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Skills available for Utah fifth-grade science standards

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5.1 Characteristics and Interactions of Earth's Systems

  • 5.1.1 Analyze and interpret data to describe patterns of Earth’s features. Emphasize most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans while major mountain chains may be found inside continents or near their edges. Examples of data could include maps showing locations of mountains on continents and the ocean floor or the locations of volcanoes and earthquakes.

  • 5.1.2 Use mathematics and computational thinking to compare the quantity of saltwater and freshwater in various reservoirs to provide evidence for the distribution of water on Earth. Emphasize reservoirs such as oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers, groundwater, and polar ice caps. Examples of using mathematics and computational thinking could include measuring, estimating, graphing, or finding percentages of quantities.

  • 5.1.3 Ask questions to plan and carry out investigations that provide evidence for the effects of weathering and the rate of erosion on the geosphere. Emphasize weathering and erosion by water, ice, wind, gravity, or vegetation. Examples could include observing the effects of cycles of freezing and thawing of water on rock or changing the slope in the downhill movement of water.

  • 5.1.4 Develop a model to describe interactions between Earth’s systems including the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere. Emphasize interactions between only two systems at a time. Examples could include the influence of a rainstorm in a desert, waves on a shoreline, or mountains on clouds.

  • 5.1.5 Design solutions to reduce the effects of naturally occurring events that impact humans. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop possible solutions using models, analyze data from testing solutions, and propose modifications for optimizing a solution. Emphasize that humans cannot eliminate natural hazards, but they can take steps to reduce their impacts. Examples of events could include landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards, or volcanic eruptions.

5.2 Properties and Changes of Matter

5.3 Cycling of Matter in Ecosystems

  • 5.3.1 Construct an explanation that plants use air, water, and energy from sunlight to produce plant matter needed for growth. Emphasize photosynthesis at a conceptual level and that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil. Photosynthesis at the cellular level will be taught in Grades 6 through 8.

  • 5.3.2 Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information that animals obtain energy and matter from the food they eat for body repair, growth, and motion and to maintain body warmth. Emphasize that the energy used by animals was once energy from the Sun. Cellular respiration will be taught in Grades 6 through 8.

  • 5.3.3 Develop and use a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Emphasize that matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Examples could include simple food chains from ecosystems such as deserts or oceans or diagrams of decomposers returning matter to the environment. Complex interactions in a food web will be taught in Grades 6 through 8

  • 5.3.4 Evaluate design solutions whose primary function is to conserve Earth’s environments and resources. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, analyze available data on proposed solutions, and determine an optimal solution. Emphasize how humans can balance everyday needs (agriculture, industry, and energy) while conserving Earth’s environments and resources.