Evan-Moor Science Skill Sharpeners – Grade 5 Review

Hey, fam! One of my #secularhomeschoolers and I are here to chat about Evan Moor’s Skill Sharpeners for 5th Grade Science.

I was excited when the company offered a review opportunity for the grade five Skill Sharpener Science workbook and am ready to give my thoughts!

The Skill Sharpeners Science series by Evan-Moor totally aligns with Next Generation Science and Current Science Standard, which we love.

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Workbook Content & Structure

First, let’s talk about the content and structure.

There are four units in total covering some topics within the categories of:

  1. Organisms and Ecosystems
  2. Earth’s Systems
  3. Space Systems
  4. Structure and Properties of Matter


Each of these four categories covers four sub-topic concepts. These include how plants eat, food webs, adaptations decomposers, the atmosphere, the water cycle, weathering and erosion, gravity, daylight, nighttime, the sun, stars, physical properties, mixtures and solutions, chemical properties, reactions, and more.

Each of the subsections is broken up even further with reading activities that cover applicable vocabulary and easy-to-grasp concepts, broken down to their simplest form. Then there is a Visual Literacy activity that helps your child graph the new information to help with retention. Then there is a Vocabulary Practice page and a spread for the related Hands-On Activity.

Quick Table of Contents

Use as a Standalone or Unit Study

I don’t typically use workbooks by themselves unless it’s summer and I need a break. These ones happen to be easy enough to give my kids and send them on their way so I can get some work done. However, I typically use workbooks as a jumping point for unit studies!

This publisher is my go-to for mainstream homeschooling resources. If I’m going to pick up a workbook for my kids, it’ll be an Evan Moor workbook. I can always trust them to provide secular and robust learning material.

If you were to do one of the four sections in each chapter per week, you’d have 16 weeks of science material for your homeschool. This material could obviously be used much faster, but here’s a schedule idea for a single lesson:

Sample Schedule

I’m going to use the Decomposers lesson in the Organisms and Ecosystems chapter as a sample for the unit.


Week One:

  • Read “The Soil Ecosystem” and write the vocabulary words with their definitions. Then answer the questions.
  • Read “Earthworms Help the Soil” and write the vocabulary words with their definitions. Then answer the questions.
  • Read “Organisms Work Together” and write the vocabulary words with their definitions. Then answer the questions.
  • Add in supplementary YouTube videos and a library book.


Week Two:

  • Do the “A Closer Look at the Soil” activity. Label the chart and write a paragraph about how they work together.
  • Complete the Vocabulary Practice crossword activity.
  • Add in supplementary YouTube videos and a library book.
  • Watch Living Soil documentary as a family


Week Three:

  • Start the Movers and Shakers activity on page 32. Collect the necessary materials and procure earthworms for the experiment.
  • Track both of the bottles over the next seven days using the chart on page 33.
  • Take photographs or create a nature journal illustration each day of the tracking process.


Week Four

  • Complete the “What Did You Discover” questionnaire for the experiment.
  • Then complete the Compost It application prompt.
  • Make a video diary about the project!

Verdict: Super Secular!

Check out this particular workbook here. Check out all of Evan Moor’s workbooks here.

P.S. They also have a totally FREE Daily Fundamentals E-book that:

• helps children practice language, math, and reading skills each day
• includes 30 weekly units, with a full-page of practice for day 1 through day 5
• includes answer key

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