics of plants and animals that are fully inherited and characteristics that are affected by the climate or environment.
  • Give examples of how inherited characteristics may change over time to ensure survival of the species (e.g., shape of beak, length of neck, color etc.).
  • Give examples of how organisms can cause changes in their environment to ensure survival. Explain how some of these changes can affect the ecosystem.
  • Recognize plant behaviors, such as the way seedlings stems grow toward the light, or the way roots grow downward due to gravity.

Life Science

  • Create a diagram of a complex food chain, describing how energy derived from the sun is used by plants and is transferred within the food chain. Include appropriate vocabulary labels such as photosynthesis, consumer, and decomposer.
  • Explain the effects of removing a species from the food chain.
  • Differentiate between observed characteristics of plants and animals that are fully inherited and characteristics that are affected by the climate or environment.
  • Give examples of how inherited characteristics may change over time to ensure survival of the species (e.g., shape of beak, length of neck, color etc.).
  • Give examples of how organisms can cause changes in their environment to ensure survival. Explain how some of these changes can affect the ecosystem.
  • Recognize plant behaviors, such as the way seedlings stems grow toward the light, or the way roots grow downward due to gravity.

Physical Science

  • Recognize that energy is the ability to cause motion or create change.
  • Identify the basic forms of energy as: light, sound, heat, electrical, magnetic.
  • Give examples of energy being transferred from one form to another.
  • Identify and understand complete and incomplete circuits.
  • Recognize that electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass.
  • Know that electricity can produce heat, light and sound.
  • Identify and classify objects and materials as conductors or insulators.
  • Recognize that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the reflection, refraction, and absorption of light.
  • Explain the properties of magnetic poles.
  • Identify magnetic objects from an array.
  • Explain how electromagnets are made and used.
  • Explain Newton’s 3 laws of motion. Give examples.
  • Describe the properties of and create a diagram that shows the forces of friction, air resistance, inertia, and momentum. Explain how these forces work in the world.
  • Draw and label six simple machines.

Technology/Engineering

  • Identify and explain the appropriate materials and tools needed to construct a given prototype.
  • Make a WORKING model of a machine.
  • Compare natural systems with mechanical systems that are designed to serve similar purposes (e.g., a bird’s wing as compared to an airplane’s wing).
  • Explain the difference between simple and complex machines.
  • Create a diagram of a complex machine and label the simple machines WITHIN it.
  • Identify materials used to accomplish a design task based on a specific property (e.g., hardness, flexibility, strength).

Skills of Inquiry/Scientific  Process We Expect Students to Demonstrate

(from the MA Science and Technology/Engineering Framework, 2006)

  • Ask questions and make predictions that can be tested.
  • Select and use appropriate tools and technology (e.g., calculators, computers, scales, balances, meter sticks, and graduated cylinders) in order to extend observations.
  • Keep accurate records while conducting simple investigations or experiments.
  • Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction. Compare actual results with the prediction.
  • Recognize simple patterns in data and use data to create a reasonable explanation for the results of an investigation or experiment.
  • Record data and communicate findings to others using graphs, charts, maps, models, and oral/written reports.