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Science Standards for the Fifth Grade in California

    Physical Sciences

    • Fifth-grade standards in physical science focus on understanding how elements and compounds make up matter in its varying forms. Students learn about atoms and molecules, and study the properties of liquids, gases and solids. Students also examine the properties of metals, salts and other groups. Children learn that all living things are made up of just a few elements. In addition, students also gain exposure to instruments that show how atoms and molecules are arranged.

    Life Sciences

    • In fifth grade, life science standards revolve around bodily structures. Students learn that both animals and plants have systems for respiration, excretion, digestion and transport or circulation. Students study the exchange process for oxygen and carbon dioxide; they also examine how blood moves through the body. Children study the steps in the digestive system and the role various body parts and organs play in it. Students also examine the transport system of plants and the process of photosynthesis.

    Earth Sciences

    • Earth science standards in fifth grade are divided into three components. The first deals with water. Students learn the differences between fresh and salt water and the locations of each. They study the evaporation cycle. The second section of the earth science-related standards relates to weather. Students study weather cycles and the role that oceans and tides play. Students examine the causes and effects of different types of weather patterns and also learn how to read weather maps. Finally, students study the solar system, learning that the sun is a star around which the other planets revolve. Students also examine lesser bodies such as asteroids and moons.

    Investigation and Experimentation

    • The standards note that "scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations." Students, therefore, develop a theory and test it by creating an experiment. They identify the dependent and independent variables in the experiment. Students make observations using the appropriate tools, record the data and then make inferences and draw conclusions based on the information collected.

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