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Elementary Science

BJU Press’s elementary science product line equips students to apply science to life by building foundational knowledge and skills with pre-assessments, scaffolded instruction, spiral review, and hands-on activities. Explorations in scientific inquiry give students opportunities to observe, classify, measure data, analyze data, make inferences, and communicate their findings. When they interact with and use models, students are better able to explain and describe their observations as well as make predictions about scientific principles they’ve learned. Collaborative STEM activities give students opportunities to design, test, and refine engineered solutions to real-world problems.


To equip students to apply science to life by observing and analyzing scientific information and by evaluating scientific models from a biblical worldview.


  • Develop a foundational understanding of scientific knowledge and skills
  • Guide students in applying scientific knowledge and skills in ethical ways to solve real-world problems, using activities that include collaborative STEM experiences
  • Use models to explain and describe observations and make predictions
  • Enable students to interpret and apply scientific knowledge through the lens of biblical teaching

Program Approach for Elementary Science

The BJU Press elementary science program begins the process of teaching students how to use scientific knowledge throughout their lives. Science is far more than a collection of facts. Students can use the knowledge and skills they learn in science classes to change our world and improve it for others. Our program begins by shaping a biblical worldview of science for students so that they can develop a good foundation for science learning, starting from Creation. They will get to engage in solving real-world problems so that they can see what they are capable of accomplishing as image-bearers of God. They will learn how to follow scientific methods, use models, and interpret and apply scientific knowledge through the lens of biblical teaching. Because of the worldview claims that fill modern science, Christian students must learn how to evaluate the information they encounter. We are dedicated to making science useful to students so that they can apply it to their lives for the glory of God.

the Ark in the Flood

Foundational Understanding of Science

To succeed in science learning, students need educational materials that go beyond a collection of science facts. They need to form a correct starting point for those facts, and they need to achieve science literacy. The BJU Press elementary science materials will introduce them to four key biblical worldview themes that will help them shape their understanding of science. First, based on the authority of Scripture, our science program establishes for students a young-earth model that views the earth and the universe as being about 6,000 or 7,000 years old (Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3). And the events of the Flood have significantly changed the surface of the planet. Second, students can find order in nature because it was designed by a Creator. Third, humanity was created in the image of God, which helps students understand how we are above animals and responsible for the care of God’s creation (Gen. 1:26–28). Finally, students will understand that the end goal of science is to glorify God and to use science wisely for Him.

The elementary science materials also will help students build skills in reading informational science texts, will introduce them to using science tools, and will teach them how to read and interpret tables, charts, and graphs. The student edition will also give students a balanced introduction to science topics on a level that they can understand and assimilate, including introductions to STEM careers. It encourages students to read for information, a skill critical for learning. Activities allow students to put science skills into practice and to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts.

two students studying a diagram of a dinosaur skeleton

Engaging Students in the Work of Science

Success in science learning also demands hands-on activities that get the students thinking about the world around them. Both the student editions and activities include guided discovery activities, inquiry- and project-based investigations, and STEM activities. These will call the students’ attention to real-world problems that can be solved by using science skills. Many of these activities encourage students to collaborate with each other, helping them to learn 21st century skills that scientists need to be effective, such as cooperation, time management, and problem-solving.

Using Models

Many of the activities require students to construct and use models of real-world principles. Model use is an important aspect of science learning because scientists can’t always observe an object or principle directly and must use a model to replicate what happens in real life. Interacting with these models helps students to explain and describe their observations as well as make predictions about those principles. However, using a model also reveals an important aspect of science learning: science has limits. A model cannot be exact, and only so much can be learned from one. Similarly, scientists are limited by the use of models and by their own understanding of real-world principles. Only the Bible has the authority to influence how we make decisions in science.

a diving machine at the ocean floor

Using Biblical Teaching to Interpret and Apply Knowledge

Scientific knowledge is useless in a vacuum because students need to be able to understand and use the knowledge they gain. The worldview lessons in the student editions will help the students to interpret nature (including fossils, life, stars, earth, and the solar system) through the lens of the Bible’s story. Nature appears designed because it is. The activities support those lessons and give students an opportunity to apply what they have learned, using and developing their creativity and problem-solving skills. Ultimately, the BJU Press elementary science materials teach students to view the natural world as belonging to God. We can glorify God because of His creation. Scientific knowledge enables students to both care for God’s world effectively and to help others.


