Years 5 through 6
Objectives and tasks With respect to its content and approach, the subject ‘Nature’ expands upon knowledge already obtained in Years 1 to 4 through the subject ‘Environment’. The two subject comprise a whole. Here, the objective is to build upon the groundwork laid down in Years 1 to 4, both with respect to scientific learning methods and healthy and harmonic lifestyle habits.
Pupils need to learn to interpret natural phenomena on a basic level. Inquiries in the framework of the subject therefore focus not on principal hypotheses of individual scientific fields, but on the actual reality of the living and inanimate natural world, phenomena, the landscape and the environment. As a result, learning is holistic.
The scientific thinking of pupils at Years 5 and 6 is essentially focused on visual contents, but in this age, abstract categories are also start to form. At the same time, the spatial and chronological abstraction abilities necessary to understand natural phenomena, correlations and law enables pupils to develop more and more complex and stable concepts. Therefore, an important objective of elementary scientific education is to nurture abstraction abilities based on generalisation and actualisation, and to teach pupils how to use simple abstract concepts, judgements and conclusions.
Pupils are expected to rely on their knowledge and be more and more confident with the natural phenomena and occurrences found first in their immediate surroundings, then gradually further away. Teaching abstract scientific concepts and definitions, however, is still not necessary yet. In this age, the aim is to develop skills necessary for scientific thinking. It is desirable that in the course of teaching ‘Nature’, children encounter reasonable learning methods based on correlations and that they are able to practice these both individually and in cooperation with their peers. They should get answers to their questions about topics of interest, and have enjoyable experience about learning. As far as possible, the subject should also help in understanding information gathered outside the school.
In the course of the teaching of this subject, attention is also devoted to developing sensitivity towards the state of the environment, as well as the right attitudes, behaviour and values with respect to the environment. Pupils should be encouraged to make the right decisions about how to use their environment, and they should receive help to promote their environmental awareness.
Knowledge, together with the learning skills learnt in the course of studying ‘Nature’ need to form a firm foundation for studying scientific subjects – physics, chemistry, biology and health and geography – later on.
Developmental requirements Learning, knowledge processing and application skills Pupils should become open to the beauty and value in nature, as well as environmental problems. They should be able to compare, categorise and organise their knowledge about natural and man-made environment obtained in various ways, to plan and execute simple experiments and evaluate and interpret their results. They should become experienced in the measurement of basic qualitative and quantitative attributes of natural objects, organisms and phenomena on an elementary level, as well as in plotting the results.
They should be familiar with the tools used for inquiries and measurements, and handle them in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. They should be adept at everyday measurements, in using units of measurement in measuring length, weight, volume, density, pressure, temperature and time. They need to be able to organise their knowledge by particular criteria, to differentiate between material and unimportant information, to identify characteristic attributes and use these first for generalisation, then for abstraction. With help from he teacher, they should express their observations and findings using the terms learnt, and record them in drawing and writing on their own. With help from the teacher, they should know how to use simpler encyclopaedias and lexicons, and find information in various media containing text or graphics. They need to be able to navigate on the map and create a sketch map.
Pupils should be able to explain the causes of simple natural phenomena and processes, as well as the operation of simpler technical devices. With help from he teacher, they should be able to compare interactions and changes found in their environment, obtain objective knowledge concerning the way of living, body structure and relationship with their living and non-living environment of the organisms observed, and apply their elementary scientific knowledge towards solving everyday problems. They should be aware that the state of their environment affects their health, and strive for healthy living conditions. Their knowledge should make pupils realise that they are responsible for the future of nature and for the sustainability of the healthy environmental conditions. They should appreciate values found in their environment, and consciously prepare for defending nature, to prevent environmental problems and to protect themselves and their peers.
Familiarity with matter Pupils should be familiar with the basic properties of materials – on various levels of organisation – found in their surroundings. Based on their knowledge, they should be prepared to reject certain substances (alcoholic drinks, tobacco, drugs). They should be able to recognise the most frequent processes and substances which pollute the environment.
Orientation in time – time and natural phenomena Pupils should become practiced in measuring time and estimating the duration of various processes.
They should understand that with the passing of time, their natural and social environment changes.
They should be aware of the existence of reversible and non-reversible processes.
Orientation in space – space and natural phenomena Pupils should be familiar with the cardinal directions and identify them on the map and in reality.
They should be able to find their way near their home and in the vicinity.
They should be familiar with the position of Hungary in Europe and on Earth.
They should recognise the primary characteristics of regions and ecosystems in Hungary, and recognise main topographic features.
They should be familiar with the species most characteristic of Hungary.
Familiarity with scientific learning and the evolution of science They should know that they may learn more about nature by reading books and articles appropriate for their level of knowledge, by listening to radio, watching television and communicating with the help of computers, but that they may also encounter many mistaken views.
They should be able to formulate problems concerning their environment independently. They should be able to relate, on their own, their knowledge gained from still and motion pictures, stories, descriptions and different forms of communication. They should be able to give a written answer to oral or written questions appropriate to their knowledge. They should be able to present simple phenomena, processes and procedures by simple diagrams.
They should be aware of the importance of natural science in raising new issues and in solving the problems of humankind, as well as raising the standard of living. They should appreciate and respect the exceptional achievements and the unwavering diligence of scientists.
Number of teaching hours per year: 74
Formulating concrete concepts on the basis of one-time and regular observations, inquiries and simple experiments.
Differentiating between natural phenomena and other types of occurrences observed.
Actualisation and generalisation on the basis of observations.
Interpretation of changes in matter in the course of natural phenomena observed, on an elementary level.
