Standard #: SC.5.P.10.1


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Investigate and describe some basic forms of energy, including light, heat, sound, electrical, chemical, and mechanical.


General Information

Subject Area: Science
Grade: 5
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science
Big Idea: Forms of Energy -

A. Energy is involved in all physical processes and is a unifying concept in many areas of science.

B. Energy exists in many forms and has the ability to do work or cause a change.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Test Item Specifications

    Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
    Also Assesses
    SC.3.P.10.1 Identify some basic forms of energy such as light, heat, sound, electrical, and mechanical.

    SC.3.P.10.3 Demonstrate that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another.

    SC.3.P.10.4 Demonstrate that light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed.

    SC.3.P.11.1 Investigate, observe, and explain that things that give off light often also give off heat.

    SC.3.P.11.2 Investigate, observe, and explain that heat is produced when one object rubs against another, such as rubbing one’s hands together.

    SC.4.P.10.1 Observe and describe some basic forms of energy, including light, heat, sound, electrical, and the energy of motion.

    SC.4.P.10.3 Investigate and explain that sound is produced by vibrating objects and that pitch depends on how fast or slow the object vibrates.

    Clarification :
    Students will identify and/or describe some basic forms of energy.

    Students will describe that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one material to another.

    Students will explain that heat is produced when two objects are rubbed against each other.

    Students will explain that sound is produced by vibrations and/or that pitch depends on how fast or slow the object vibrates.
    Content Limits :
    Items assessing basic forms of energy are limited to light, heat (thermal), sound, electrical, chemical, and mechanical energy.

    Items will not assess the transfer of energy.

    Items assessing light reflection, refraction, or absorption should use the terms reflect, bend, or absorb to describe light’s behavior.
    Stimulus Attributes :
    The terms material or substance should be used rather than the terms medium or media.

    Scenarios referring to mechanical energy should not use the terms kinetic energy or potential energy.
    Response Attributes :
    None specified
    Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.K.P.10.1 and SC.2.P.10.1.


Sample Test Items (1)

Test Item # Question Difficulty Type
Sample Item 1 Jason stretches a rubber band between his fingers, as shown below. When he plucks the rubber band, it makes a sound.

which of the following best explains why the rubber band makes a sound when jason plucks it?
N/A MC: Multiple Choice


Related Courses

Course Number1111 Course Title222
5020060: Science - Grade Five (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720060: Access Science Grade 5 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
5020120: STEM Lab Grade 5 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))


Related Access Points

Access Point Number Access Point Title
SC.5.P.10.In.1 Identify forms of energy, including heat, light, sound, electrical, and mechanical.
SC.5.P.10.Su.1 Recognize uses of electrical energy (popcorn popper, vacuum cleaner), heat energy (grill, heater), light energy (sunlight, flashlight), and mechanical energy (bicycle).
SC.5.P.10.Pa.1 Recognize a source of light energy (Sun, light bulb).


Related Resources

Lesson Plans

Name Description
Weather: How Does Temperature Affect Air?

In this lesson students will perform experiments and collect data to gather empirical evidence about how air molecules behave when heated and cooled. This is the 4th lesson in the 5th grade unit and  uses sensors and computer science skills to learn about weather.

Electric Energy & Temperature

This lesson introduces how electrical devices transform electrical energy to thermal energy to alter the temperature of a substance resulting in the freezing, melting, or boiling of the substance. Each electrical device produces thermal energy as a byproduct that is conducted from a source like an electrical socket or battery; this lesson discusses how that energy is transferred while also comparing and contrasting the states of matter of different substances. 

This is lesson 1 in a Unit on Detecting Thermal & Electrical Energy. 

Weather: How Does Air Warm Up?

This experiment will model how sunlight striking the Earth’s surface warms the air around us. Students will investigate how surfaces of differing reflectivity determine how much sunlight is absorbed and converted to heat which in turn serves to warm the adjacent air.

This is lesson 3 in the fifth grade unit on weather. The lesson uses weather sensors and connects computer science concepts within the lesson.

SPS2064 Inc. Energy of the Future

This Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written at a 5th grade level. SPS2064 Inc. MEA provides students with an engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best company that will send and build solar energy equipment in space.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Not that Hot Anymore

The students will rank companies offering canopies to a school for their Physical Education field.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Getting the Top Mini-Fridge not a Small Deal

In this MEA, students will create a procedure to rank five mini-refrigerators to determine which one should be purchased for the school by the PTA based on size, type, features, energy usage, and cost.  In the process, students will solve real-world problems involving the multiplication of multi-digit numbers with decimals to the hundredths, including using money.  Students will also determine the volume of a rectangular prism using a formula.

Inventions and Innovations MEA

Inventive minds have persisted throughout history. Inventors have improved our lives with inventions created out of a desire to solve a problem or make the quality of peoples' lives better. Our president is concerned that we are not keeping up with other countries in the area of engineering and inventive thinking. Why is this? As students explore famous inventions from around the world throughout history, they will decide what the best inventions of all time are and support their opinion with strong reasons.