Student Worktext

The student worktexts provide guided practice through teacher- and mentor-text modeling and independent practice to strengthen skills in writing and grammar. Communication skills are taught through relevant and meaningful oral and written activities. Students learn writing skills using the five steps of the Writing Process across many genres. Chapter reviews at the end of each unit and cumulative reviews provide a spiral review of previously learned skills. Each worktext also contains a Writing Handbook with a dictionary, thesaurus, writing models, and more.

Teacher Edition

The teacher editions provide a thorough presentation of English instruction with a balance of grammar study and writing practice. Suggestions for differentiated instruction and for working with ELL students appear in many lessons. Instructional aids enhance lessons by providing definitions, sample sentences, or essential teaching visuals. These editions also give teachers tools for developing students’ critical-thinking skills and biblical worldview through discussions and activities. Each teacher edition has reduced worktext pages with answers for corresponding lessons.


Each test packet contains one age-appropriate test per grammar chapter, covering the most important concepts taught in the lessons.

Scope & Sequence


General Science

Science, scientists, the five senses, STEM: the engineering design process (ask, imagine, plan, make, make better, share), a scientist’s worldview, process skills (observe, classify, measure, infer, predict, communicate) science tools (hand lens, ruler, measuring cup/beaker, balance scale, thermometer), the scientific method (problem, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations, conclusions)

Life Science


Living things, nonliving things, needs of plants (light, air, water, dirt, space), ways people use plants, result of sin, parts of plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers), life cycle (seed, seedling, adult plant), parents and young


Environment, needs of animals (air, water, food, shelter, space), classifying animals (fish, birds, mammals), parts of animals, life cycle (robin), parents and their offspring, result of sin

Our Bodies

The Human Body

Animals and people (similarities and differences), parts outside (head, arms, legs), parts inside (bones, muscles, heart, lungs, brain, stomach)

Care for the Human Body

Be kind to others (in words and actions), healthy habits (for a strong body, to keep germs away, to keep germs away from others, for strong teeth), safe habits (at play, in the car, at home, in the community)

Earth-Space Science

The Earth and Its Lights

Beginnings, earth’s rotation, sun (characteristics, path), stars (characteristics, star pictures), moon (characteristics, path, phases)


Earth’s revolution and tilt, cycle of seasons, characteristics of winter, spring, summer, fall


Temperature, wind, the water cycle (clouds, rain, sleet, hail, snow), what a meteorologist is and does

Physical Science

Light Energy

Beginnings of light, natural or manmade light, light and objects (transparent, translucent, opaque), shadows, characteristics (illuminates, how light travels)

Sound Energy

How sound is made, how sound moves, sound and matter, how sound is heard, how sound changes (volume, pitch)

Communicating with Light and Sound

Around home, around school, around the community; additional worldview learning

General Science

What Science Is

Science, scientists, importance of science, a scientist’s worldview, science inquiry skills (observe, classify, measure, infer, predict, communicate), science tools (hand lens, ruler, beaker, thermometer, balance), scientific method (problem, hypothesis, materials, procedure, observations, conclusions), STEM: the engineering design process (ask, imagine, plan, make, test and make better, share)

Physical Science

What Matter Is

Origin of matter, describing matter, properties of matter (color, shape, size, temperature, hardness, texture, ability to sink or float), classifying by property, states of matter (solid, liquid, gas)

How Matter Changes

Temperature and matter, solids to liquids, liquids to gases, gases to liquids, liquids to solids, changing matter (reversible/irreversible, bend/break, mixture), combining matter

How Matter Moves

Force (push/pull, cause/effect), motion (direction, cause/effect), speed (cause/effect), origin of force, kinds of force (friction, gravity, magnetism)

Earth-Space Science

How the Earth Moves

Solar system (origin, planets), Earth (shape, globe as a model), rotation (axis, day/night, sunrise/sunset), revolution (orbit, seasons)

What Makes Up the Earth

Earth’s surface (water, land), inside the earth (studying the earth, geologist, layers of the earth), weathering (water, ice, wind, plants), erosion (wind, water, erosion control), the earth’s moving surface (volcanoes, earthquakes)

What Natural Resources Are

Natural resources (air, water, soil, plants, animals, fossil fuels), pollution, natural resource products (from water, soil, plants, animals, fossil fuels), The Three Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle)

