Core Curriculum Content Standards

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NJ World Class Standards
Content Area: Science

Content Area



5.2 Physical Science: All students will understand that physical science principles, including fundamental ideas about matter, energy, and motion, are powerful conceptual tools for making sense of phenomena in physical, living, and Earth systems science.


C. Forms of Energy:  Knowing the characteristics of familiar forms of energy, including potential and kinetic energy, is useful in coming to the understanding that, for the most part, the natural world can be explained and is predictable.

By the end of grade

Content Statement


Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)


Observations and investigations form a basis for young learners’ understanding of forms of energy.


Investigate sound, heat, and light energy (e.g., the pitch and volume of sound made by commercially made and homemade instruments, looking for shadows on the playground over time and under different weather conditions) through one or more of the senses.


The Sun warms the land, air, and water.


Compare, citing evidence, the heating of different colored objects placed in full sunlight.


An object can be seen when light strikes it and is reflected to a viewer's eye. If there is no light, objects cannot be seen.


Apply a variety of strategies to collect evidence that validates the principle that if there is no light, objects cannot be seen.


When light strikes substances and objects through which it cannot pass, shadows result.


Present evidence that represents the relationship between a light source, solid object, and the resulting shadow.


Heat (thermal energy), electricity, light, and sound are forms of energy.


Compare various forms of energy as observed in everyday life and describe their applications.


Heat (thermal energy) results when substances burn, when certain kinds of materials rub against each other, and when electricity flows though wires. Metals are good conductors of heat (thermal energy) and electricity. Increasing the temperature of any substance requires the addition of energy.


Compare the flow of heat through metals and nonmetals by taking and analyzing measurements.


Energy can be transferred from one place to another. Heat energy is transferred from warmer things to colder things.


Draw and label diagrams showing several ways that energy can be transferred from one place to another.


Light travels in straight lines. When light travels from one substance to another (air and water), it changes direction.


Illustrate and explain what happens when light travels from air into water.


Light travels in a straight line until it interacts with an object or material. Light can be absorbed, redirected, bounced back, or allowed to pass through. The path of reflected or refracted light can be predicted.


Predict the path of reflected or refracted light using reflecting and refracting telescopes as examples.


Visible light from the Sun is made up of a mixture of all colors of light. To see an object, light emitted or reflected by that object must enter the eye.


Describe how to prisms can be used to demonstrate that visible light from the Sun is made up of different colors.


The transfer of thermal energy by conduction, convection, and radiation can produce large-scale events such as those seen in weather.


Relate the transfer of heat from oceans and land masses to the evolution of a hurricane.


A tiny fraction of the light energy from the Sun reaches Earth. Light energy from the Sun is Earth’s primary source of energy, heating Earth surfaces and providing the energy that results in wind, ocean currents, and storms.


Structure evidence to explain the relatively high frequency of tornadoes in “Tornado Alley.”


Energy is transferred from place to place. Light energy can be thought of as traveling in rays. Thermal energy travels via conduction and convection.


Model and explain current technologies used to capture solar energy for the purposes of converting it to electrical energy.


Gas particles move independently and are far apart relative to each other. The behavior of gases can be explained by the kinetic molecular theory. The kinetic molecular theory can be used to explain the relationship between pressure and volume, volume and temperature, pressure and temperature, and the number of particles in a gas sample. There is a natural tendency for a system to move in the direction of disorder or entropy.


Use the kinetic molecular theory to describe and explain the properties of solids, liquids, and gases.


Heating increases the energy of the atoms composing elements and the molecules or ions composing compounds. As the kinetic energy of the atoms, molecules, or ions increases, the temperature of the matter increases. Heating a pure solid increases the vibrational energy of its atoms, molecules, or ions. When the vibrational energy of the molecules of a pure substance becomes great enough, the solid melts.


Account for any trends in the melting points and boiling points of various compounds.