Utah Fifth Grade Science Core Curriculum


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UT.5.I. Students will understand that chemical and physical changes occur in matter.


UT.5.II. Students will understand that volcanoes, earthquakes, uplift, weathering, and erosion reshape Earth's surface.


UT.5.III. Students will understand that magnetism can be observed when there is an interaction between the magnetic fields of magnets or between a magnet and materials made of iron.

  • UT.5.III.1. Investigate and compare the behavior of magnetism using magnets.


    • UT.5.III.1.a Compare various types of magnets (e.g., permanent, temporary, and natural magnets) and their abilities to push or pull iron objects they are not touching.

    • UT.5.III.1.b Investigate how magnets will both attract and repel other magnets.

    • UT.5.III.1.c Compare permanent magnets and electromagnets.

    • UT.5.III.1.d Research and report the use of magnets that is supported by sound scientific principles.
      Iron Cereal video, ClosedCaptions
      The Compass and Magnetic Fields video, free, ClosedCaptions

  • UT.5.III.2. Describe how the magnetic field of Earth and a magnet are similar.


    • UT.5.III.2.a Compare the magnetic fields of various types of magnets (e.g., bar magnet, disk magnet, horseshoe magnet).

    • UT.5.III.2.b Compare Earth’s magnetic field to the magnetic field of a magnet.
      The Compass and Magnetic Fields video, free, ClosedCaptions
      A Compass at the South Pole text page

    • UT.5.III.2.c Construct a compass and explain how it works.
      Making a Compass video
      The Compass and Magnetic Fields video, free, ClosedCaptions

    • UT.5.III.2.d Investigate the effects of magnets on the needle of a compass and compare this to the effects of Earth’s magnetic field on the needle of a compass (e.g., magnets effect the needle only at close distances, Earth’s magnetic field affects the needle at great distances, magnets close to a compass overrides the Earth’s effect on the needle).

UT.5.IV. Students will understand features of static and current electricity.


UT.5.V. Students will understand that traits are passed from the parent organisms to their offspring, and that sometimes the offspring may possess variations of these traits that may help or hinder survival in a given environment.

  • UT.5.V.1. Using supporting evidence, show that traits are transferred from a parent organism to its offspring.


    • UT.5.V.1.a Make a chart and collect data identifying various traits among a given population (e.g., the hand span of students in the classroom, the color and texture of different apples, the number of petals of a given flower).
      Quadrats and Population Sampling video, ClosedCaptions

    • UT.5.V.1.b Identify similar physical traits of a parent organism and its offspring (e.g., trees and saplings, leopards and cubs, chickens and chicks).

    • UT.5.V.1.c Compare various examples of offspring that do not initially resemble the parent organism but mature to become similar to the parent organism (e.g., mealworms and darkling beetles, tadpoles and frogs, seedlings and vegetables, caterpillars and butterflies).

    • UT.5.V.1.d Contrast inherited traits with traits and behaviors that are not inherited but may be learned or induced by environmental factors (e.g., cat purring to cat meowing to be let out of the house; the round shape of a willow is inherited, while leaning away from the prevailing wind is induced).

    • UT.5.V.1.e Investigate variations and similarities in plants grown from seeds of a parent plant (e.g., how seeds from the same plant species can produce different colored flowers or identical flowers).
      Review Plants-4 practice

  • UT.5.V.2. Describe how some characteristics could give a species a survival advantage in a particular environment.


    • UT.5.V.2.a Compare the traits of similar species for physical abilities, instinctual behaviors, and specialized body structures that increase the survival of one species in a specific environment over another species (e.g., difference between the feet of snowshoe hare and cottontail rabbit, differences in leaves of plants growing at different altitudes, differences between the feathers of an owl and a hummingbird, differences in parental behavior among various fish).
      Feathers video
      Calling a Woodpecker video
      Flowers video, ClosedCaptions
      Thoughts on an Exoskeleton text page, free

    • UT.5.V.2.b Identify that some environments give one species a survival advantage over another (e.g., warm water favors fish such as carp, cold water favors fish such as trout, environments that burn regularly favor grasses, environments that do not often burn favor trees).

    • UT.5.V.2.c Describe how a particular physical attribute may provide an advantage for survival in one environment but not in another (e.g., heavy fur in arctic climates keep animals warm whereas in hot desert climates it would cause overheating; flippers on such animals as sea lions and seals provide excellent swimming structures in the water but become clumsy and awkward on land; cacti retain the right amount of water in arid regions but would develop root rot in a more temperate region; fish gills have the ability to absorb oxygen in water but not on land).

    • UT.5.V.2.d Research a specific plant or animal and report how specific physical attributes provide an advantage for survival in a specific environment.

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