Life Science

How Plants Grow and Change

Living things, nonliving things, plant needs (water, air, soil, light, space), the Fall and plants, parts of plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers), life cycle (seed and its parts, seedling, adult plant), how seeds travel (air, water, animals)

How Animals Grow and Change

Needs of animals (air, water, food, space, shelter), changes animals make to where they live (by storing food, building shelters), classifying animals (with backbones: fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles; without backbones: insects, spiders), how animals grow and change, parents and their offspring, life cycle (butterfly, frog), food chain (predator and prey, results of sin)

Where Things Live

Populations, communities, water habitats (ocean, pond, wetland), land habitats (rainforest, woodland forest, desert, savanna, tundra), changing habitats (animals, plants, wildfires, people)

What Fossils Show Us

Creation or evolution, fossils, kinds of fossils (petrified, mold, cast, amber, trace, frozen), plant fossils, insect fossils, dinosaur fossils, dinosaurs (Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex), end of dinosaurs

How the Human Body Works

Body systems (skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, digestive), food, exercise

Earth-Space Science

Process skills, science tools, scientific method

The Solar System

Solar system (origin, worldviews, gravity, patterns, the sun and other stars, observing stars and planets), inner planets and moons (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Moon, Mars), outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune), asteroids, dwarf planets

Weather and Climate

Weather: studying weather, weather tools (rain gauge, thermometer, weather vane, anemometer), clouds (stratus, fog, cumulus, cirrus), precipitation (water, cycle, rain, sleet, snow, hail), wind, severe weather (drought, flood, thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, blizzard), weather warnings; Climate: climate zones (polar, temperate, tropical), climate change (biblical view, different view, possible causes, God’s promise)

Soil, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils

Soil: parts of soil, layers of soil (topsoil, subsoil, bedrock), weathering, erosion, conservation; Rocks: sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic; Minerals: properties (hardness, crystal shape, color), uses of minerals; Fossils: biblical view (how and when fossils formed, extinction, adaptation), evolutionary view (how and when fossils formed, extinction, adaptation), Is evolution true?

Life Science

Cells, Tissues, Organs, and Systems

Cells: definition, observing, kinds, parts of plant and animal cells (nucleus, cytoplasm, membrane, wall); Tissues: definition, examples (muscle, nerve); Organs: definition, upper body organs; Systems: definition, skin (largest organ of human body), epidermis (fingerprints), dermis (blood vessels, sweat glands, oil glands)


Plant life cycle (germination, growth, reproduction, death), photosynthesis (what a plant needs, what a plant produces), uses of plants, plant traits, adaptation (biblical view, evolutionary view)

Cold-Blooded Animals

Classifying animals (vertebrate, temperature), cold-blooded animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, spiders), characteristics, features to survive and grow, ways to reproduce, life cycles of cold-blooded animals

Warm-Blooded Animals

Warm-blooded animals (birds, mammals), characteristics, features to survive and grow, ways to reproduce, are humans mammals?, taking care of animals, life cycles of animals (birth, growth, reproduction, death), animals and their offspring (same kind, inherited traits, instincts, learned behavior, inherited traits and behavior), studying animals


Living together (population, community, habitat, ecosystem), resources, eating for energy (producer, consumer, decomposer), types of consumers (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore), living together in groups, food chains, food webs, changes in an ecosystem (balance)

Physical Science

Matter and Sound

Physical properties (mass, volume, matter), states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), changes in states (solids and liquids, liquids and gases), states of water, physical and chemical changes, serving with matter, sound (vibrations, sound waves, characteristics of sound [pitch, volume, uses])

Forces and Motion

Force: fast, slow, direction, kinds (contact/noncontact forces); Motion: directions, distance, speed, how force affects motion, patterns of motion (observations, predictions, unseen patterns, created patterns), work

Electricity and Magnetism

Electricity: electric charges (positive, negative, neutral), static electricity, current electricity; Magnetism: magnets (magnetism, magnetic field, poles), uses of magnets, electromagnets (discovering electromagnets, uses of electromagnets)

General Science

Science Inquiry Skills; Science safety tips; Science tools; Scientific investigation; Scientific variables; Modeling in Science; STEM: The Engineering Design Process

