Introduction to Lesson Note Primary 5 Third Term Basic Science Week 1

Primary 5 Basic Science Scheme of Work

I wrote this Lesson Note – Primary 5 Third Term Basic Science Wee 1 based on official primary 5 basic science scheme of work. If you don’t have the scheme, please click here to get a copy. This is a free lesson note for Nigerian primary schools 5.

Focus of this lesson note

Lesson Note – Primary 5 Third Term Basic Science Week 1 focuses on depth and pedagogy. This means it aims to provide an enriched lesson content. Then, suggest ways for teacher and parents to deliver the lesson.

Turning this note to official lesson plan

Please note that I do not intend this lesson note to take the place of lesson plan. These two are different. I discussed the differences in an earlier post. If you haven’t done so already; click here to read up the differences between lesson plan and lesson note.

That aside, teachers can adapt this note into the lesson plan for the week. In fact, many teachers do. That is why we prepared a special lesson plan template for teachers.

It helps teachers to easily and professionally plan their lessons by filling in the lesson-specific values of the standard components of lesson plan, in a clean and professional layout. Click here to download the lesson plan template.

Now the note…

Lesson Note – Primary 5 Third Term Basic Science Week 1


Rocks – Meaning and types


At the end of the lesson, the pupils should be able to:

  1. Define rocks
  2. State the types of rocks
  3. Give the properties of the different kinds of rock
  4. Collect and classify rocks into the different types based on the properties

Instructional Materials

To effectively deliver this lesson, teachers will require a collection of rock samples. I recommend the Toysmith Rock Science Kit. It is a pack with all the different types of rock. And it is cheap too. Click here to get it on Amazon at 29% discount.


The teacher delivers this lesson note – Primary 5 Third Term Basic Science Week 1 – in order of steps as follows.

Step 1 – Introduction

To introduce the topic, the teacher initiates discussions on rocks – as one of the first and key components of our world. S/he begins by displaying some prehistoric pictures of the earth. These should be images that highlight the rocky features. Afterwards, the teacher asks the pupils to identify the pictures – what pictures are these? What is common to all these pictures?

Following the brief discussion, the teacher identifies the images as well as the common features – rock. In addition, the teacher shows and identify images of some rock landmarks in the present time. S/he follows this with a short prologue in this manner:

Rocks are essential to our world, to understanding it and to live in it. Because rocks have been on earth for a long time, it helps us to understand even the past world. And not only our world, but the entire universe. Rocks from space and below the earth help scientists to learn more the universe. Rocks also make roads, bridges and buildings possible. Early men used rocks for almost everything – hunting, shaping woods, making fire, cooking, etc. We still use rocks for making ornaments and lots more things.

The questions are what exactly is rock? Where do rocks come from? How do we know which rock to use for which purpose? These and more questions about rock are what we will be learning this week.

Succeeding this short explanation, the teacher projects/writes the topic on the board. S/he concludes the introduction by listing and explaining the objectives of the lesson to the pupils.

Step 2: What is rock? Where do rocks come from?

Furthering the of the lesson; the teacher correlates the meaning and origin of rocks to the geological history of the universe.

First, the teacher reveals that rocks are not only present on earth. Astronauts have come back with rocks from space (show picture). And rocks from space have fallen to earth many times.  In fact, scientist call rocks that fall from space to earth as meteorite – show images and illustration of latest meteorite, EB5.

Since rocks are present everywhere in the universe, to know what rocks are and where they come from; we have to study the origin of the universe as well.

The teacher revisits the meaning of universe. Then, s/he asks the pupils where did the universe come from? How did the universe begin?


This is for critical thinking. Hence, guide the discussion towards helping the pupils to think deeper. Some pupils may perfunctorily say the universe originates from God – or that God created it. In response, the teacher should try to channel their thinking in scientific light.

For instance, if a pupil say God created the universe; I will ask how did God went about it? If they say by His Word of mouth; I will say probably, if at all there was God’s Word; His command merely started the process; so, what processes did the universe take in its formation – following “God’s Words”?

The teacher’s role here is not to approve or disprove their religious belief. However, the essence of Basic Science is to equip pupils with basic scientific knowledge and skill.

So, the teacher must inspire in the pupils, scientific thinking instead of religious. To do this, the teacher first distinguishes between the two.

S/he teaches that religious belief is based on faith – believing without proof. On the contrary, scientists believe only what there is evidence of or proof for. Faith says God created rocks, and that is it. Science says how is rock created? What is rock made of? How can we use it for the right job?

Secondly, the teacher makes it explicit that some religious people do not believe in [some] scientific explanations – such as scientific explanation of how the universe formed. Also, some scientists do not believe in religious explanations. However, many people believe in both religious and scientific explanations. And they combine the two to better understand what they want to explain.

Following the explanation, the teacher reveals that they will learn how scientists explain the history of the universe – because they are in science class.

The Big Bang Theory

To start with, the teacher explains that the most popular scientific explanation of how the universe began is called the Big Bang Theory. The name of the scientist that started this Big Bang explanation is Georges Lemaitre.

The Big Bang Explanation

In 1927, Georges Lemaitre made some studies and formulated how the universe began. In his explanation, before everything started; the universe was in a hot dense state. This means that everything joined together into an infinitely small and infinitely hot point – like a dot. The point was smaller than atom and many million times hotter than the sun. This point was tiny particles mixed with light and energy.

