Science Curriculum – Grade 5

In the 21st century a person must be armed with a science overview to adapt to the extraordinary changes that will occur, to be employed by the new industries that will emerge, and to participate in the decisions that society will make. The key is education and programs such as Science and Technology for Children (STC) and Full Option Science Systems (FOSS) to give every student science content and science process needed to develop scientific literacy.

Our elementary science program places an emphasis on acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes toward science through active involvement in hands-on activities. The heart of the program is problem solving. Students are actively engaged in situations which begin with their questions and take them through the process of inquiry. Students gather information to help them find answers to their questions using the data they have collected.

Because many of the ideas being studied have direct relation to other disciplines, students are encouraged to make connections. We provide literature and other resources to foster such connections. Teachers are encouraged to enrich science instruction with topics of interest to their students and themselves. The catalyst for such studies may be student-generated questions, teacher or parent interest or current events. Problem solving is the common thread which ties these topical studies to our core curriculum.

Teachers assess student progress by observing their development as observers, hypothesizers, careful data gatherers and generalizers and by watching them work, reviewing their journals, and assessing their written and oral responses.

Our core program includes a unit of study that includes hands-on activities, specific scientific skill development (observing, measuring, comparing, predicting, estimating, and describing), problem solving, and assessment.


The grade five curriculum consists of a year-long study of the HUMAN BODY.  The HUMAN BODY is a 7-unit program exposing students to the complex body systems including the digestive, circulatory, excretory, nervous and endocrine, skeletal/ muscular, and respiratory. Students will investigate how the systems operate independently and together through a series of inquiry-based activities.


Through engagement in this curriculum, students will continue to develop science skills including:

  • Comparing
  • Observing
  • Recording
  • Predicting
  • Measuring
  • Problem-solving
  • Estimating
  • Modeling

Always building upon prior knowledge and understandings, students will be exposed to the following vocabulary words in the study of science in grade five:

Circulatory System

  • arteries    
  • capillaries    
  • heart    
  • veins

Digestive System

  • chemical breakdown    
  • esophagus    
  • large intestine    
  • mechanical breakdown    
  • small intestine    
  • stomach

Excretory System

  • filtration    
  • kidneys    
  • skin

Nervous/Endocrine System

  • brain    
  • gland    
  • nerves    
  • spinal cord

Respiratory System

  • diaphragm    
  • lungs

Skeletal/Muscular System

  • locomotion

General Vocabulary

  • cell    
  • magnification    
  • organ    
  • tissue
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