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Mastering Grade 5 Science


Mastering Grade 5 Science by Education Plus is the best resource available to help your students prepare for the new Grade 5 STAAR Science test.  This state-adopted program includes the following features:

  • IMG_1091202 multiple-choice questions with complete explanations of the right and wrong answers, using our unique “E-R-A” (Examine-Recall-Apply) approach!
  • 100% aligned with all the Grade 5 Science TEKS!
  • Clear, insightful, student-friendly explanations help students grasp key concepts
  • Three complete review lessons, with 53 additional STAAR-like review questions
  • 44 STAAR-like questions in our practice final test, distributed by category based on the TEA Blueprint
  • SoftChalk CONNECT log-in access account with 1GB space and award-winning SoftChalk technical support
  • Automatic scoring of all multiple-choice questions through SoftChalk's CONNECT ScoreCenter
  • 35 Printable Amateur Scientist Activities with "Hands-On" Classroom and Outdoor Investigations.
  • 57 Printable Study Cards
  • Key Terms sidebars reinforce terminology; important concepts are highlighted in Important Ideas.
  • 16 fun and exciting Crossword Puzzles, Sorting and Matching Activities
  • 11 embedded videos, courtesy of NASA’s “Our World” and the Lawrence Hall of Science
  • 19 printable Learning with Graphic Organizers and other student activity handouts


1-9 Teachers:

  • One-year full subscription to award-winning Softchalk Cloud with Mastering Grade 5 Science, $695 per teacher
  • One-year full subscription to award-winning Softchalk Cloud without Mastering Grade 5 Science, $495 per teacher

10-24 Teachers:

  • One-year full subscription to award-winning Softchalk Cloud with Mastering Grade 5 Science, $650 per teacher
  • One-year full subscription to award-winning Softchalk Cloud without Mastering Grade 5 Science, $450 per teacher

25 or more Teachers:

  • One-year full subscription to award-winning Softchalk Cloud with Mastering Grade 5 Science, $550 per teacher
  • One-year full subscription to award-winning Softchalk Cloud without Mastering Grade 5 Science, $350 per teacher


To learn more about Mastering Grade 5 Science, watch this video: http://youtu.be/2L9ESXtiqh8

Mastering Grade 5 Science - An Introduction from Mark Jarrett on Vimeo.

Sample Lessons

View our sample lessons, also available from the TEA website! You will need the following case-sensitive information to log-in and view these sample pages:

Access Password: EducationPlus
User Identifier: texas science


For your convenience, we are providing some additional information about the structure of our program, our hands-on investigations, and our features for Tier 2 and 3 intervention.

You will see that we took some of the ideas from Mastering the Grade 5 TAKS in Science, but our new online program contains so much more!

Even if you don't choose this program as your primary resource, you might still want to buy licenses to the program for some of your teachers and their classes for supplemental tutorials, remediation and STAAR test preparation.

How The Special Features of This Program Promote Learning

Based on the principles of How People Learn (National Research Council,1999) and Robert Marzano’s Classroom Instruction that Works, our program has been developed out of the TEKS themselves.  Each lesson in Mastering the Grade 5 Science follows a similar pattern of organization to maximize student comprehension and to reinforce learning at every step:

Sidebar with TEKS Covered in the Lesson. Each content lesson starts with a list of the specific TEKS covered in that lesson. In this way, you and your students are immediately introduced to the most essential information in that lesson.

The Big Picture. Each content lesson next presents an advance organizer. This section introduces students to the main ideas of the lesson at a high-level of generality.

Sidebar with Key Terms. Each content lesson further begins with a Word Wall for that lesson. This Key Terms in this Lesson serves as an organized collection of major terms, names, and concepts explored in that lesson.

Content Sections. Each content chapter is then divided into several sections. Clear and insightful explanations help students to master and recall key ideas and facts. The text is accompanied by a plethora of pictures, diagrams, and illustrations to help students visualize what they are learning.

Applying What You Have Learned. Throughout each section, Applying What You Have Learned activities encourage students to interact with what they are learning. These exercises can be used for group work, individual assignments, class discussions, or short "Do Now" in-class writing assignments.

