5th Grade Science and Social Studies

Students explore a wide variety of social studies and science topics, including ecosystems, civil rights and inventions, while building their skills in informational reading and writing.

Course Summary

In this fifth-grade course, students explore a wide variety of social studies and science topics while building their skills in informational reading and writing. Both social studies units challenge students to consider how groups of people have fought for their rights, particularly immigration and civil rights. It is our hope that both units will inspire and motivate students to see that groups of ordinary people can fight to change the world, no matter what obstacles they face. Both science units challenge students to think about the way things around them (both natural and man made) work and interact, starting with a study of ecosystems and ending with a unit on inventions. Through readings and hands-on experiments, fifth graders will become more motivated and inspired by the world of science.

Our 5th Grade Science and Social Studies course is one component of our complete English Language Arts program, paired with our 5th Grade Literature course and Independent Reading. To learn more, see the Pacing Guide for this course.



Plastic Pollution

Students explore how plastic pollution is choking the world’s oceans, and explore a variety of solutions for reducing plastic waste and reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean.

15 Lessons


Migrant Workers' Fight for Justice

While learning about the California migrant farm workers' fight for justice led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, students learn to make connections and think about cause and effect.

24 Lessons


Fighting for Change: Children of the Civil Rights Movement

Students study the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of the children who experienced its hardships, victories and defeats firsthand by reading and analyzing multiple accounts of the same event.

34 Lessons


Exploring Mars

Students explore the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, grappling with the complexity involved in space missions through reading, analyzing photographs, and participating in engineering and design labs.

32 Lessons

Looking for a unit from our 2018-2019 curriculum? Please visit our archive.