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5th Grade Science Lesson Plans

5th Grade Science Lesson Plans
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Time4Learning is an online student-paced learning system covering preschool through middle school. It is popular as a fifth grade homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment, for remediation, and for summer study.

The lesson plans below provide a detailed list of the fifth grade science curriculum, with brief activity descriptions and learning activity (LA) numbers. Additional resources related to fifth grade science are also provided, below.

Students enrolled in fifth grade science will have access to both fourth and sixth grade science lessons as part of their membership, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.

If you are just learning about Time4Learning, we’d suggest first looking at our interactive lesson demos. Members often use this page as a resource for more detailed planning, to choose specific activities using the activity finder or to compare our curriculum with state standards.

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Science4Us – 5th Grade Curriculum

Total Activities: 86


Properties of Matter focuses on the ability to compare, describe and differentiate different types of matter, using its properties, such as state, texture and mass.
Physical & Chemical Changes focuses on changes of state (i.e.: solid, liquid, gas), chemical reactions, and mixtures and solutions.
Ecosystems focuses on the movement of matter among producers, consumers, decomposers, and the air, water, and soil in the environment.


Water on Earth focuses on the 4 natural spheres (or systems) of Earth – the biosphere, the atmosphere, the geosphere and the hydrosphere – and how they interact within the water cycle.
Interacting with Earth focuses on solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans, and the fact that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.


Sun, Earth & Moon focuses on the relationship of the sun, Earth and Moon to shadows, constellations and the patterns we see throughout the year because of those relationships.