Explanation of the causes of simple phenomena.
Interpreting and organising information embedded in text and graphics, drawing simple conclusions.
Executing simple measurements and experiments independently; interpreting results.
Conducting activities in a manner which saves matter and energy.
Determination of directions on the map, orientation, measuring linear distances.
Introduction of main landscape elements by examples, using still and motion pictures and maps.
Direct learning from the observation and testing of the environment, as well as indirect learning through informative publications, pictures,. films and models.
Expanding and organising everyday information concerning living beings observed by the pupils in their environment.
Precise and correct use of technical terms.
Recognising basic correlations between the body structure and way of living of organisms observed.
Emergencies in Hungary due to extreme weather (high water table, flood, lighting, forest fire, windstorm, snowstorm). Correct behaviour in such emergencies.
Changes in the Earth’s surface
Effects of temperature changes on terrain.
Effects of detritus and ice on terrain.
Effects of wind and precipitation on terrain.
The properties of liquids.
Pressure of liquids, floating and swimming objects.
The circulation of water in nature, the effects of water on terrain.
Still waters, running waters.
Simple methods for cleaning water.
Topographical features (slope, plain, valley, basin, plateau, mountain, mountain chain, hill, hilly regions).
The origin of mountains.
Properties of most frequent rocks.
The formation of plains.
Soil formation; soil properties.
Effects of human activities on terrain.
Responsible behaviour in nature.
Living beings in our environment
Structure, life, needs and cultivation of the most important plants in the vegetable and fruit garden (plum tree, apple tree, grapes, tomato, carrot, cabbage, potato, onion).
Pests and parasites of fruits and vegetables (may-beetle, cabbage-butterfly, mildew).
The role of fruits and vegetables in our nutrition.
Body structure, life and breeding of the most important domestic animals (pigs, cattle, hens, cat, dog).
Most frequent animals living around the house (house mouse, swallow, earthworm), pets.
Characteristic organisms living in towns.
Most important animal welfare rules.
Prerequisites of moving ahead Pupils should be able to observe specific natural objects, living beings and simple phenomena and processes, as well as expressing their findings in word, drawing and writing. They need to be able to describe specific visual contents related to natural and man-made environment, and use these to make judgements and draw conclusions.
They should be able to use to use the map for orientation, with the help of the most frequent map symbols, describe weather, use the units of measurement covered at school to give a quantitative description of phenomena examined, and interpret measurement result. They need to differentiate between the conditions of matter and understand their changes. They should describe the characteristic weather of seasons, characterise Hungary’s climate and be aware of the correlation between weather phenomena and changes in the surface of the earth.
They should recognise the most important topographical features of the landscape viewed, be familiar with the formation of simpler topographical features, and characterise rock samples observed. They should be aware of human activities which are dangerous to the environment, and understand that humans are responsible for the deteriorating environmental conditions.
Pupils should be able to differentiate between most frequent fruits, vegetables, describe them using their characteristics, and be aware of their role in our nutrition.
Pupils should be familiar with the animals and domestic animals most frequently found in their settlement, the purpose of their breeding, and the importance of and ethical rules related to animal welfare.
Number of teaching hours per year: 74
New Activities Comparing observations with existing concepts, development of analogical, analytic and holistic thinking.
Preparation for independent and cooperative learning and problem-solving using various data carriers and information sources.
Using and planning demonstrations, experiments and models assisting in the interpretation of quantifiable attributes, interactions and changes on a basic level, observing safety, fire protection and environmental rules while conducting these activities; interpreting findings.
Simple navigation exercises on the map and globe with the help of the graticule.
Establishing basic concepts about geographical zones with the help of pictures and vivid descriptions.
Description of Hungary’s position, regions, valuable natural features and ecosystems, expansion of pupils’ knowledge about Hungary.
Describing the fauna, typical ecosystems and species of regions of Hungary from an ecological viewpoint, introduction of the pupils to the diversity and values of nature in Hungary.
Development of observation methods
Continued observations by several criteria.
Comparison of the properties of materials.
Using basic concepts correctly when evaluating findings, basic measurements (distance and length, space, volume, mass, density, temperature and time), using units of measurements precisely. observations, examinations and experiments.
Planning, preparing and executing simple experiments, recording and interpreting findings independently.
Safety, fire safety, the rules of fire extinguishing.
Elementary safe navigation in space, on the map and on the globe, navigation in time in accordance with the occurrence of processes.
Natural conditions required for the formation of grasslands found in Hungary.
The importance of grasslands, causes for the elimination of grasslands.
Hungary’s natural parks.
Officially protected and not protected valuable natural features at the place of living of the pupils and in its vicinity.
The work of exceptional scientists investigating the living world in Hungary.
Prerequisites of moving ahead Pupils should be able to use natural phenomena to make generalisations and abstractions. They need to recognise causal relationships, correlations and laws in the phenomena and processes observed, conduct basic measurements and interpret the results, recognising and avoiding those which might be dangerous. They should be able to repeat simple, previously demonstrated experiments safely and observing safety, fire protection and shock protection regulations, and describe the phenomena observed.
With the help of he graticule, they should be able to navigate on the map and on the globe on an elementary level, use the map to obtain simple geographical information, and read data from topographical and watercourse maps. They should be able to list continents and oceans, and possess simple, descriptive concepts of geographical belts.
They should recognise the regions of Hungary, some important settlements in their vicinity and Budapest from a typical still of motion picture.
Pupils need to be able to describe the ecosystems found in Hungary as well as simple food chains, be familiar with the most typical domestic plants and animals and their body structure and way of living. They should understand the importance of the protecting nature.