Acting as an Amateur Scientist. These activities emphasize "hands-on" involvement by students. By actually doing and experiencing science, students develop critical thinking skills as well as discover scientific concepts for themselves. "Hands-on" learning further helps students to build understanding that is functional and to develop the ability to become independent learners.

Other Activities: Make a Match, Sorting, What Do I Know, Quiz Me, Complete a Crossword.

Videos: Hyperlinks to related videos from NASA and the Lawrence Hall of Science are embedded in the program.

What You Should Know Sidebar. Each content lesson ends with a What You Should Know feature, reinforcing the major ideas of the lesson. Each of these sections focuses on the facts and information articulated in the Texas Grade 5 Science TEKS.

Study Cards. At the end of every content lesson, Study Cards summarize the most important content information explored in that lesson. In the lesson, students learn   techniques for using these Study Cards. Students are encouraged to duplicate the cards, to create additional cards of their own, and to make drawings on the back of cards to reinforce the most important concepts, facts, and relationships. Study Cards provide students with a tool to learn and recall specialized terms. They provide an exciting way for students to gain knowledge of content-area vocabulary and concepts essential to doing well in science.

Learning with Graphic Organizers. Many lessons include a graphic-organizer handout for students to print and complete.

Checking Your Understanding. Every content lesson concludes with a Checking Your Understanding section that contains a variety of multiple-choice questions similar to those found on the STAAR Grade 5 Science Test.

Answer Explanations. The first two multiple-choice questions in each Checking Your Understanding section include a hint that students may choose to uncover. Each hint shows students, through a step-by-step process, how to apply the "E-R-A" approach suggested in this program. All of the questions in the first 26 chapters have complete answer-explanations, which appear when students score their answers and have answered a question incorrectly.

How To Boost Your STAAR Scores with Mastering Grade 5 Science

Preparation for the STAAR test requires students to learn and understand all of the assessed TEKS.   This state-approved program identifies Important Ideas, focuses on the most important standards, and includes printable Study Cards and Graphic Organizers.

Students also need familiarity and practice with the test format. Each lesson of Mastering Grade 5 Science includes multiple-choice questions following the STAAR question format, and accompanied by complete answer-explanations using our unique E-R-A approach.  There are 202 of these answer-explanations in all.  To see them, go to the very end of the question set (e.g. question 10 of 10 questions) and press “Next.”  Then press “Check Answers.”  The scoring and answer-explanations for the entire set will appear.  An answer-explanation will appear for every question a student has answered incorrectly.

Finally, Unit 6 of the Mastering Grade 5 Science program contains a complete STAAR test review.  This part of the program is especially useful for the last three-four weeks just before the actual STAAR test.

This special review unit is divided into four lessons. There are separate review lessons on (1) the Physical Sciences, (2) Organisms and Environments, and (3) Earth and Space. Each review unit consists of a series of open-ended questions. Your students should see if they can write the answers to these questions on a separate sheet of paper. Here students are required to do more than answer a multiple-choice question. They have to recall the relevant concepts and express them in their own words. After a student has tried his or her best to answer a question, the student should click on the box marked "hint." It will give the student a complete answer to the question. Students can compare what they have written with what they should know.  At the end of each review unit, there is also a series of multiple-choice questions.

Once your students feel confident about that particular area of science, then they can go on to the next review unit.  If you carefully scrutinize the open-ended questions in these review chapter and the answers provided in the "Hints" section, you will recognize that they provide a comprehensive summary of all the topics listed on the STAAR Assessment Blueprint, including those from Grades 3 and 4 tested on STAAR.  The last lesson of the program provides a final practice test, with questions on topics based on the TEA Blueprint for the STAAR Grade 5 Science Test. This final practice test will allow your students to practice what they have learned in the program. If there are weaknesses, you can then pinpoint them for additional review.

Learning Through Hands-On Scientific Investigations Inside and Outside the Classroom

Unit 2 of the program focuses expressly on the process of scientific investigation. Students learn how scientists investigate nature and how they test their explanations of natural events through outdoor investigations and laboratory experiments.

