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Grade Five Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

Students compose a variety of written texts with a main idea, coherent organization, and sufficient detail. The students are able to justify and defend their ideas both orally and in writing. These students write multi-paragraph essays, persuasive letters, compositions and reports with sources cited. For reading, these students apply comprehension strategies to literary and expository texts. Fifth graders are able to summarize text and make inferences, and can identify plot, main idea, theme, and cause and effect relationships.


In fifth grade, our students continue to increase their problem solving skills. By the end of the school year, they have learned to solve basic algebraic functions such as exponents and order of operations, to solve geometric conceptual problems, and to use various methods of measurement and analysis to understand the meaning of the data and basic statistical terms. Students use ratios to compare data sets, make conversions within a given measurement system, make geometric constructions and classify three-dimensional figures, and solve linear equations in one variable. While learning mathematics, students are actively engaged, using concrete materials and appropriate technologies such as calculators and computers. The students also build skills in math using the ALEKS online learning program.


Students continue to use the hybrid science curriculum to investigate increasingly complex scientific concepts. These concepts include the development and understanding of the nature of science, data collection and analysis, sound and light, properties of matter, the cellular makeup of organisms, characteristics of the oceans, and Earth’s changing surface. Students conduct science experiments in the science lab on a weekly basis. They are also responsible for researching, planning, conducting, and presenting science fair projects. All students complete science fair projects and participate in the school-wide science fair. During science lab, students work individually, in small cooperative groups, or complete whole group exploratory learning activities.

Social Studies

United States History to 1865

Students study the history of America until 1865. They explore the roots of the American people, the formation of the 13 colonies, and the creation of a new nation. The curriculum also examines the American Revolution, the Constitution, and westward expansion.

Fine Arts

Students are introduced more formally to art history, with a focus on impressionism, pointillism, and abstract art. Techniques such as impasto, glazing, gradation, plein air, grisaille, hatching and cross-hatching are studied. Students also master the use of focal points in their artwork.


Students continue to develop their keyboarding skills, demonstrate an understanding of computer theory, develop basic technology skills and vocabulary, select and use technology appropriate tasks and operate peripheral devices. Students begin to process, store, retrieve, and transmit electronic information. Through the Internet, CD-ROMs, and telecommunication software, students gain experience researching information from varied digital sources. Furthermore, these students build upon their keyboarding skills and their knowledge of various publishing programs to create a three- to four-page document using their knowledge of word processing.

Within these publishing applications, students create, edit, and format a document with text and graphics. They also develop and populate a spreadsheet with data, and learn to create and present a multimedia presentation. Finally, our fourth and fifth grade students demonstrate the ability to choose appropriate resources when completing assignments in various content areas, and learn to engage in proper and safe communications using a variety of communication tools and software.


Fifth graders sing in tune with a clear tone quality, and demonstrate beginning choral behaviors and group singing skills. Building upon skills from previous years, students learn to identify and explain music forms of rondo, theme, and variation. They are also able to identify music symbols within a music composition and explain their functions. Fifth graders explore music theory and demonstrate an understanding of music and its relationship to history, culture, and other fields of knowledge. They also participate in various performances throughout the year, including the end-of-the-year musical.

Physical Education

Students continue to develop strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and leg muscle development. They participate in a variety of activities that focus on whole group participation and teamwork so that they develop good practices while playing team sports/activities.


World Languages Program

Students make introductions and ask for and give information. Grammatical topics covered include irregular verbs, and definite and indefinite words. Students are able to make requests and describe things, and learn how to agree and disagree. Students engage in writing and learn how to ask questions. They also learn how to explain their likes and dislikes. The students engage in directed activities and dialogues. Fifth graders learn more complex phrases and idioms.

Language teachers engage their students in singing songs that develop a child’s musical talent and ear for correct pronunciation and intonation. Three times a year, students participate in special performances for their parents during the Winter Program, Mother’s Day program, and an end-of-the-year program.

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