The Shocking Truth About Circuits - An Engineering Design Challenge

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of electrical energy, circuits, insulators and conductors in standards SC.5.P.10.4, SC.5.P.11.1, SC.5.P.11.1, SC.5.P.11.2 by constructing circuits. It may also be used as introductory instruction of the content.

Soccer Team Uniform Decision

Students will learn about energy from the sun and how it is transformed into heat energy. Students will use this information to decide on a manufacturing company to order team shirts from.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Transformation of Electrical Energy

This lesson helps students learn that electrical energy can be transformed into: sound, heat, and light energy. In this lesson, students will participate in a hands-on lab to explore what forms of energy electrical energy will be transformed into. This lesson can be completed in one 60 minute science block.

All Sorts of Energy

This lesson will explore six forms of energy including mechanical, heat, electrical, chemical, sound and nuclear. Through the 5E lesson plan model, students will become engaged in this hands-on lesson. This lesson will take place over 5 days, allowing students an introduction and summary as well as hands-on opportunities to explore the 6 forms of energy.

Solar Energy QR Hunt

This lesson allows students to read and internalize information about solar power from the article "Solar-Powered Plane" from Time For Kids (1080L Lexile Level). After reading the article independently, discussing and answering the questions in pairs, the students get to go for a hunt around the classroom with a smartphone or scanner capable device to find the answers that are in the forms of QR Codes! This lesson can be completed in one 50 minute science block.

Exploring Forms of Energy

This lesson helps students explore and learn about different forms of energy: mechanical, chemical, electrical, sound, light and heat. This lesson works students through the Engage, Explore, and Explain sections of the 5E model. This lesson can be completed over one or two 50-minute science blocks depending on time you give students for each activity. During this lesson students will work in groups to sort pictures according to different forms of energy. After sorting the pictures, the teacher and students will come together to discuss and define the different forms of energy and where each picture should be sorted and why.

Shady Day MEA

This Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written at a 5th grade level. The Shady Day MEA provides students with an engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best beach umbrella for certain situations.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Sail Away - An Engineering Design Challenge

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of forces from SC.5.P.13.1 and SC.5.P.13.2 as well as energy and its ability to cause motion from SC.5.P.10.1 and SC.5.P.10.2 by designing a boat and racing it. It may also be used as introductory instruction of the content.

Enlightening Explorations, Part I This lesson contains three student experiments: How Light Travels, Comparing Light Sources, and Reflective Surfaces.
Transformation of Energy: Constructing an Electromagnet

In this hands-on lesson, students will work in groups to construct an electromagnet.  This lesson focuses energy, forms of energy, and how energy is transformed in a circuit.  This lesson also can be used to address variables in an experiment, conductors and insulators, data tables and graphs, and open and closed circuits. 

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Energy Scavenger Hunt at an Amusement Park

Investigate and describe some basic forms of energy, including light, heat, sound, electrical, chemical, and mechanical, at the amusement park in this interactive tutorial.

Some Like It Hot

Learn how heat is a form of energy. You will also look at other examples of energy as they are found during a camping trip.

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Name Description
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Energy Storage

This video about energy storage has a lot of potential to help you learn about solar power and batteries.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Energy and Nutrition

Calorie-dense foods can power the human body across the ocean? Feel the burn.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Waves

When your classroom is the open ocean, which is the longest period? The one from the tsunami.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Resource Collection

Name Description
Energy Kids

This website provides information and resources for teachers seeking to make learning about energy fun and exciting for students. Renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy are well organized and supplemented with diagrams, maps, and graphs. Other sections include fun facts about energy, games & activities, history, and classroom activities. This resource was developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Teaching Ideas

Name Description
Design Squad - Feel the Heat A project challenge that uses an engineering approach to build a solar water heater out of common materials.
Good Vibrations-SeaWorld Classroom Activity In this activity, students investigate how sound travels through air, solids, and water, students will be able to explain why sound is an effective means of communication and navigation for whales.

Text Resource

Name Description
Tower Of Power The article describes a new kind of solar energy which concentrates light waves from the sun.

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Name Description
Electricity and Energy

Students will learn about light energy including light waves with which the students will study shadows they make. They will also learn to relate certain forms of energy to real life scenarios by using illustrations. The students will learn how static electricity works and will even create some of their own in an experiment. They will also realize how light and heat energy are often involved in the same situations.

Student Resources

Original Student Tutorials

Name Description
Energy Scavenger Hunt at an Amusement Park:

Investigate and describe some basic forms of energy, including light, heat, sound, electrical, chemical, and mechanical, at the amusement park in this interactive tutorial.

Some Like It Hot:

Learn how heat is a form of energy. You will also look at other examples of energy as they are found during a camping trip.



Parent Resources

Teaching Idea

Name Description
Design Squad - Feel the Heat: A project challenge that uses an engineering approach to build a solar water heater out of common materials.


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