5th Grade Astronomy Resources
Fifth grade science in California is divided into the following categories: Chemistry, Cells/Human Body/Plants, Water Cycle/Weather, Astronomy and Scientific Process. Our school has a rotation system-each teacher in the grade level takes a focus, and the students rotate between the teachers throughout the year.
I’ve been given the Chemistry rotation, and my fellow co-teachers have taken Cells/Human Body/Plants, as well as Water Cycle/Weather. We are left to teach Astronomy and Scientific Process on our own (although the Scientific Process skills bleed into every area, really). This works out to be approximately 8 weeks for each focus, with Scientific Process blended in (I’m using a Science Fair this year to focus on/assess those skills).
This week I sat down to figure out what I want/need to teach for Astronomy. Here is the process, as well as the resources I found to be most aligned to our standards, along with links. If you have a resource you use (or have created!) for these three standards, please post them in the links!
I created magnetic strips with all the ELA/Math CCSS and California Science and Social Studies standards on them at the beginning of last year. You can find a copy of it here.
I use these for everything! In this case, I pulled out the science strips and laid out the ones I’m responsible for in my rotation.
Then I turned to my rolling ‘suitcase’ full of all my science materials I had brought home from school. I sorted my materials into four categories: Chemistry, Astronomy, Scientific Skills, Misc. I decided to start with Astronomy, as it had the fewest standards.
I put down the Astronomy standards on the table, and then starting sorting my resources under each standard. If I had a resource that didn’t match a standard, it went into a give-away pile. Because I have limited science time, I need to be really strict with myself and make sure my lessons are tight against the standards. I also went through and printed out any TpT resources I had gathered that matched, as well as printing off any ideas I had bookmarked/pinned online that would match up with a standard.
I could easily see that the standard regarding the order of the planets and types of objects in space had LOTS of resources, while I was pretty weak in the area of Sun composition and gravitational pull. This was a great way to show me what areas I needed more resources, which I then began to seek out.
Once I had my resources that I wanted to use, I created file folders for each standard and added Standards labels to the outside. I’m going to start using these on all my file folders so I know exactly what standards the inside materials are addressing without having to look them up each time! You can find a copy of the science labels here, or a bundle of all the standard coming soon!
For your enjoyment, here are the final resources I ended up using for each of the California 5th Grade Astronomy Standards:
Standard 5.a: Students know the Sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system and is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.
– Solar System Exploration Home Activity by PalmettoCactus, Free (I used the first section, Sun, for this standard)
– Astronomy ‘Who Needs the Textbook’ by Homecourt Publishers, Free (I used the Sunshine Song)
– Features of the Sun, Free
– Solar System and the Sun by Ryan Murphy, $2.99
– Solar System by Milliken Publishing Company, $2.99 (pages 7-10)
– Janice VanCleave’s Teaching the Fun of Science by Janice VanCleave, $17.72 (pages 173-174
Standard 5.b: Students know the solar system includes the planet Earth, the Moon, the Sun, eight other planets and their satellites, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets.
– Solar System Exploration Home Activity by PalmettoCactus, Free (I used the second section, Planets, for this standard)
– A Totally Tourist Tour of Our Solar Systems by AwesomeScience, Free
– Alien Visitor by Addie Williams, Free (I’m going to use this to ask students what distinguishes Earth from other planets)
– Astronomy ‘Who Needs the Textbook’ by Homecourt Publishers, Free (I used the Play About Planets)
– Planet Fraction Lab by Meganne Braddock, Free
– Astroids vs. Comets Venn Diagram by Imaginative Teacher, Free
– Solar System Non-Fiction Reading Comprehension by Denise Hill, Free
– AIMS Activity: Lining Up the Planets by AIMS Education Foundation, Free
– Order of the Planets Mnemonic Device by Stephanie Trapp, Free
– Order of the Planets by Patty Rutenbar, Free
– Create Your Own Planet Mnemonic by Tails of Third Grade, Free
– Planet Distances From the Sun by Yay Third Grade, Free
– Planet Size Hands-On Activity by Amy Mezni, Free
– Science Journal: Planet Size Comparison Guide by Travis Terry, Free
– Science Lesson for the Solar System by Ideas for the Classroom, Free (focuses on asteroids, meteoroid and comets)
– Solar System QR Code Scavenger Hunt by Brad Cloud, Free
– Solar System and the Sun by Ryan Murphy, $2.99
– Science Journal: Solar System Research Activity by Travis Terry, $3.00
– Powerpoint: The Planets and Galiliean Moons by Travis Terry, $7.00
– My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos Banner by SciontheFly, $2.00
– Solar System by Milliken Publishing Company, $2.99 (pages 15-22)
– AIMS Out of This World by AIMS Education Foundation, $9.50
– Our Solar System by Instructional Fair, Inc, $5.00 (pages 5-10 & 19-24)
– An Educational Coloring Book of Planets by Spizzirri Publishing, $2.00
– The How and Why Activity Book of Space by Sarina Simon, $1.00
Standard 5.c: Students know the path of a planet around the Sun is due to the gravitational attraction between the Sun and the planet.
– Astronomy ‘Who Needs the Textbook’ by Homecourt Publishers, Free (I used the Sun and Earth Song)
– Rotation and Revolution by Ashley Davidson, Free
– Gravitational Pull Powerpoint by Chris Hayes, Free
– Planet Impact, Free (more to do with comets and gravity, but could still apply)
– Planet Data: Rotation, Revolution and Gravitational Pull by Jaime Somers-Smith, $1.00
– Space: A Science Stations Unit by The Science Penguin, $6.00 (I’m going to trend this toward rotation/revolutions/gravitational pull with the Earth, Moon and Sun)
– Earth, Moon and Stars by LHS GEMS, $3.00 (pages 9-16)
– Solar System by Milliken Publishing Company, $2.99 (pages 23-28)