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  • 5th Grade

    Earth's Place in the Universe

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky. 5-ESS1-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • SL.5.5 - Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. (5-ESS1-2)


  • 5.G.A.2 - Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation. (5-ESS1-2)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (5-ESS1-2)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (5-ESS1-2)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • When watching this video, students will observe tree shadows changing direction while the sun appears to move in the sky over the course of the day. This anchor phenomenon can be used to prompt student questions and initiate further investigatio ...

  • By watching this episode of Crash Course Kids, students will learn why different constellations appear in the night sky from season to season. They will also find out why people in the Northern Hemisphere view different constellations than people in ...

  • The key questions of the lesson are “What is the pattern of the sun’s tracks?” and “How do the sun’s tracks compare from season to season?” Students measure the angle of the sun at different times of the day using ...

  • Students graph the local periods of sunlight and darkness in a 24-hour day using gathered sunrise and sunset times.  They make comparisons between periods of sunlight and darkness on different days of the year.  The data is represented ...

  • This explanatory video demonstrates how shadows change in direction and length as the sun's position changes in the sky.  A featured "investigation" illustrates this phenomena using an example of a lamppost shadow&nb ...

  • This interactive simulation provides a model of the sun’s apparent motion from two different perspectives on a single applet: (1) a space based view, and (2) how a stick figure’s shadow changes on Earth using a horizon diagram.  The ...

  • This resource provides methods for teaching students to calculate and graph photoperiod (amount of daylight) over time. There are several tips from teachers that have used this in their classrooms with methods for younger students or struggling stude ...

  • This resource provides teaching suggestions with a slideshow and photo gallery (showing hourly movement) as well as an animation of Earth’s rotation to develop understanding of day and night. This can be used as a stand-alone activity or as par ...

  • Stellarium is a free open source software project that makes your computer a virtual planetarium.  Students can use the program to find the positions of the Sun and Moon, planets and stars.  With the program they can show how the sky w ...

  • Students construct a size-distance scale model for the sun, Earth, moon and stars.  In addition, they use their bodies and movements to model the relationship between time and astronomical motions of Earth (rotation on its axis and orbit around ...

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Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.