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CKSci Grade 5 Unit 1: Investigating Matter

CKSci Grade 5 Unit 1: Investigating Matter


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About This Lesson

This unit introduces Grade 5 students to real-world examples and fundamental concepts of matter, which will be explored in greater depth in later grades. Students will learn about properties, structures, and interactions of matter as well as the basics of the language of chemistry.

The nature and properties of matter become clearer when students understand that:

  • Matter is all around us. The things we see—a tree, a window—and even things we can’t see—air, the smell of a rose—are all made up of matter.
  • We can describe and identify matter in terms of properties, such as color, hardness, and whether a material conducts electricity or responds to magnetism.
  • Matter can exist in different states: as a solid (ice), a liquid (water), or a gas (water vapor).
  • Matter can be mixed to form solutions, such as salt water, or mixtures, such as cement or granite.
  • Matter undergoes physical changes when a characteristic of the matter changes, but the chemical nature remains the same (for example, baking soda dissolved in water).
  • Matter undergoes chemical changes when two types of matter interact to form a new substance (for example, when vinegar is poured into a cup of baking soda). Whether the change is physical or chemical, the amount of matter remains the same.

Students also learn that engineers use their knowledge of matter as they develop solutions to problems and build things that are useful to people. As a series of culminating activities, students explore the principles and practices of engineering design, such as scientifically defining a problem to be solved and evaluating and optimizing possible solutions.

Number of Lessons: 12

Instruction Time:

  • Each Lesson is designed to be completed in one 30–45-minute class period. Some lessons may take more than one class period.
  • Some single-day activities and performance tasks might require setting aside a longer block of time.
  • This Unit should be completed in 20 classroom days.
  • A Pacing Guide is provided within the Teacher Guide.
  • A complete list of Materials needed to complete the unit is provided in Online Resources.


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