5th Grade Science

Cleveland Road Elementary School

Project Based Learning

Although the Georgia Performance Standards for science drive the 5th grade curriculum, the hands-on, inquiry-based lessons intrigue students and get them interested in the science content. In an effort to increase student engagement and achievement, 5th grade teachers have incorporated more real-life, hands-on experiments using the scientific method into our daily science lessons. These hands-on projects included approximately 60 fifth grade students and 3-4 science teachers. Found below are examples of these projects, pictures and descriptions.

Where are microorganisms found?

The students took samples from all over the school to find out where mircroorganisms were found. We realized from our samples that microbes are everywhere! We then conducted a experiments to discover which cleaners worked best to eliminate microbes and found that clorox cleaners work the best.

5th graders (Alejandro/Asia and Nakita/Jacob) report their experiment findings and share the information with other students.

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Is this animal a vertebrate or an Invertebrate?

Students researched various animals to determine how scientists classify organisms in the animal kingdom. Students viewed x-rays to "see" whether an animal had a backbone (vertebrate) or did not have a backbone (invertebrate). Vertebrates were then classified as bird, fish, mammal, reptile or amphibian based on other characteristics.

Exploring Electricity...

Students at CRES made circuits- series and parallel. They examined how electricity flows in a current and can be conducted and insulated with various materials. Students created and explored a model of a house and were able to view how electricity flows from outlet to light fixture. They shared their new-found knowledge with other classes.

How are landforms made?

Students researched both constructive and destructive forces to determine how landforms were made. They created models of landforms found in both Georgia and the United States and labeled them accordingly. The 5th grade students also created a working model of a river to investigate how rushing water can move rocks and sediment .

Comments from the Children and the Teachers:

Jacob- " This year, instead of reading a bunch of science stuff, we actually got to do it!"

Jashiah- "I got to see how things work, and I read about it, too!"

Shaniya- "Instead of watching it on videos or watching the teacher do it, we did it."

Ka'Mora- "I understand science better because I did it!"

Alejandro- "I understood science better when I did the experiments because I could see what happened before and after."

Rachel- " Before I had to listen to facts, this year, I got to see it in action."

Dontavious- " I didn't like science before. I like it now!"

Ray- "Science is my favorite subject. I love it when we do experiments!"


Mrs. Williams- "The students were very excited about science this year. They kept asking me when we were going to do another experiement or demonstration. Many were better able to make science connections from the text because they had the hands-on activities as examples."


Ms. Jackson- " The science activities provided students with the experience of seeing how science impacts their lives. For example, they learned to really wash their hands after the microbes experiement, and they learned more about Georgia's history through studying landforms."


Mrs. Long- (Principal)- "All of the experiments that the students were able to do helped them to have a clearer understanding of 5th grade science concepts. Because they were active participants, they were able to explain these concepts to their classmates and to other grade levels. So, not only was this beneficial to the 5th grade students, but all grade levels were ableto learn from the different experiments that the students completed."