GEMS Correlations with the Florida Sunshine State Standards

Grade Level Expectations and Benchmarks for Science
Grades 3-5

Strand E: Earth and Space


Return to Sunshine State Standards Page


Standard 1: The student understands the interaction and organization in the Solar System and the universe and how this affects life on Earth.

Benchmark SC.E.1.2.1: The student knows that the tilt of the Earth on its own axis as it rotates and revolves around the Sun causes changes in season, length of day, and energy available.

Fifth Grade


1. knows the orbit of the Earth is slightly elliptical and the Earth is closest to the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere in winter.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: The Real Reasons for Seasons

2. knows that the angle that the rays of the Sun strike the surface of the Earth determines the amount of energy received and thus the season of the year.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: The Real Reasons for Seasons

3. knows the effect of the tilt of the Earth on polar climates.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: The Real Reasons for Seasons

Benchmark SC.E.1.2.2: The student knows that the combination of the Earth’s movement and the Moon’s own orbit around the Earth results in the appearance of cyclical phases of the Moon.

Fifth Grade

1. knows the relative positions of the Moon, Earth, and Sun during each of the phases of the Moon.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Earth, Moon, and Stars

Benchmark SC.E.1.2.3: The student knows that the Sun is a star and that its energy can be captured or concentrated to generate heat and light for work on Earth.

Fourth Grade

1. knows how the energy of the Sun can be captured as a source of heat and light on Earth (for example, plants, solar panels).

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Aquatic Habitats, Hot Water and Warm Homes From Sunlight, Terrarium Habitats

Benchmark SC.E.1.2.4: The student knows that the planets differ in size, characteristics, and composition and that they orbit the Sun in our Solar System.

Fourth Grade

1. knows characteristics of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Moons of Jupiter

Fifth Grade

1. knows that the planets differ in size, characteristics, and composition and that they orbit the Sun in our Solar System.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Messages From Space, Moons of Jupiter, The Real Reasons for Seasons

Benchmark SC.E.1.2.5: The student understands the arrangement of planets in our Solar System.

Fourth Grade


1. knows that gravity is the one of the forces that keeps planets arranged in orbits around the Sun and the Moon in orbit around the Earth.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Moons of Jupiter

Fifth Grade

1. knows the arrangement of the planets and the asteroid belt in our Solar System.

Appropriate GEMS Teacher Guides: Messages From Space, Moons of Jupiter

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2017 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 06, 2015