Life Science

Living Things

Plant Structures and Functions: internal and external structures, photosynthesis, adaptations, origin of thorns, uses of plants, response to stimuli; Plant Reproduction: flowering plants, parts of a flower, pollination, seed structure, seed dispersal, plant life cycle, other methods of plant reproduction; Invertebrates: arthropods, insects, internal and external structures, protection, defenses, ways of eating, life cycles, metamorphosis, social insects; Vertebrates: internal and external structures, defenses, body systems, adaptations, response to stimuli

Human Body

Digestive system: digestive tract and digestive process; Nutrition: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, healthy diet planning; Skeletal and muscular systems: skeleton, parts of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, muscles, injuries; Eyes: parts of the eye, path of light through the eye, vision correction; Ears: parts of the ear, path of sound through the ear, hearing correction

Physical Science

Energy and Waves

Energy and motion: potential and kinetic energy, energy transfer, collisions, force, weight, speed, motion; Energy and work: energy, forces, friction, gravity, work, simple machines (lever, wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane); Waves: wave energy, characteristics of waves, wave patterns (circular, transverse, and longitudinal), measuring wavelengths; Light: origin of light, properties of light, light and matter (luminous, nonluminous, transparent, translucent, opaque), light waves, visible spectrum, reflection, refraction, lens; Sound: sound waves, vibrations, amplitude, wavelength, characteristics of sound (pitch, volume, timbre), sound and matter (speed, temperature, absorption, reflection), history of information transfer, digital communication

Earth Science

Earth’s Waters

Water and oceans: water cycle, surface waves, energy transfer, deep ocean currents, surface currents, conservation of water, ocean floor, ocean zones, ocean creatures, bioluminescence, ecosystems in the ocean

Earth’s Surface

Landforms and Changes: rocks and minerals, physical and chemical weathering, soil, erosion and deposition, past and present changes to the earth’s surface, landforms, maps; Natural Hazards: plates, plate boundaries, faults, causes of earthquakes, reducing impact of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods (local, regional, worldwide), volcanoes, dangers of volcanoes, maps; Natural Resources: renewable resources (soil, water, trees, animals), renewable energy resources (hydroelectric, wind, solar), nonrenewable resources (minerals and fossil fuels), choosing energy resources, conservation (reduce, reuse, recycle)

General Science

Process skills, science tools, scientific method

Earth Science


Layers of the earth: characteristics of the core, mantle, and crust; Soil: weathering, erosion, how soil is formed; Minerals: characteristics of minerals; uses of gems, metals, and other minerals; mining; Rocks: formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks; Fossils: contrasting creation and evolution; Genesis Flood; fossil formation; excavating and restoring fossils; dating and interpreting fossils; Layers of the atmosphere: characteristics of the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere, and ozone layer; Weather: air; air pressure; temperature; air masses and fronts; winds; precipitation; clouds; storms; tornadoes; hurricanes; weather instruments; reading weather maps


Space technology: regulating heat in spacecraft

Life Science

Living Things

Dinosaurs: fossil evidence; extinction; Biomes: characteristics; plant and animal life in the tundra, coniferous forest, deciduous forest, grasslands, desert, tropical rainforest, mountains, marine and freshwater biomes, wetlands; Ecosystems: environment; population; habitat; food chain; food web; predator and prey; energy pyramid; competition; adaptation; migration; hibernation; symbiosis; instincts; learned behaviors; cycles (seasons, carbon, nitrogen, water); stresses (fires, floods, droughts, man-made); succession ; native and invasive species; extinction; endangered species

Human Body

Respiratory system: nose; pharynx; larynx; vocal cords; trachea; bronchi; lungs; inhaling; exhaling; breathing muscles; asthma and other breathing difficulties; dangers of smoking; Circulatory system: heart; arteries; veins; capillaries; blood cells; blood types; donating blood; excretory system

Physical Science


Heat: potential and kinetic energy; thermal energy; temperature; changing states of matter; thermal expansion; conduction; convection; radiation; fuel; unwanted heat; applications to space technology; Sound: sound waves; frequency; speed; pitch; volume; timbre; echoes; ultrasound; music; acoustics; Light: electromagnetic waves; properties of waves; visible spectrum; refraction; reflection; colors; mirrors; lasers; electromagnetic spectrum


Measuring matter: volume; mass; weight; density; States of matter: solids, liquids, and gases; Physical changes: melting, freezing, vaporization, boiling, evaporation, condensation; Atoms and molecules: identifying atoms, molecules, elements, and compounds; Mixtures: evenly and unevenly mixed mixtures; characteristics of solutions