In 5th grade, students science continues to align with the Next Generation Science Standards. The performance expectations in fifth grade help students formulate answers to questions such as: “When matter changes, does its weight change? How much water can be found in different places on Earth? Can new substances be created by combining other substances? How does matter cycle through ecosystems? Where does the energy in food come from and what is it used for? How do lengths and directions of shadows or relative lengths of day and night change from day to day, and how does the appearance of some stars change in different seasons?”

Based in inquiry and hands-on exploration, fifth grade students at Westerly develop and use models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematics and computational thinking, engage in argument from evidence, and obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to use these practices to demonstrate an understanding of the core ideas.

• Ask the essential question: “How do you describe properties of matter?”
• Observe matter and solve what type of matter it is based on its properties
• Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair,growth,and motion and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
• Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
• Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
• Ask the essential question: “What evidence do we have that matter changes?”
• Investigate the different states of matter
• Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen
• Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved
• Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties
• Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances
• Compare and contrast mixtures and solutions
*Lessons, Activities, and Projects may include:
• States of Matter (brochure)
• Particles of Matter and Atomic Structure
• Investigating State of Change
• Chemical Reactions
• Physical vs. Chemical Change
• Heating and Cooling Matter
• Mixing Matter
• Using Properties to Classify
• Using Properties to Separate Mixtures
• Ask the essential question: “Where does food’s energy come from and how is food used?”
• Investigate how food contains energy
• Research how plants make food
• Investigate how animals utilize food as energy
• Study what types of foods make the best energy for how bodies function
*Lessons, Activities, and Projects may include:
• Make food plates for optimal energy for humans for a day
• Study their own food consumption and how it relates to their energy
• Ask the essential question: “How can you model the interaction of living things in an ecosystem?”
• Examine what defines an ecosystem
• Study and investigate organisms within ecosystems
• Engage in hands-on investigation of various ecosystems and how the animal life develops within each ecosystem
• Document change within ecosystems
• Investigate matter and energy transfer within ecosystems
*Lessons, Activities, and Projects may include:
• Abiotic and Biotic Factors in an ecosystem
• Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers
• How do animals obtain energy?
• The function of plant structures-a creative representation
• Constructing ecosystem models
• Ask the essential question: “How can you model interactions among Earth’s systems?”
• Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
• Describe and graph the amounts of saltwater and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
• Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
• Examine how humans have impacted Earth’s systems
*Lessons, Activities, and Projects may include:
•  The Earth’s Systems
• The layers of the atmosphere
• Water Distribution on Earth
• Research Choice: Overfishing, Water Pollution, Global Warming, Acid Rain
•  Ask the essential question: “How much water can be found in different places on Earth?”
• Evaluate the water cycle
• Identify sources and locations of Earth’s fresh water
• Identify Earth’s Oceans and seas
• Examine how systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth’s surface materials and processes.
• Describe and graph quantities such as area and volume to address scientific questions
• Ask the essential question: “How can we protect Earth’s resources and environments?”
• Identify Earth’s natural and energy resources
• Investigate how human activity impacts Earth’s systems
• Solve real-world problems including water distribution and unsafe drinking water
• Building and revise simple models and using models to represent events and design solutions
• Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently
• Obtain and combine information from books and/or other reliable media to explain phenomena or solutions to a design problem
• Ask the essential question: “What is Earth’s place in Space?”
• Analyze and calculate the brightness of the Sun and other stars
• Differentiate between the Inner Solar System and the Outer Solar System
• Build models of the solar system that reflects correct size and placement of planets
• Ask the essential question: “How do patterns change from day to day and season to season?”
• Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
• Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.
• Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
*Lessons, Activities, and Projects may include:
• Investigating Star Size, Brightness, Temperature, and Distance
• The Sun, Earth, and Moon Relationship
• The Sun’s Role
• The Passing of Time (Day, Night, Seasons, Years)