In early elementary school science seemed to be just fun experiments, but in fifth grade students start measuring, counting, predicting, and recording. Though there will still be plenty of interesting experiments, now your fifth grader is expected to remember science basics and be able to predict what the outcome of an experiment will be.  By understanding the basics of what fifth graders will learn, you’ll be able to help your child with her homework. Fifth grade science varies from state to state, and even school to school. If you want details about what your child will learn look at your state’s science standards or ask your child’s teacher.  Generally, by the end of fifth grade, your little scientist should be able to:

  • Provide a reasonable hypothesis
  • Defend conclusions based on evidence and revise conclusions based on more evidence and other points-of-view.
  • Understand science inquiry
  • Observe and experiment with physical and chemical properties, such as density and boiling/freezing point
  • Accurately observe, measure, and record changes of a substance
  • Measure, record and graph the motion of an object
  • Organize and order facts
  • Identify and explain structures and functions of organisms
  •  Retain details about the solar system
  • Explain the Earth’s place in the solar system, such as how the moon affects the tide and how Earth’s rotation and tilt affects seasons

Although your child may never become a scientist, understanding the basics of science can help foster a love of learning and curiosity.  So ask your child questions about how everything works and don’t hesitate to put on some goggles and make that model rocket.