Fifth-graders learn about living organisms, the activities of the earth and the attributes of matter and energy. Class activities include viewing plant cells with a microscope, learning how water changes from a liquid into a gas and identifying elements from the periodic table. All together, these topics belong to the life, earth and physical sciences. Students learn these subjects with hands-on scientific activities that imitate professional work. This process attempts to motivate students into being curious about science.
Suggested content for fifth-grade students include identifying answerable scientific questions, planning and carrying out investigations, working with data and using evidence. Overall, this work is done in order to develop a logical mind that is capable of thinking critically. These skills allow students to check if an argument is backed up by evidence and if a problem has many possible solutions.
Since the exact standards to which fifth-grade students are taught varies from state to state, individuals should consult their state's Department of Education website. Country-wide organizations, such as the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council for Social Studies and the National Research Council, develop each set of standards for the different subjects. While some states directly adopt these standards, other states use them as guidelines and adopt different rules instead.