Curriculum Director

Elizabeth Baker - Science, Health, Technology Education (617) - 993-5975


During the course of grades 5, and 6, the science program at Chenery School spirals through three main domains of science: Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science. Students return to common themes in these disciplines each year, exploring different aspects of the standards-based content while developing scientific practices including asking questions and defining problems, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations and designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating and communicating information. The science curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Learning Standards, which are a state-based adaptation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Technology/Engineering is an integral part of our curriculum too. FInd more information about the Technology/Engineering program here

Upper Elementary School

  • GRADE 5
  • GRADE 6


  • What is an ecosystem?
  • How do matter and energy move in an ecosystem?
  • What makes an ecosystem healthy or unhealthy?
  • How do ecosystems change?
  • How do humans change ecosystems?

Green Living/The Earth’s Systems

  • What are Earth's four systems?
  • How does water cycle on earth?
  • How do earth’s systems change the earth’s surface?
  • How do people affect earth’s systems?

Changes in Matter 

  • What is matter made of?
  • How can substances be identified?
  • What causes substances to change?
  • How do engineers improve materials?

Earth, Moon, and the Stars

  • What does gravity do on Earth?
  • Why is the sun brighter than other stars?
  • Why is there day and night?

Matter & Energy

  • How can we explain chemical reactions that create and absorb heat?
  • How can we explain why an aircraft carrier floats and a brick sinks?
  • What are the differences and similarities between sound and light waves?

Earth and Space Science

  • How can we model and explain the phases of the moon?
  • What roles does gravity play in organizing the structure of the universe?

Life Science

  • What evidence supports the claim that Earth and all life on it has changed over time?
  • How do the structures of a cell describe its function?