5th Grade Science – Standard 5.6

In the state of Virginia the science curriculum in the fifth grade focuses on selecting appropriate instruments for measuring and recording observations. Throughout the year more detailed concepts of light and sound are introduced, and knowledge of the key concepts of matter (atoms, molecules, elements, and compounds), organisms and cellular makeup, and oceans and Earths changing surface are learned.

The standard that I decided to follow through this course is Standard 5.6. This standard falls under Interrelationships Between Earth and Space Systems. The objectives of the standard are that the student will investigate and understand characteristics of the ocean environment.

Key Concepts Include:

  • Geological Characteristics
  • Physical Characteristics
  • Ecological Characteristics

Science has always been one of my favorite subjects from as far back as I can remember. I always had so much fun investigating and observing things and being able to explain what happened and what I saw. The reason I chose this standard to follow was because I feel that science is slowly being lost in a lot of schools and I aim to prove that science is needed and can be a fun subject to teach. When teaching science it is easy to tie in other subject content as well. Implementation of the 4 C’s, which I have mentioned and explained in a prior post, into a lesson focused on this standard can be easily done


Beginning a lesson with a discussion about the content is a good way to promote critical thinking. In the fifth grade chances are the students can tell you a lot about what their knowledge of the ocean is as well as their experiences. And lets all just be honest here what fifth grader doesn’t want to brag about what they know! Although these students may think they know everything about the ocean they don’t realize the the amount they still don’t know. Beginning the discussion with what they know and directing questions and conversation to new knowledge allows their students to use their critical thinking skills.


Following the discussion and delivery of new knowledge (for this post lets use currents) students can come together and research the content they were just presented. Working in groups the students will have access to the internet and with the use of computer research facts about currents. This is a great way for the students to interact with each other. They will start their research with a broad topic, currents, and will then talk and narrow the topic down to something that interests them as a group. Whether it be researching a specific current or temperature change the students will be talking and teaching themselves new information.



Science is a great outlet for all types of creativity. From creating and following through an experiment to presenting your findings the creative possibilities are endless. In the case of learning currents there are so many experiments that children can perform to visually see what happens to create a current. After predicting, observing, and explaining what they see the students will have the ability to present their findings through whatever creative process they want. Some student groups may want to make a video demonstrating what happened in their experiment, other students may want to give an oral presentation, and still yet some students may write creatively and tell a story about what they learned.



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