The Ultimate 5th Grade Science TEKS Book List

One of my favorite ways to address this standard all year long while also inspiring students is through read-alouds and a robust classroom library. It’s important to make sure representation is diverse and many interesting careers and historical stories are mentioned.

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Category 1: Matter and Energy

5.5 The student knows that matter has measurable physical properties and those properties determine how matter is classified, changed, and used. The student is expected to:

5.5A classify matter based on measurable, testable, and observable physical properties, including mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), relative density (sinking and floating using water as a reference point), solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy or electric energy

Curious Pearl Explains States of Matter

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet

What’s the Matter in Mr. Whiskers’ Room?

Matter: Physical Science for Kids

From Leather to Football

5.5B demonstrate that some mixtures maintain physical properties of their ingredients such as iron filings and sand and sand and water

Changing Matter

5.5C identify changes that can occur in the physical properties of the ingredients of solutions such as dissolving salt in water or adding lemon juice to water

Panning for Gold

Category 2: Force, Motion, and Energy

5.6 The student knows that energy occurs in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems. The student is expected to:

5.6A explore the uses of energy, including mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, and sound energy

Energy: Physical Science for Kids

Then and Now: A Journey Through the History of Machines

Burn: Michael Faraday’s Candle

Papa’s Mechanical Fish

Whoosh: Lonnie Johnson’s Super Soaking Stream of Inventions

Clang: Ernst Chladni’s Sound Experiment

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Now and Ben

5.6B demonstrate that the flow of electricity in closed circuits can produce light, heat, or sound

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Electricity

5.6C demonstrate that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object and is reflected or travels through one medium to another and is refracted

Curious Pearl Investigates Light

5.6D design a simple experimental investigation that tests the effect of force on an object

Curious Pearl Kicks Off Force and Motion


I Fall Down

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring

Newton and Me

Category 3: Earth and Space

5.7 The student knows Earth’s surface is constantly changing and consists of useful resources. The student is expected to:

5.7A explore the processes that led to the formation of sedimentary rocks and fossil fuels

Energy Island

Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth

The Story of Fossil Fuels

5.7B recognize how landforms such as deltas, canyons, and sand dunes are the result of changes to Earth’s surface by wind, water, or ice

Grand Canyon

A Chip off the Old Block

Cracking Up: A Story About Erosion

5.8 The student knows that there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among the Sun, Earth, and Moon system. The student is expected to:

5.8A differentiate between weather and climate

Weather and Seasons

Desert Climates

The Climate Zones

5.8B explain how the Sun and the ocean interact in the water cycle

Rivers of Sunlight

Water is Water

The Water Princess

One Well

Water: National Geographic Kids

All the Water in the World

5.8C demonstrate that Earth rotates on its axis once approximately every 24 hours causing the day/night cycle and the apparent movement of the Sun across the sky

On Earth

Somewhere in the World Right Now

5.8D identify and compare the physical characteristics of the Sun, Earth, and Moon

The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal

Sun! One in a Billion

Aerospace Engineer Aprille Ericsson

Mae Among the Stars

Scott Kelly: My Journey to the Stars

Category 4: Organisms and Environments

5.9 The student knows that there are relationships, systems, and cycles within environments. The student is expected to:

5.9A observe the way organisms live and survive in their ecosystem by interacting with the living and nonliving components

Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects

The Sky Painter

The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life With the  Chimps

Weird Friends

5.9B describe the flow of energy within a food web, including the roles of the Sun, producers, consumers, and decomposers

Coral Reefs

Living Sunlight

If Sharks Disappeared

Wolf Island

What If There Were No Bees?

It’s a Fungus Among Us

Butternut Hollow Pond

5.9C predict the effects of changes in ecosystems caused by living organisms, including humans, such as the overpopulation of grazers or the building of highways

Olivia’s Birds

5.9D identify fossils as evidence of past living organisms and the nature of the environments at the time using models

Stone Girl Bone Girl

Where Do Fossils Come From?

5.10 The student knows that organisms have structures and behaviors that help them survive within their environments. The student is expected to:

5.10A compare the structures and functions of different species that help them live and survive in a specific environment such as hooves on prairie animals or webbed feet in aquatic animals

Just the Right Size

Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons


Beauty and the Beak

When Whales Walked the Earth

How to Survive as a Firefly

How to Survive as a Shark

Perfectly Peculiar Plants

Shark Lady

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau

5.10B differentiate between inherited traits of plants and animals such as spines on a cactus or shape of a beak and learned behaviors such as an animal learning tricks or a child riding a bicycle

Follow the Moon Home

Urban Biologist Danielle Lee


When Whales Cross the SeaD

Inheritance of Traits: Why is My Dog Bigger Than Your Dog?

Classroom Resources

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The Ultimate 5th Grade Science TEKS Book List