5th Grade Science Standards in California

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Information about the science standards used for 5th grade in California is provided in this article. Make sure you're familiar with what students will learn at this grade and discover study resources that can help students master these concepts.

California's Science Standards for 5th Grade

Since 2013, California has been used the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for all grade levels. These standards are made up of three main areas: disciplinary core ideas; science and engineering practices; and cross-cutting practices.

Disciplinary Core Ideas for 5th Grade

The NGSS uses core ideas to help guide student learning about scientific information. Students will focus on:

Life Science

5th graders learn how plants obtain the material that they need to live. The organisms involved in food webs and the importance of plants in food chains are covered. Students can go over the facts about plants with these lessons on plants and fungi. Kids can complete the interactive quizzes that accompany the lessons to make sure they grasp what they're studying.

Earth and Space Science

The location of our sun and other stars are considered in this grade. Students also focus on the patterns created by the movements of Earth. Kids can explore the interactions found in Earth's systems. Furthermore, they'll learn about the locations on Earth where water is found. Different ways that human actions have impacted the world are discussed. It's easy to supplement what students are learning in class about stars with these astronomy lessons. They can also learn about Earth's water and ecological considerations with these environmental science lessons. All of this information can be reviewed at any time if students find they need to go back over something they previously studied.

Physical Science

Students work to understand that matter still exists even when it can't been seen with the naked eye. The conservation of matter with regards to mixtures is covered, and students also study the effects of gravity on the Earth. These physics lessons give students the chance to go over the properties of matter.

Engineering Design

The potential limits engineers face when considering solutions are discussed. Students focus on the importance of researching before starting to design. Kids also consider why it's important to communicate while working on engineering projects. This lesson on mechanical engineering helps students develop their understanding of this area of study.

Science and Engineering Practices for 5th Grade

These standards deal with the scientific abilities students need to develop as they learn. Kids in fifth grade learn how to effectively support a scientific argument. They also create models and graphical displays and apply math skills in order to graph different quantities. Time is spent considering how science can be used to explain natural events. Students can get extra help improving their scientific abilities by working on these science basics at home.

Crosscutting Concepts for 5th Grade

Crosscutting concepts appear throughout different grades and areas of scientific study. In fifth grade, students focus on how:

  • Energy is transferred
  • Systems are described
  • Cause and effect explains change
  • We can use patterns to understand natural phenomena
  • Matter is moved
  • Objects can be found in different sizes
  • We measure with standard units
  • Empirical evidence is important to science
  • Needs and wants evolve and change over time
  • Engineering technologies are developed

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