Then the point suddenly expanded and stretched rapidly to form the universe – as large as it is today. The expansion happened so rapidly that scientists liken it to many million times the size of the biggest explosion today. This is why scientist called the expansion the Big Bang – as in big explosion.

During and immediately after the Big Bang, the universe was too hot for anything to exist – there was absolutely nothing except the particles.

But after thousands of years, when the heat in the universe has reduced; the tiny particles grouped together. They formed atoms. Then those atoms grouped together.  And after a long period of time, the group of atoms came together to form stars and galaxies.


From stars come star dust – which is formed when stars formed, aged and died. When star dusts combine with gas, collide with each other and stick together; they form a planet. The combination of gas and star dust to form planet takes millions of years to complete. First, it occurs under extremely high temperature – as hot gases and/or in molten (extremely heated and boiling rocks and metals in liquid) state. So, it takes millions of years to cool off. After cooling, some planets such as earth becomes solid. This is what we call rocks. It is the origin of rocks.


Not all the star dusts in space that are able to stick in forming a new planet. Some continue to float in space round the sun as rocky objects. This is what scientists called asteroid. When an asteroid falls and lands on earth, then scientist call it meteorite. Meteorite is also another origin of rocks.

Meaning of rock

Scientist call the chemical materials in star dust and gases which collects together to form planet and asteroid as minerals. So, in science, a rock is a collection of solid minerals that is strongly bound together.

To conclude the lesson on the meaning and origin of rocks, the teacher makes the pupils watch National Geographic documentary on the formation of earth. You can watch it free on Amazon free trial. Click here to register for 30 days free trial.

Step 3: Types of Rocks


The teacher groups the class into small groups. Then, s/he gives each group different kinds of rock samples – from the Toysmith Rock Science Kit in the instructional material. The teacher also gives each group the following discussion questions:

  1. Are all the rock samples the same?
  2. What are the similarities and differences between each sample?
  3. Why are the samples the same/different?

After the discussion, the teacher continues the lesson with types of rocks. To do this, the teacher explains that not all are the same. S/he explains further that rocks are different because not all rocks form in the same way – that is, from solidification of molten minerals.

Then, the teacher reveals that based on formation, scientists divide rocks into three types. S/he follows this by listing the types of rock; defining, and thoroughly explaining the formation of each.

Step 4: Identification and Classification of rocks

In the final part of the lesson, the teacher teaches the pupils how to identify and classify rocks into the different types.

To do this, the teacher pairs or divides the pupils into small groups – as appropriate. Then to each group, s/he give a pack of Toysmith Rock Science Kit. Thereafter, the teacher leads them to follow the guide that comes with the kit to classify the rocks.


Prior to concluding the lesson – primary 5 Third Term Basic Science Week 1; the teacher asks or gives the pupils exercises to assess their understanding.


The teacher concludes the lesson by revising the entire lesson. Then, s/he links the lesson to next


Step 2 and 3 covers the content for week 2 in the official Scheme of work. This is why I did not include the content. I will include the content for types and classification of rocks in next week’s note. You may stop at step for this first week altogether.


Everything in existence everywhere. This includes the sun and all the planets, stars, space, land, water, air, fire and everything else.


Scientist who acquires training for travelling in spacecraft into space.


The empty area outside the Earth’s atmosphere, where the planets and the stars are.


A piece of rock or other matter from space that has landed on Earth.


Extremely small piece of matter smaller than an atom. Here, particles refer to the smallest known things in the world like quarks and photons.


Electromagnetic emission. Here, it means emission or discharge of high-energy particles and gases.


Ability to do work. Here, it means the particles are capable of doing work such when it expanded.


An atom is the smallest unit of matter. Atoms are what combine to form all things including water, food, clothes, cars, human being and everything. Atom is a chemical substance. It is extremely small. So, we cannot see atoms with our eyes.

There are different types of atoms. Each type of atom is called an element. When an element divides, or when two or more combines; it forms a new kind of substance. Then, we say a chemical reaction has taken place.


A very large ball of burning gas in space which we usually see from Earth as a point of light in the sky at night. Stars are made up of hydrogen and helium gases. Hydrogen and helium are the simplest kinds of elements.

In stars, these two elements combine in a special and combustible chemical reaction. This keeps stars “burning” for a very long time – millions to trillions of years.

The burning fusion of hydrogen and helium in stars leads to the production of new heavy elements like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, etc.

Although these elements are molten (burning liquid or gas) in stars due to high temperature; they become solid when they cool. Also, as stars aged and dies; the heavy elements turn into dust or debris which float about in space. Scientists call this star dust.


A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems. There are many galaxies – billions of them. Our galaxy, which is made of the sun, earth and other planets; is called the Milky Way. The nearest galaxy to our Milky Way is called Andromeda.


A Planet is an extremely large round mass of rock and metal, such as Earth, or of gas, such as Jupiter, which moves in a circular path around the Sun or another star.


Asteroids are rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Although asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets.


Brown, C. S. (n.d.). How Our Solar System Formed. Retrieved from Khan Academy:,attracted%20by%20the%20star%27s%20gravity.

NASA Space Place. (2020, June 4). What Is a Galaxy? Retrieved from NASA Space Place:

NASA Space Place. (2021, March 17). What Is the Big Bang? Retrieved from NASA Space Place:

ZUCKERMAN, C. (2019, March 20). Everything you wanted to know about stars. Retrieved from National Geographic :


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