School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Science, Grade 5




State Curriculum Toolkit

Tools aligned to State Curriculum indicators and/or objectives.

  • Clarification of Indicator and/or Objective
    Explanation and/or examples of indicator and/or objective
  • Introduction for Standard or Indicator
  • Lesson Seeds
    Ideas/seeds for an objective-aligned activity
  • Public Release Items
    Actual MSA items and annotated student responses as appropriate

Standard 5.0 Physics

Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the interactions of matter and energy and the energy transformations that occur


A. Mechanics


  • 1. Describe the motion of objects using distance traveled, time, direction, and speed.
  1. Observe, describe, and compare types of motion.
    • Uniform motion as equal distances traveled in equal times, such as escalators, conveyor belts.
    • Variable motion as different distances traveled in equal times, such as an accelerating car, falling objects.
    • Periodic motion as motion that repeats itself, such as a child on a swing, a person on a pogo stick.
  2. Use measurements to describe the distance traveled as the change in position.
  3. Based on data describe speed as the distance traveled per unit of time.


  • 2. Explain that the changes in the motion of objects are determined by the mass of an object and the amount (size) of the force applied to it.
  1. Observe and give examples that show changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by an interaction of forces acting on an object:
  2. Observe and explain the changes in selected motion patterns using the relationship between force and mass.


  • 4. Cite evidence that energy in various forms exists in mechanical systems.
  1. Identify ways of storing energy (potential) in an object.
    • Raising an object above the ground
    • Putting it on the end of a compressed or extended spring or rubber band
  2. Identify that an object has energy (kinetic) related to its motion.
  3. Observe and cite examples showing that stored energy may be converted to energy of motion and vice versa.


D. Wave Interactions


  • 3. Provide evidence to show that light travels in a straight line until it is reflected or refracted.
  1. Observe and describe the images formed by a plane mirror.
  2. Based on observations trace the path of a ray of light before and after it is reflected (bounces) off a plane mirror.
  3. Observe and describe that a ray of light changes direction when it crosses the boundary between two materials such as air and water or air to glass.


  • 4. Recognize and describe how light interacts with different materials.
  1. Classify materials as translucent, transparent or opaque.
  2. Explain that shadows are formed when objects block light.
  3. Observe and describe that prisms separate white light into its component colors.
  4. Pose questions about why objects appear to be different colors.

Note: Highlighting identifies assessment limits. All highlighted Indicators will be tested on the Grades 5 and 8 MSA. The highlighted Objectives under each highlighted Indicator identify the limit to which MSA items can be written. Although all content standards are tested on MSA, not all Indicators and Objectives are tested. Objectives that are not highlighted will not be tested on MSA, however are an integral part of Instruction.

January 2008