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our fifth grade program

Science

The Fifth Grade Science Program revolves around a study of the earth while maintaining the connection with the essential question, “How do we know the past?” Historical, physical, and environmental aspects are explored. The year starts with an introduction and review of the basic skills – scientific method, laboratory equipment and metric measurement – that will stressed throughout the year to solve problems.

The students begin with a chemistry unit to determine what is matter, the physical and chemical properties of matter and the difference between atoms and molecules. An introduction to the periodic table and labs relating to mass, volume and density concludes this unit. The geology unit begins with the history of the earth and the organization of eras into the geologic timeline. Students will use their knowledge to predict and create what the next era on the timeline will be. They choose the cause for the end of the Cenozoic Era and the resulting impact on life forms by designing and drawing what the new creatures and plants look like. This unit then focuses on the interior structure of the earth, exterior features and formations, rocks and minerals, and structural changes due to forces, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, weathering and erosion. Long-term labs are incorporated into the study of rocks and minerals. The students conduct many scientific tests to identify and classify multiple rocks and minerals. The year ends with an extended study of weather and its impact on the earth and its inhabitants. The students examine the tools used to predict and monitor the daily conditions as well as conduct outdoor labs to determine effects of environment on temperature, dew point and wind speed. Group projects on natural disasters and emergency preparedness end the year.

The Fifth Grade Science Program is designed to build the following skills:

  • Gathering information - observing, measuring, researching, dissecting, using lab equipment, investigating
  • Organizing information - classifying, sequencing, constructing data display tools
  • Communicating information - public reporting, peer interaction, models, vocabulary
  • Analyzing information - comparing/contrasting
  • Applying information - defining problems, predicting, estimating, trial and error, projects
  • Synthesizing information - interpreting, summarizing, concluding
  • Learning and applying the scientific method
  • Listening, reading and thinking critically
  • Writing concise conclusions
  • Using science equipment
  • Completing homework – working neatly and with accuracy
  • Applying the math skills of measurement
  • Organizing and writing lab reports (Title page, labeled diagram, definitions, purpose, hypothesis, materials, procedure, results, and conclusion)
  • Developing an appreciation of and enthusiasm for science, science-related history, and science-related careers