Sample Lesson—Bring Science Alive! Exploring Science Practices - Grade 5

Step into Unit 1: Living Things and Ecosystems to see how a
lesson would unfold in Bring Science Alive!

Unit Anchoring Phenomenon

Each unit begins with a storyline that allows students to dive deep into a real-world phenomenon. The Anchoring Phenomenon encourages students to make connections with the world around them. Students then further explore the phenomenon during the Performance Assessment.

Storyline: The TC show “Colossal Travels” visits some of the largest organisms in the world! How do these trees, animals, and fungi grow so much? Learn more by studying how organisms interact with their ecosystems! 

Anchoring Phenomenon: Some organisms can grow really big. For example, the Humongous Fungus grew to be as big as 1,665 football fields. 

After student watches the anchoring phenomenon video, students begin a KWL chart in their Science Journal. They generate questions for inquiry and return to fill out their charts throughout the unit.

View in Science Journal (p.3) How it works online


Lesson Phenomenon

Each lesson begins with an investigative phenomenon that is used to pique students’ interest and drive instruction throughout the investigation.

Lesson Phenomenon: Pig grow larger as they eat.

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to explain the phenomenon.

View in Science Journal (p. 51) How it works online


Three-Dimensional Lesson Investigations

Hands-on investigations allow students to take on the role of scientists and explore real-world problems.

In Lesson 3: What Is the Role of Consumers in an Ecosystem? students dissect an owl pellet to identify what owls eat. Then, they create a diagram that models how the energy in owl’s food was once energy from the sun.  

Check for Understanding

At the end of the lesson, students demonstrate what they’ve learned with Show What You Know and Making Sense of Phenomenon.

In unit 1, lesson 3, students do a flowchart to model how energy flows through an ecosystem and use the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning model to answer the question: How do consumers get energy? 

  View in Science Journal (p. 69-70)    How it works online



Each unit contains at least one engineering lesson. In an engineering lesson, students engage in the engineering process to think like an engineer as they solve real-world problems related to the Anchoring Phenomenon. Engineering Challenges engage students to design solutions directly related to Disciplinary Core Ideas.

In lesson 8 of unit 1, students act as engineers to design a soilless farming system. They work in groups to build the system, observe the results, and think of ways to improve the design. 

NGSS-Designed Assessments

Each lesson includes a TCI assessment that addresses all three dimensions, uses diverse stimuli, and allows students to express understanding in multiple formats. You can use it as a formative or summative assessment to evaluate students’ ability to explain real-world data and phenomena. Want more flexibility with assessments? You can also create your own, or use shared questions from other TCI teachers.

View in Print How it works online


Super Simple Science

Super Simple Science investigations are bite-sized lessons that can be done in 30-mins or less. Each Super Simple Science lesson comes with an engaging lesson video for students to follow along as they conduct them in-class or at home. These lessons are perfect “Fun Friday” lessons and do not require special materials.

In lesson 3’s Super Simple Science, students read about how humans can identify which animals are present nearby by looking at animals’ waste. Then, they find images of scat from different animals and practice identifying them outdoors. 

How it works online


Performance Assessment

Students apply what they have learned in a hands-on Performance Assessment where they are evaluated across the three dimensions.

Unit 4 Performance Assessment: Planning an Episode of Colossal Travels

Colossal Travels is hiring you as a segment producer for an episode on big organisms. You will plan segments on three different organisms and their ecosystems, including one near you!

View in Science Journal (p. 172-177) How it works online


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