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5th Grade


Fifth Grade is an important year for students; it is the year that we reinforce all the skills learned in their elementary years while laying the foundation for middle school and beyond. It is a year of continued academic, spiritual, and personal growth for students.

While still in elementary school, students are beginning to develop the skills they need to be successful in middle school: independence in their learning and self advocating.


Reading is a VERY important part of the fifth grade. Nightly reading is crucial to students’ reading development. We will focus on both literary and informational texts.

Students will be able to:

  • read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • determine the theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
  • compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
  • determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language.
  • understand and describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.
  • compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.

We will be reading many novels this year including:

  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
  • The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  • We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
  • The Boys’ War by Jim Murphy
  • The Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman
  • Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Spears
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • The River Between Us by Richard Peck
  • My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln & Christopher Collier


Writing is crucial in the fifth grade. Students are required to respond in well formed complete sentences while avoiding pronouns.

Students will be able to:

  • write arguments to support claims of a given topic or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

We will be writing many papers including:

  • Persuasive essays
  • Personal narratives
  • Research reports
  • Creative writing assignments
  • Compare and contrast essays


In fifth grade we will become fluent in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts to further support the complex fifth grade math curriculum. We will learn a new concept, practice in class and will be reinforced with homework. As the curriculum progresses, we will continue to use the skills learned to understand new concepts.

Students will be able to:

  • write simplified expressions
  • write simplified expressions that record calculations with numbers, and interpret numerical expressions without evaluating them
  • write simple expressions that record calculations with numbers, and interpret numerical expressions without evaluating them
  • generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane.
  • recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.
  • explain patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10, and explain patterns in the placement of the decimal point when a decimal is multiplied or divided by a power of 10. Use whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10.
  • read, write, and compare decimals to thousandths and use place value understanding to round decimals to any place.
  • find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.
  • add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.


Students will begin to learn about the classification of living things, cells, plants, life cycles, and the human body. Students will also learn about important scientists in brief biographies and research reports.

Our most exciting activity will be creating science projects for the Science Fair! Each student will create a project that they will present to their peers and the school-wide community.

In science this year, students will:

  • understand how science and math are used in engineering and technology
  • identify what constitutes as matter, the properties, and how it changes
  • show how organisms interact with an ecosystem and how they change their ecosystem
  • understand how the earth systems interact and how using resources affects the earth
  • identify ways humans can protect the environment

Social Studies

In history-social science, students will focus on the early years of the history of the United States.

In history-social science this year, students will learn:

  • the land and first peoples of the U.S.
  • about the people native to the Americas
  • the age of exploration in Europe to the Americas and European Settlements
  • the role of English Colonies: New England Colonies and Middle & Southern Colonies
  • the American Revolution: causes of the Revolution, the war for independence, and creating the nation
  • about the new nation: the early Republic and the country expanding
  • the question of equality by understanding the causes of the Civil War and Reconstruction


In Religion, students will continue to learn about the Catholic Faith and the role of Christ in their life. Students will learn Gospel values, sacred Tradition, and how to become active disciples of Jesus Christ through Scripture, doctrine, and Church teachings.

In Religion this year, students will:

  • come to a basic understanding and appreciation of Christian worship
  • become more familiar with the Sacraments of Initiation
  • be prepared for active participation in the Eucharist
  • become more familiar with the Mass.
  • better understand God’s grace and reconciling love, incarnated in Jesus and continuing through his Church in the Sacraments of Healing.
  • learn to share God’s grace and healing love with others.
  • better understand the Fifth through Tenth Commandments