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Science / Year 5 / Science Inquiry Skills / Questioning and predicting

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

With guidance, pose clarifying questions and make predictions about scientific investigations (ACSIS231)

  • exploring the range of questions that can be asked about a problem or phenomena and with guidance, identifying those questions that could be investigated
  • applying experience from similar situations in the past to predict what might happen in a new situation
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
ScOT terms

Predictions (Science),  Research questions

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: What's the matter?

This comprehensive teacher resource explores the properties of solids, liquids and gases through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Students are supported to plan and conduct an investigation of whether the observable properties of materials change with temperature. Seven structured lessons are ...

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: Light Shows

This comprehensive teacher resource explores the properties of light through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Reflection, absorption and refraction of light, and consideration of how humans use light, are investigated using hands-on activities. Eight structured lessons are included, with comprehensive ...

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: Desert survivors

This comprehensive teacher resource explores how the structural features and adaptations of desert plants and animals help them to survive in their own natural environment through a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. Comparisons are made with plants and animals that live in other environments and ...

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: Earth's place in space

This is an extensive teaching unit focused on learning, through a collaborative, inquiry-based approach, how celestial motion affects days, months and years, and how our solar system works. It includes comprehensive lesson plans, as well as student handouts and other teaching resources, for seven structured lessons that ...

Teacher resource

Exploring light

This sequence of tasks and resources investigates light including how light is absorbed, reflected and refracted. Activities include looking at how a telescope uses light, and how light travelling through, or reflected from, surfaces can create illusions, images and shadows. The interactive resource ‘Optics and images’ ...

Teacher resource

Indigenous Astronomy and the Solar System

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people maintain detailed knowledge systems about objects in the Solar System, including the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, and meteors. These traditions show how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people carefully observe the movements of celestial object, explain their motions, and ...

Teacher resource

Solids, liquids and gases

This is a unit of work designed to help students increase their understanding of solids, liquids and gases, and examines in detail the observable properties and behaviours of gas. Students use this learning to help them classify different substances and identify ways in which gases are used in their everyday lives. Additional ...

Teacher resource

Heating and cooling

Students explore the properties of solids, liquids and gases, with a particular focus on the properties of air. Students investigate how heating and cooling may or may not change the state of a particular substance. The tasks allow students to articulate their thinking and record ideas.

Teacher resource


This set of resources introduces students to the concepts of structural and behavioural adaptations for both plants and animals. Video resources enable students to view the unique adaptive features of a range of animals or plants and explore the benefits of such features.

Teacher resource

Space explorers: Connected Learning Experience

This Connected Learning Experience (CLE) investigates the planets in the solar system.Students research, collect and use data about the planets in our solar system, in order to assess their suitability for human settlement.

Moving Image

Salt water density experiment

Discover what density is and how you can test the density of liquids. You will also find out about salt water and how its density is responsible for the circulation of water around the world's oceans.

Teacher resource

Space tourism: Connected Learning Experience

This Connected Learning Experience (CLE) investigates the digestive system in higher animals.Students will use a model to represent the scale distances between objects in the solar system. They will learn that scientific discoveries about space have been made by a range of people from different cultures, and that these ...

Moving Image

Why does a grapefruit float?

Why does a grapefruit float when it's skin is on, but sink when it's skin is removed? Watch these young scientists perform an experiment with grapefruit in water and discover the connection between grapefruit skin and life jackets.

Interactive Resource

Experiment with ecosystems

This open-ended series of models allows students to experiment with virtual ecosystems and test their hypotheses about producer/consumer and predator/prey relationships. Students have the opportunity to 'think like a scientist', making hypotheses, doing experiments, making observations, and analyzing data. Students are ...

Interactive Resource

Changes in the environment

This is an interactive resource how different species can arise from a common ancestor if different groups have different selection pressures. Students can alter a field environment by growing a chain of mountains through the field. Students are challenged to grow the mountains to their maximum height while maintaining ...

Moving Image

Pepper scatter experiment

Watch what happens in this pepper scatter experiment by Surfing Scientist, Ruben Meerman. Ruben demonstrates an important property of water, surface tension, by dipping a toothpick into water sprinkled with pepper. Find out what happens when detergent is added.

Interactive Resource

Mystery plants mystery

This is an interactive resource about intraspecific differences and how variation in a population can help a species adapt to living in different environments. This activity explores student understanding of variation and inheritance. Students are then challenged to produce a crop of plants that can grow everywhere in a ...


Robot biomimicry

This 9 minute video segment from Catalyst shows how inspiration from the world of animals has helped in the mechanical design of robots and adhesive materials.

Teacher resource

Primary science: scientific inquiry

These seven learning activities, which focus on 'scientific inquiry' using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers facilitate the procedures ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Wild ride: get a grip

Investigate the role of friction in performance of bicycle tyres. Test how the type of tread affects grip and speed. Choose tyres best suited to track and weather conditions in a time trial. This learning object is one in a series of four objects.

Interactive resource

Environmental evaluation project: frog pond habitat

Explore why a frog population is declining. Look at changes in the pond over time: water quality, habitat loss and predation by introduced species. Build a food web for the pond. Model population interactions. Identify which species have the greatest impact on the frog. Build a report using evidence you have collected to ...

Interactive resource

Wild ride: on a roll

Investigate the role of physical forces in how bicycle wheels work. Test how wheel size, tyre pressure, tread and load affect rolling resistance. Then choose wheels best suited to track conditions in a time trial. This learning object is one in a series of four objects.

Interactive resource

Optics and images: curved mirrors

Position lenses and mirrors to change the direction of light rays and produce images. Predict the properties of a reflection produced by a mirror according to its shape: flat, concave or convex. Explore how the distance of an object from a mirror affects the image produced. This learning object is the second in a series ...

Moving Image

Using a lens to bend light

How can a water-filled plastic straw be used to decode a secret message? Watch as the Surfing Scientist demonstrates how lenses with a curved surface do curious things to light.

Interactive resource

Optics and images

Position lenses and mirrors to change the direction of light rays and produce images. Predict the properties of a reflection produced by a mirror according to its shape: flat, concave or convex. Position a lens to produce a magnified image of an object. Explore how the curvature of a lens affects focal length and images ...

Teacher resource

Wild backyards: plan a study

This is a web page produced by the Queensland Museum about how to plan a biodiversity assessment within a school or local community, which includes an embedded 4-minute introductory video. The video is supported by links to a transcript of the video, a Backyard explorer leader's guide, a Backyard explorer user's guide, ...

Interactive resource

Environmental field project: frog pond habitat

Find out how animals use a pond habitat in different ways. Answer a short quiz about how organisms are adapted to their environment. Explore a pond and discover four sub-habitats. Capture specimens for study by choosing collection tools which don't hurt the animals or damage the study area. Collect animals from a grassy ...

Interactive resource

Wild ride: in top gear

Investigate how gears work and why you need them to ride a bicycle efficiently. Test how cog size affects speed and energy efficiency. Then choose gears best suited to track conditions in a time trial. This learning object is one in a series of four objects.