Lesson 5. Types of Scientific Investigation.  Students learn how scientists ask well-defined questions and plan experiments and field investigations to answer them. Students learn about the importance of observation and data-collection, and learn which types of investigations fit which kinds of questions.

Lesson 6. Designing a Scientific Investigation. In this lesson, students learn how scientists plan experiments by asking a well-defined question, making a hypothesis, selecting a variable to change, and choosing equipment. Students also learn about the Texas Safety Standards.

Lesson 7. Conducting a Scientific Investigation. In this lesson, students learn how scientists conduct investigations. Students also learn about units of measurement in the metric system. They make a few simple conversions with the "customary" or "English" system in order to give themselves a basic sense of the size of various metric measurements. Special emphasis is placed on how scientists conduct experiments by making observations, taking measurements, and recording their findings. Students explore how to measure distance, volume, weight and mass, temperature, and time.

Lesson 8. Organizing Information. Students learn how scientists often organize their results into tables, bar graphs, charts, diagrams, and maps. They learn both how to construct and interpret these different ways of organizing data.

Lesson 9. Analyzing Data, Drawing Conclusions, and Communicating Results. Students learn how scientists analyze data and interpret patterns so that they can draw conclusions and make predictions. They see how scientists frequently repeat their investigations to increase the reliability of results, and communicate their results and conclusions to others.  At the end of this lesson, students have a link to an enrichment video clip by NASA, which shows how scientific explanations change as a result of new observations and ideas. This video actually serves to tie together both Units 1 and 2, by highlighting the role of active scientific investigation in the development and growth of science.

The program as a whole contains 35 printable Acting as an Amateur Scientist classroom and outdoor investigations:

Lesson 6 Designing a Scientific Investigation

  • Investigating Flight. In this lesson, students conduct an experimental investigation in which they change a single variable. They investigate whether changing the shape of the nose of a paper plane causes it to fly a greater or lesser distance.

Lesson 7 Conducting a Scientific Investigation

  • Investigating Measurement. In this lesson, students measure their arm spans.
  • Investigating Mass. Students measure mass with a triple-beam balance.

Lesson 10 The Properties of Matter

  • Investigating Magnetism. In this activity, students test various materials to determine if they are magnetic.
  • Investigating How Matter is Classified. Students examine and measure assorted objects and classify them based on their physical properties, such as magnetism, mass, volume, density and relative density, and solubility.

Lesson 11 The Three States of Matter

  • Investigating Boiling and Melting/Freezing Points. In this lesson, students carefully measure, under teacher supervision, the temperature at which water boils, and/or the temperature at which water melts/freezes. They repeat the investigation for several trials to see if the boiling and melting/freezing points are always the same.

Lesson 12 Mixtures and Solutions

  • Investigating Solutions. In this lesson, students measure the mass of an amount of salt, dissolve the salt in water, boil the water, and measure the mass of salt remaining. Students might also test which substances will dissolve in water by placing several substances in water.

Lesson 13 Forms of Energy

  • Investigating the Uses of Energy. Students observe how energy is used in their daily lives.
  • Investigating Sound Energy. Students investigate whether air or solid materials are better conductors of sound energy.
  • Investigating Mechanical Energy. Students see how a pulley helps them lift a mass with less force.
  • Investigating Thermal Energy. Students compare temperatures at the end of a wooden and steel spoon in hot water.
  • Investigating Light Energy with a Prism. Students shine light through a prism to create a spectrum.

Lesson 14 Light and Electricity

  • Investigating Light. Students investigate light by shining a flashlight at a mirror, and by observing a pencil in a glass of water.
  • Investigating Electricity. Students investigate electricity by testing which materials conduct electricity in a basic electric circuit (battery, wires, light bulb) with a space between open wire ends for testing materials.

Lesson 15 Motion and Force

  • Investigating How Weight and Mass Compare. Students compare their results from measuring mass with a double-pan balance and weight with a spring scale.
  • Investigating the Effect of Force on an Object. Students test if the mass of a round object rolling down an inclined plane and striking another round object has an effect on how far the latter object travels.
  • Designing an Experiment for the Effects of Force. Students are guided through the process of designing their own experiment.

