Fifth Grade Curriculum

Language Arts

Core Resources

  • Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Lucy Calkins
  • Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Lucy Calkins
  • Units of Study for Intermediate Writing, Lucy Calkins
  • Making Meaning by Collaborative Classroom
  • Guiding Readers and Writers, Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
  • Spelling Connections
  • Grammar Workshop, Sadlier

Learning Goals For Reading

  • Read and understand grade-level text proficiently
  • Re-read to deepen understanding
  • Understand plot development
  • Write in response to reading
  • Confer in book clubs
  • Make book recommendations
  • Identify main idea/salient points
  • Summarize text
  • Make predictions and inferences
  • Make connections to text, self, and world
  • Determine themes of texts including stories, plays and poems
  • Find evidence in text to support interpretation
  • Analyze point of view
  • Compare and contrast characters
  • Read grade-level text orally with fluency and expression
  • Use context to figure out meanings of words
  • Identify figurative language including similes, metaphors, idioms, personification

Learning Goals For Writing

  • Write routinely over extended time frames
  • Use the writing process and name the components
  • Publish a fictional story
  • Write free verse
  • Write for a variety of audiences
  • Give and receive feedback from peers
  • Compare and contrast stories, dramas, and poems
  • Write opinion pieces on texts/topics
  • Write narrative texts
  • Write informative/explanatory texts
  • Write descriptively
  • Choose and use words that convey meaning appropriately
  • Write using a variety of time frames
  • Organize ideas clearly and logically
  • Practice developing topic sentences
  • Support with factual information and/or supporting details
  • Produce effective concluding statements
  • Produce multi-paragraph essays
  • Show understanding of vocabulary words in writing
  • Use conventions of grammar

Learning Goals For Handwriting and Reading

  • Actively engage in a variety of discussions including one-on-one, small groups, and teacher-led
  • Effectively prepare for discussions
  • Carry out assigned roles in discussions
  • Generate questions based on the discussions
  • Present information clearly and in a logically sequenced fashion

Learning Goals For Handwriting and Reading

  • Listen to and follow directions
  • Be an attentive audience member
  • Communicate thoughts and feelings audibly and clearly
  • Generate questions and make personal connections
  • Develop comfort level for speaking in a group
  • Explain thinking
  • Present work to peers

Learning Goals For Grammar, Spelling, and Vocabulary Acquisition

  • Expand, combine and reduce sentences for meaning and style
  • Use complex and compound sentence structures
  • Use verb tenses appropriately
  • Explain the function and purpose of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections
  • Use correlative conjunctions
  • Use commas appropriately
  • Indicate titles appropriately
  • Use context clues to determine the meaning of words
  • Use common Greek and Latin affixes and roots
  • Use relationships between words (synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand words.
  • Consult reference materials appropriately
  • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly

Social Studies

CORE RESOURCE: History Alive: America’s Past


  • Geography of the United States
  • Native Americans and Their Land
  • Native American Cultural Regions
  • Why Europeans Left for the New World
  • Routes of Exploration
  • Early English Settlements
  • Comparing the Colonies
  • Life in Colonial Williamsburg
  • Growing Tensions Between the Colonies and Britain
  • Declaring Independence
  • The Revolutionary War

Learning Goals For Social Studies

  • Understand multiple perspectives
  • Recall, analyze and interpret information
  • Summarize information
  • Use text to support opinions
  • Apply geography and mapping skills
  • Evaluate sources
  • Differentiate between primary and secondary sources


CORE RESOURCE: Everyday Mathematics

Learning Goals For Mathematics

Number and Numeration

  • Read and write whole numbers and decimals
  • Identify place value and the values of the digits in those places
  • Use expanded notation to represent whole numbers and decimals
  • Solve problems involving percent and discounts
  • Identify the unit whole in situations involving fractions
  • Identify prime and composite numbers
  • Identify factor numbers and find prime factorizations
  • Use numerical expressions involving one or more of the basic four operations
  • Use exponents to give equivalent names for whole numbers
  • Convert between base-10, exponential, and repeated-factor notations
  • Use numerical expressions to find equivalent names for fractions, decimals, and percents
  • Convert between fractions and mixed numbers
  • Use multiplication and division to find equivalent fractions and fractions in simplest form
  • Compare and order rational numbers
  • Use area models
  • Compare and order fractions