Supplemental Science Lessons for Fifth Grade

Identify problems that can be solved by conducting experiments.
Create a written plan for an experiment.
Design and conduct a scientific experiment within the generally accepted rules and ethics of science.
Collect and organize data to support the result of an experiment.
Keep records of observations during an experiment.
Explain that scientific experiments sometimes result in unexpected findings that lead to new questions and more experiments.
Design and conduct an experiment incorporating the use of a control group.
Develop a time line of major events and people in the history of science, that also include major world events in other fields.
Identify electrons, protons, and neutrons as basic structural components of atoms.
Know that all matter is made up of atoms that may join together to form molecules and compounds, and that the state of matter is determined by the motion of molecules.
Know that elements have atoms of only one kind, and recognize that elements can be organized in a systematic way.
Be able to read and understand some of the periodic table: elements can be identified by symbols, the table can be read across from left to right and from top to bottom, atomic numbers tell how many protons are in each atom, the table is divided into metals and nonmetals, elements on opposite sides of the table easily react with each other to form compounds.
Identify electricity as the flow of electrons: positive pole (terminal), negative pole (terminal).
Know that the force that makes electrons flow is called voltage and that the unit of electrical force, or push, is called the volt. Define: alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), alternator.
Know how electricity is measured: volts, amps (amperage), ohms, Ohm’s law: volts = amps x ohms.
Know how electric power is measured: watts (wattage), volt x amp = watt.
Know the difference between conductors and insulators.
Know the structure of simple electrical circuits: closed circuit, open circuit, short circuit.
Demonstrate principles of series and parallel electrical circuits.
Demonstrate electrical resistance and understand the use of ohms.
Learn about electrical safety.
Describe the scientific contribution of Michael Faraday.
Describe the scientific contribution of Thomas Edison.
Know that light is a form of energy, and that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.
Describe the basic characteristics of white light: visible spectrum, light waves, reflection, refraction.
Describe the basic characteristics of white light: opacity, transparency, translucence.
Know how light is measured: wavelengths, frequency, cycle.
Show how light is reflected, refracted, or absorbed when it interacts with matter and how colors appear as a result of this interaction.
Describe the use and basic design of kaleidoscopes, flashlights, and mirrors.
Describe the use and basic design of eyeglasses, prisms, and cameras.
Describe the use and basic design of binoculars, microscopes, and telescopes.
Describe the use and basic design of lasers, and photocopiers.
Identify the cell as the basic unit of life and the smallest unit that can reproduce itself.
Identify and describe the structure and function of cell parts: cell membrane, cytoplasm, mitochondria, ribosomes.
Identify and describe the structure and function of cell parts: nucleus, nuclear membrane, vacuoles, endoplasmic reticulum.
Give examples of single-celled and multicellular organisms.
Identify the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.
Identify and label the parts of a simple compound microscope: eyepiece, ocular tube, coarse adjustment knob, fine adjustment knob, arm, base, mirror, aperture or diaphragm, stage, low-power objective lens, high-power objective lens.
Describe the scientific contribution of Ernest Just.
Identify and describe the five major kingdoms: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia.
Explain the scientific method of classifying living things: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. Describe the scientific contribution of Carolus Linnaeus.
Identify the life cycle of covered-seed (flowering) plants: fertilization, embryo, endosperm, seed coat, germination, plant growth, flowers, new seeds.
Investigate the reproduction of covered-seed (flowering) plants: petals, stamen, anther, pistil, ovule, ovum, pollen and pollination, pollen tube, ovary, embryo, germination, fruit.
Identify the life cycle of naked-seed (conifer) plants: pollen, seed, male and female cones.
Identify common pollen carriers: insects, birds, wind.
Investigate the reproduction of non-seed (moss, fern) plants (spores).
Differentiate between weather and climate.
Describe the hydrologic cycle and the role of evaporation, precipitation, and condensation as they relate to water in the atmosphere.
Know that the sun and the Earth heat the atmosphere and that the atmosphere is made up of several layers, including the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the ionosphere, and the exosphere.
Classify clouds (cirrus, stratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus) by their composition, height, and type of precipitation.
Use weather instruments to collect data and measure air temperature (thermometer), precipitation (rain gauge), and wind speed (anemometer).
Use weather instruments to collect data and measure air pressure (barometer) and humidity (hygrometer).
Identify pressure systems, fronts, and other features on weather maps and charts.
Develop forecasts using pressure systems, fronts, and other features on weather maps.
Describe Earth’s climate zones and what causes each.
Describe meteorology as a field of study.
Study the basic structure of the Earth’s interior: crust, mantle, outer core, inner core.
Explain that some changes in the Earth’s surface are due to plate tectonics.
Define: tsunamis, seismograph, Richter scale.
Identify what happens in an earthquake. Locate: some major faults, major fault zones, Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Recognize that changes that occur on the Earth’s surface are a result of forces acting upon it. Explain the structure of a volcano: magma, lava, active, dormant, extinct. Locate the Ring of Fire.
Know that heat flow and movement of material within the Earth move the continents. Describe the continental drift and Pangaea.
Understand how volcanic mountains and folded mountains are formed.
Know that plate movement creates mountains and ocean basins. Understand how fault-block mountains and dome-shaped mountains are formed. Locate the Mariana Trench.
Describe ways in which rocks and fossils record events of Earth’s history, documenting plate movements, volcanic eruptions, and cycles of erosion and deposition.
Describe ways in which rocks and fossils record events of Earth’s history, documenting plate movements, volcanic eruptions, and cycles of erosion and deposition.
Describe geology as a field of study.
Identify personal interests, capabilities, and values. Identify personal strengths and weaknesses and develop ways to maximize strengths. Describe conditions that contribute to disease, such as contaminated food or water, lack of immunization, poor nutrition, and improper hygiene. Explain the roles of sleep and rest in fitness.

Lesson Activity Finder Tool

The lesson activity finder is one of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child.

Every lesson in the curriculum has a unique activity number, referred to in the lesson plans as an “LA Number.” These numbers can be found on either the scope and sequence pages or the lesson plans in the Parent Dashboard.

The activity finder can be found in the lower left hand corner of the Student Dashboard. To use it, members simply log in to their child’s account, type the Learning Activity (LA) number of a lesson into the Activity Finder and click “Go” to open it.

For additional information, please visit our hints and help section, which gives more details about the activity finder.

If you’re interested in the fifth grade science lesson plans, you might also be interested in:

Lesson plans for other grade levels of science:

Other fifth grade subjects and topics:

Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Our lesson planning worksheet can help you estimate.

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