Lesson 16 How Plants Live and Survive

  • Investigating a Plant Leaf. Students inspect a leaf with a hand lens, and observe and compare different types of plants on a field trip to identify their adaptive characteristics.
  • Investigating How Plants Interact with their Environment. Students grow plants under different conditions to test their needs.

Lesson 17    How Animals Live and Survive

  • Investigating the Interaction of Organisms and their Environment. Students observe plants and animals in a classroom terrarium.
  • Investigating How Animals Survive. Students observe and compare different animals and their adaptive characteristics on a field trip to the zoo, a nature center, a wildlife refuge or a local park. Student also observe interaction in classroom terrarium.

Lesson 18  The Flow of Energy in Ecosystems

  • Investigating Food Chains and Food Webs. Students make their own imaginary "food chains" from paper and string.  Each animal is identified by a piece of paper, and one string would attach the animal to a plant or animal that it ate, while a second string would attach the animal to a predator that ate it. The papers are linked together to create a "food chain."  Several food chains are combined into "food webs."

Lesson 19  Changes in Ecosystems

  • Investigating Ecosystem Change.  Students conduct their own research on the Internet or in the school library, to prepare a PowerPoint Presentation or written report on how human activities today are affecting the environment and changing world ecosystems.

Lesson 20  Life Cycles and Metamorphosis

  • Investigating Butterfly Metamorphosis. In this descriptive investigation, students observe butterflies undergoing metamorphosis in the classroom, and record how long it takes from when they become pupae to when they emerge from their chrysalises as butterflies.

Lesson 21   Inherited Traits and Learned Behaviors

  • Investigating Inherited Traits.   Students complete a checklist on how many of their traits resemble those of one or both of their parents.

Lesson 22 Processes Changing Earth's Surface: Erosion and Deposition

  • Investigating the Processes of Erosion and Deposition. Students observe erosion and deposition on a stream table.
  • Investigating Sedimentary Rock. Students model the process by which sedimentary rocks are created.

Lesson 23 Evidence of Earth's Past: Fossils and Sedimentary Rocks

  • Investigating Fossils. Sudents model fossils by making fossil-like impressions in plaster of Paris. Students also observe and inspect actual fossils and sedimentary rocks with a hand lens, and make their own diorama models of the environment that created them.
  • Investigating Earth's Age. Students research and compare scientific views on Earth's age.

Lesson 24 Earth's Amazing Energy Resources

  • Investigating Solar Energy. Students investigate solar energy by comparing the thermal energy generated by light and dark bottles placed in direct sunlight with balloons attached to their ends.

Lesson 25 Weather and Climate

  • Investigating the Weather Disasters. Students conduct research on a recent weather disaster and report to the class.
  • Investigating Seasonal Changes in Temperature. Students take daily measurements of the temperatures and precipitation outside their classroom and record and analyze their results by calculating averages. They could use local weather data to make their own weather map. They also conduct their own research on the Internet or in the library on recent weather disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina.

Lesson 26 Sun, Earth and Moon

  • Investigating Moon Craters. Students make impact craters by dropping marbles on wet sand, and observe the depth of the crater; they may also make impact craters by dropping marbles on bleached flour covered with a thin layer of cocoa powder, in order to highlight the impact.
  • Investigating the Movement of Shadows from Sunlight. Students put a meter stick in the ground and see how its shadow changes in the course of day.
  • Investigating Earth's Rotation. Students make a model with a flashlight, showing the relationship and movements of the Sun and Earth.

Teaching Specially Targeted Groups

Many of the features of our program will be especially helpful to targeted groups (ELL and Struggling Learners).  These include:

  1. advance organizer in each lesson in form of Important Ideas
  2. sidebar with Key Terms on second page of each lesson
  3. audio feature in which students can hear highlighted terms in green pronounced and defined
  4. clear and simple text
  5. What You Should Know sidebar at the end of each lesson for self-monitoring
  6. Study Cards that students can print out and collect while going through the program
  7. printable graphic organizers for students to complete
  8. Short animations of key processes
  9. practice test questions with complete answer explanations
  10. review lessons at the end of the program