  • Use mental math, paper-pencil algorithms, and calculators to solve problems
  • Demonstrate automaticity with multiplication facts
  • Demonstrate proficiency with division facts
  • Multiply both whole numbers and decimals
  • Divide multi-digit whole numbers and decimals
  • Express remainders as whole numbers or fractions
  • Solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of fractions and mixed numbers
  • Solve problems involving the multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers
  • Use diagrams, and the common denominator methods to solve division problems
  • Make reasonable estimates for whole numbers and decimals
  • Use repeated addition, arrays, area and scaling to model multiplication and division
  • Use ratios expressed as words, fractions, percents and with colons
  • Solve problems involving ratios of parts of a set to the whole set


  • Collect and organize data to create bar, line, and circle graphs
  • Use the maximum, minimum, range, median, mode and mean to ask and answer questions
  • Describe events using basic probability terms
  • Predict outcomes of experiments, test predictions and summarize results
  • Express the probability of an event as a fraction, decimal, and percent


  • Estimate length with and without tools
  • Measure length with tools to the nearest 1/8 inch
  • Estimate the measure of angles
  • Use tools to draw angles with given measures
  • Find the perimeter of polygons and the area of circles
  • Use appropriate formulas to calculate the areas of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles
  • Define pi
  • Describe relationships among U.S. customary units of length and capacity
  • Use ordered pairs to name, locate, and plot points in all four quadrants of a coordinate grid


  • Determine angle measures in vertical and supplementary angles
  • Apply properties of sums of angle measures in triangles and quadrangles
  • Describe, compare and classify plane and solid figures using appropriate geometric terms
  • Identify congruent figures and describe their properties
  • Identify, describe and sketch examples of reflections, translations, and rotations


  • Extend, describe and create numeric patterns
  • Describe rules for patterns and use them to solve problems
  • Write rules for functions involving the four basic arithmetic operations
  • Represent functions using words, symbols, tables and graphs
  • Determine whether number sentences are true or false
  • Use a letter variable to write open sentences



  • STEM Scopes
  • Engineering is Elementary: Engineering Adventures

Learning Goals For Science, Engineering, and Computer Science


  • Reviewing safety in the lab
  • Reviewing the science process skills
  • Solving problems using the scientific method
  • Use data to construct reasonable explanations
  • Evaluate hypothesis in light of data
  • Identify dependent and independent variables
  • Accurately use science tools
  • Discover standard and non-standard units of measurement

PHYSICAL SCIENCE                                  

  • Identify boiling, freezing/melting points of water
  • Explore density and the properties of matter
  • Discover various types of energy
  • Describe the invention process
  • Identify important inventions and inventors in history
  • Utilize the SCAMPER technique for inventive thinking
  • Demonstrate that light travels in a straight line
  • Differentiate between reflection, absorption, and refraction
  • Discover the light spectrum
  • Explore the uses of light energy


  • Compare/contrast landforms
  • Explore erosion and decomposition
  • Distinguish between chemical and physical weathering
  • Discover constructive and destructive forces
  • Discover alternative energy
  • Compare/contrast rocks and minerals
  • Classify rocks
  • Investigate how rocks form


  • Identify healthy habits
  • Environmental health
  • Discover the human effect on the environment
  • Classify organisms as producers, consumers or decomposers
  • Identify common ecosystems
  • Discover the need for animal adaptations
  • Explore insect metamorphosis


  • Ask scientific questions
  • Use and apply technology
  • Practice steps of the Engineering ProcessIdentify challenge, brainstorm, design, build, test, evaluate, redesign, share solution
  • Begin to understand the concept of trial and error