My goal is to make interactive science notebooks engaging for 5th grade and middle school science students while improving science test scores. NGSS expert, teacher, tpt author, mom, & widow

How to Increase Learning and Make Life Easier with 5th Grade Science Sketch Notes

Do you want to know how you can use 5th grade science sketch notes to increase science learning and state test scores while making your life easier? How did I figure out the magic of science sketch notes for interactive notebooks? (Note: scroll to the bottom of the page to get a sketch note FREEBIE to try out.)

I started out in middle school science with over a hundred students from every background imaginable and I needed to help ALL students access the science concepts. How would I meet the needs of struggling students along with those excelling easily?

The answer: visual notes packed with information in a clear, simple format. I started creating sketch notes for my classes and as time went on, I added slideshows, writing prompts, and digital and print quizzes.

When I moved to teach 5th grade, I knew science sketch notes worked to teach challenging concepts and went about creating them. I like to be sure students aren't overwhelmed by the amount of print but the notes are packed with information. It is a delicate dance.

See the anxiety melt away and more "ah ha" learning moments as you incorporate science sketch notes and interactive science notebooks (I've got tips to make interactive notebooks run smoothly.) Simple sketches with key information provide a visual aid that can make learning more accessible and enjoyable for students.

Teacher Time Saver

In addition to being a helpful resource for students, science sketch notes can also be a time-saver for teachers. With low-prep activities, quizzes, and slideshows included in the notes, teachers can spend less time creating lesson plans and more time focusing on teaching.

Improves Learning

One of the main benefits of using visual notes in science is that it improves learning. When students see a visual representation of a concept, it helps them to better understand and remember the information.

Standards Aligned

Science sketch notes are aligned with the 5th grade NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), which means they cover the topics and skills that students are expected to learn at this grade level. This makes them an excellent tool for teachers who want to ensure that they are meeting curriculum standards and preparing their students for future science courses.

Tips on How to Use Sketch Notes

  • Print and time the sketch notes pages and give each student a copy
  • Show the slideshow to the whole class and fill out the notes together
  • Students who need a little extra help: provide a copy of completed notes for them to use to fill out their page
  • Post the slideshow on Google Classroom on your LMS so students who are absent can access them. Many of my students like to use the slideshow for studying
  • Go over the notes using a variety of methods. Give the print or digital quiz. I love using the self-grading quiz because it makes life easier!
  • Help students not lose their work by keeping sketch notes in an interactive science notebook

Eight Sketch Notes Sets for 5th Grade

The following 8 sketch notes sets are for 5th grade science and include a slideshow and quiz. Many also have writing prompts and fun 5th grade science lab activities.

Ready to see the 5th-grade science sketch notes bundle? Click HERE

1. Flow of Energy and Cycling of Matter


Science students trace food chains back to the sun with 5 easy to use pages of visually engaging sketch notes. Both digital and print versions are included and are great for interactive science notebooks.

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

Flow of energy and cycling of matter sketch notes, slideshow, and quiz for 5th grade science
Click HERE

2. Physical and Chemical Changes

NGSS 5PS1-3 and 5PS1-4
Are you looking for interactive science notebook ideas to teach physical and chemical changes and properties of matter to 5th grade students? These 5 pages of engaging sketch notes cover the properties of matter along with physical and chemical changes and help 5th grade NGSS science students learn in a visual, creative, and interactive way. 

5th grade science sketch notes on physical and chemical changes
Click HERE

3. Mixtures and Solutions

5th grade NGSS Structure and Properties of Matter

These three pages of science sketch notes teach the difference between a mixture and a solution and cover heterogeneous and homogeneous mixtures.

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

5th grade science sketch notes on mixtures and solutions
Click HERE

4. Earth's Spheres and Human Impact


Human impact can be positive or negative and science students learn about both with these two pages of science sketch notes. Vocabulary covers the biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, conservation, environment, species, ecosystems, natural resources, and natural habitats.

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

5th grade science sketch notes on human impact and Earth's spheres
Click HERE

5. Sources of Water


This easy to use 5th grade science resource teaches about saltwater and freshwater sources on Earth and includes 4 pages of sketch notes, a science lab activity, a quiz, Kahoot link, and a slideshow! It is in both digital and print formats.

5th grade science sketch notes about water on Earth
Click HERE

6. Basic Needs of Plants and Photosynthesis


Your students will enjoy these photosynthesis interactive notebook activities for 5th grade science. This engaging photosynthesis resource includes a hands-on lab activity with data collection, digital and print sketch notes, a slideshow, a quiz, and a Claim - Evidence - Reasoning writing activity.

Sometimes projects involving growing plants can be messy but this sprout-growing photosynthesis activity is a no-mess, no-fuss winner.

5th grade science sketch notes on photosynthesis
Click HERE

7. Gravity

NGSS 5PS2-1 

5th grade NGSS students explain gravity on Earth as it relates to examples like rain falling from clouds. This resource includes two pages of sketch notes on gravity in both print and digital for Google Classroom. 

Vocabulary includes gravity, matter, mass, force, and evidence. Students provide evidence that gravity is a pull directed to the center of an object. Larger objects have a great pull.

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

5th grade science sketch notes on gravity
Click HERE

8. Brightness of the Sun and Other Stars


Brightness of the Sun and Others Stars is a resource that includes sketch notes, a slideshow, Kahoot game link, and a self-grading and printable quiz. 5th grade science students are fascinated with our solar system and space and love learning about the existence of exoplanets that orbit other stars similarly to how Earth orbits the Sun.

Click HERE to see the preview on TPT

Teach the brightness of the sun and other stars with science sketch notes
Click HERE

To Recap: 5th Grade Science Sketch Notes

  • are low prep
  • are engaging and simple visual notes
  • great for all types of learners
  • include slideshows and quizzes
  • time savers for teachers

You might also like:

5th Grade Interactive Science Notebook Set Up

How to set up a 5th grade interactive science notebook
Click HERE

Sketch Notes Bundle

5th grade science sketch notes

Sketch Notes and More Bundle

5th Grade bundle of science sketch notes and review games
Click HERE

P.S. Are you interested in a 5th Grade Science Sketch Note Freebie?

Do you want to try out science sketch notes? Grab this freebie when you sign up for my email list. You can opt-out at any time.

5th grade sketch note freebie on sources of water
Click HERE