Fifth Grade

Two boys at desk


In fifth grade reading, the students have read four books in class and four books at home. We read Wonder by R.J. Palacio and The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman which we use to discuss and write about the theme of empathy. The Whipping Boy is also used as an example of a Newbery Medal Winner and what it would take to make a book a winner. We also read The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis and Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.

For at home reading, each student is required to read one book per quarter from each of four literary choices: Newbery Medal Winner, biography or historical fiction, science fiction, and mystery. The students prepare and present projects on the book they read for that quarter. The projects include a book talk, advertising poster, and a Wixie presentation.

A writing project we work on in the fall is for expository writing. We work with Nicole Capitumino coming into our classroom and discussing family recipes and some of the traditional food that would be in a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. Each student brings in a traditional family recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing. We combine the recipes and come up with a collaboration based on the various recipes. The students break into small groups and write out the recipes which we have Chef Julie Levin work with us to follow and make that fifth grade recipe. Finally, the students are able to taste the finished stuffing during lunch in the cafeteria.

Another writing project is writing a friendly and a business letter. For the friendly letter, each student chooses a teacher or staff worker at the school and writes a letter to that person thanking them for what they do or have done for the school or that particular child. The teachers and staff members are given the letters during Teacher Appreciation Week. For the business letter, the students each write to a National Park requesting any brochures, maps, or other information from that park. Prior to the writing of the letter, the students learn that this is the Centennial Celebration of National Parks. They each choose a park and research that park to learn more about the park based on specific questions. They present the information to their classmates in a Google slide presentation. Lastly, the letters are mailed to the National Parks in hopes of a reply over the summer.

In poetry, the students practice writing cinquain poems, limericks, and silly triplets. These poems were published in the online Expressions.

The students work out of the GUM book for language development and a spelling book. They also participate in Wordly Wise, IXL, and Big Universe.


Students in fifth grade use the common core aligned series from My Math. Students explore many topics including multiplication and division of whole numbers, operations with decimals, operations with fractions, and both customary and metric units.

In order to work through these topics, students have the opportunity to work individually, with partners, and in small groups. They work with manipulatives and reinforce their skills through practice both in class and at home.

Learning in math also extends beyond the traditional classroom material. Students are exposed to real life situations and problems through projects that they complete. For, instance, this year, students had the opportunity to learn real life skills like writing checks, understanding what a paycheck looks like, and how to manage expenses.

Social Studies

The fifth grade covers the Western Hemisphere. The main focus is on the Geography, history, culture and economy of each of these areas. The students also discuss current event topics from their readings of the Junior Scholastic articles. Biographies and primary source articles are introduced as well.


In this course, students are guided by curiosity to question the world around them and use problem solving skills to search for answers. Topics include: taxonomy, ecosystems, animal and plant adaptations, the human body systems, water cycle, weather, space (solar system), and matter.

World Language

Grade 5 also meets for 240 minutes a cycle. This is the first year they begin using a text book. Grade 5 is very exciting as they learn to conjugate verbs and can ask and tell what activities they do and like to do. They also learn adjectives and adverbs and how to show possession. Students create menus and begin to write and speak more spontaneously.


A study of the seven sacraments. The Mass, with an emphasis on the Eucharist, the center of Christian life, is also studied.