Some classic fifth grade science lessons include making a potato into a battery and causing a chemical reaction using a yeast solution, liquid detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Both of these science lessons can be taught using simple household products and are exciting enough to spark an interest in science.
Potatoes have the capacity to create sufficient enough electrochemical energy to power a small digital clock. This can be demonstrated using: two potatoes, two short pieces of copper wire, two galvanized nails, three alligator clips, a piece of sandpaper and a low-voltage LED clock. Remove the battery from the clock's battery compartment, label the two potatoes as "one" and "two" and insert one nail into each potato, as well as the copper wire. Use an alligator clip to connect the copper wire in "one" to the positive terminal in the clock's battery compartment while using the other alligator clip to connect the nail in "two" to the battery compartment's negative terminal. Use the third alligator clip to connect the nail in "one" to the copper wire in "two" and watch the potatoes power the clock.
Fifth-graders can also learn about science through chemical reaction. Place an empty plastic soda bottle in the middle of an empty aluminum cake pan, place a funnel into the bottle’s mouth. Then add three to four drops of food coloring to some hydrogen peroxide, pour the peroxide through the funnel into the bottle. After adding dishwashing liquid to the peroxide in the bottle, pour an ounce of powdered yeast into the bottle and quickly remove the funnel. After a short time, the soap, water and oxygen bubbles will shoot out of the bottle and serve as an example of a heat-producing chemical reaction.