Use a model to show the effect of light on objects. Emphasize that objects can be seen when light is available to illuminate them or if they give off their own light.
Plan and carry out an investigation to determine the effect of materials in the path of a beam of light. Emphasize that light can travel through some materials, can be reflected off some materials, and some materials block light causing shadows. Examples of materials could include clear plastic, wax paper, cardboard, or a mirror.
Design a device in which the structure the device uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance. Define the problem by asking questions and gathering information, convey designs through sketches, drawings, or physical models, and compare and test designs. Examples of devices could include a light source to send signals, paper-cup and-string telephones, or a pattern of drumbeats.
Develop and use a model to describe how an object, made of a small set of pieces, can be disassembled and reshaped into a new object with a different function. Emphasize that a great variety of objects can be built from a small set of pieces. Examples of pieces could include wooden blocks or building bricks.
Develop and use models to describe changes that organisms go through during their life cycles. Emphasize that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but follow a pattern of birth, growth, reproduction, and death. Examples of changes in life cycles could include how some plants and animals look different at different stages of life or how other plants
and animals only appear to change size in their life.
Construct an explanation showing how variations in traits and behaviors can affect the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce. Examples of traits could include large thorns protecting a plant from being eaten or strong-smelling flowers to attract certain pollinators. Examples of behaviors could include animals living in groups for protection or migrating to find more food.
Plan and carry out investigations that provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Emphasize investigations where only one variable is tested at a time. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball causing it to move and balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides producing no movement.
Analyze and interpret data from observations and measurements of an object’s motion to identify patterns in its motion that can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging on a swing or a ball rolling down a ramp.
Construct an explanation that the gravitational force exerted by Earth causes objects to be directed downward, toward the center of the spherical Earth. Emphasize that "downward" is a local description depending on one’s position on Earth.
Ask questions to plan and carry out an investigation to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. Emphasize how static electricity and magnets can cause objects to move without touching. Examples could include the force an electrically charged balloon has on hair, how magnet orientation affects the direction of a force, or how the distance between objects affects the strength of a force. Electrical charges and magnetic fields will be taught in Grades 6 through 8.
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.
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.
Develop and use a model to describe that matter is made of particles on a scale that is too small to be seen. Emphasize making observations of changes supported by a particle model of matter. Examples could include adding air to expand a balloon, compressing air in a syringe, adding food coloring to water, or dissolving salt in water and evaporating the water. The use of the terms atoms and molecules will be taught in Grades 6 through 8.
Ask questions to plan and carry out investigations to identify substances based on patterns of their properties. Emphasize using properties to identify substances. Examples of properties could include color, hardness, conductivity, solubility, or a response to magnetic forces. Examples of substances could include powders, metals, minerals, or liquids.
Plan and carry out investigations to determine the effect of combining two or more substances. Emphasize whether a new substance is or is not created by the formation of a new substance with different properties. Examples could include combining vinegar and baking soda or rusting an iron nail in water.
Use mathematics and computational thinking to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling or combining substances, the total weight of matter is conserved. Examples could include melting an ice cube, dissolving salt in water, and combining baking soda and vinegar in a closed bag.