5th Grade: Fire Class » Fifth Grade Curriculum Overview

Fifth Grade Curriculum Overview


In conjunction with developing research skills, students focus on comprehension strategies for understanding informational text. They learn to draw interpretations from text and support their conclusions with textual evidence.

Using guided and free choice reading selections, students reflect on their own experiences with characters in a variety of literary genres, including the novel, biography and autobiography, the short story, and non-fiction essays. Oral reading experiences continue to strengthen fluency and help students hear the natural rhythm and cadence of language.

In preparation for middle school, students learn writing formats that are used in higher education. Expository writing is the focus, with three research reports providing exposure and practice. One research method is introduced, providing students with the tools to assemble a paper based on the findings of others. The Writer's Notebook is used frequently to explore topics of personal interest. Memoir and poetry are incorporated into the creative writing program. Vocabulary and spelling continue to develop through writing experiences and the use of the Wordly Wise program.

At this level students know that math is about exploring patterns and relationships using a variety of strategies, skills, and concepts. One of the highlights of the year is the Fudge Factory Adventure Project, focusing on 2- and 3-dimensional models and incorporating problem solving, spatial reasoning, arithmetic with decimal numbers, art, and presentation skills. By the completion of fifth grade, students are proficient using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division algorithms with whole numbers, decimals and fractions. They apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to solve problems arising from a variety of situations with confidence and persistence, and they think algebraically.

Social Studies
American history, from the earliest times to the Age of Exploration, colonization, and the Revolutionary War, is examined through the issues that brought people to this continent and led them to stay; the problems that divided our nation, both racial and economic, and the resulting course that the United States took in national and international matters. Students make connections between the issues that confronted this nation then and now. U.S. geography knowledge is demonstrated through the cooperative creation of a relief map featuring the five themes of geography.

A week-long trip to a program emphasizing human relations, diversity awareness, and conflict resolution provides essential skills for living in an increasingly complex society.


Life Science:

  • Plant & Animal Cellular Structures & Systems
  • The Human Body
  • Pollution & Bioaccumulation

Earth Science:

  • Water & Weather
  • Wetlands - environmental role, restoration, & development

Physical Science:

  • Elements, Atoms, Molecules & the Periodic Table
  • Heat & Convection
  • Alternative Energy

Scientific Method:

  • Conducting research projects through controlled experiments & investigations for Science Fair projects

Human Growth & Development:

  • Human Anatomy
  • Puberty
  • Human Reproduction