Recognize that a galaxy consists of gas, dust, and many stars, including any objects orbiting the stars. Identify our home galaxy as the Milky Way.
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 5
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 1: Recall
Big Idea: Earth in Space and Time - Humans continue to explore Earth's place in space. Gravity and energy influence the formation of galaxies, including our own Milky Way Galaxy, stars, the Solar System, and Earth. Humankind's need to explore continues to lead to the development of knowledge and understanding of our Solar System.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Content Complexity Rating: Level 1: Recall - More Information
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes


Annually assessed on Grade 5 Science FCAT 2.0. Also assesses SC.3.E.5.1, SC.3.E.5.2, and SC.3.E.5.3.


  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • SC.3.E.5.1 Explain that stars can be different; some are smaller, some are larger, and some appear brighter than others; all except the Sun are so far away that they look like points of light.

    SC.3.E.5.2 Identify the Sun as a star that emits energy; some of it in the form of light.

    SC.3.E.5.3 Recognize that the Sun appears large and bright because it is the closest star to Earth.

  • Clarification :
    Students will identify the basic components of a galaxy.

    Students will explain how stars can be different.

    Students will identify the Sun as a star that emits energy.

    Students will identify that the Sun’s appearance is due to its proximity to Earth.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will only assess a conceptual understanding of a galaxy.

    Items will not assess the name of our galaxy in isolation.

    Items will not assess objects orbiting stars.

    Items that assess stars are limited to brightness, size, or appearance in relation to distance, and that stars emit energy.

    Items that address energy emitted by a star are limited to visible light.

    Items will not assess the effects of the Sun’s energy on Earth.

    Items will not assess numeric values for distance or number of stars.

    Items may assess that stars are made of gases but not the specific chemical composition of stars.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • 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.E.5.5, SC.K.E.5.6, SC.1.E.5.1, and SC.1.E.5.4.


  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: A star named Sirius appears as the brightest star in the nighttime sky, even though a star named Pollux actually gives off more light. Which of the following best explains why Sirius appears brighter than Pollux in our nighttime sky?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice