Above Nav Container

Utility Container

Search Trigger (Container)

Button (Container)

Mobile Menu Trigger (container)

Off Canvas Navigation Container

Close Trigger (container)


Fifth Grade

student writing



This is a summary of the basic fifth-grade curriculum. The sequential nature of this curriculum guide is important. Progress along a continuum of learning is the goal; therefore, at any time, a student may be working on skills that are at, above or below his or her assigned grade. To the extent possible, teachers provide each child with appropriate material for his or her own level of achievement in language arts and mathematics. By the end of fifth grade, most students have learned what is presented here; many go beyond. Children who need additional help may receive it through remedial or special education services.

Self-confidence is fundamental to a child’s success in school. Children should learn that persistence, together with loving, firm, supportive help from both parents and teachers, can result in success. To provide this support is our mutual task.

Ideally, during his or her career at the Ray School, each student will acquire an appropriate body of knowledge and specific abilities as a learner, a person and a member of the school community. Successful life-long learners develop self-confidence, initiative, curiosity, creativity, a willingness to take risks, respect for self and others, enjoyment of learning, and good citizenship. At the Ray School, these traits are developed through studies designed to help each child reach the following goals by the end of fifth grade.

Key Results

  1. Children will use language thoughtfully to express and receive information.
  2. Children will use basic mathematical concepts and skills.
  3. Children will use analytical, systematic, intuitive and creative methods to solve problems.
  4. Children will use the scientific method to explore the physical and natural sciences.
  5. Children will begin to gain an understanding of the larger world through social studies.
  6. Children will begin to understand themselves, their relationships and their responsibilities.
  7. Children will be able to participate in, appreciate and enjoy experiences in the arts.
  8. Children will develop responsibility for their health and physical fitness.

Language Arts

The goal of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach children to use language thoughtfully and to express and receive information and ideas.

Children learn to read and write in the same way that they learn to speak, by using their emerging literacy in meaningful situations. In school, we provide children with numerous opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write in contexts meaningful to the student.

This curriculum is a guide for teaching all the language arts. It includes listening and speaking as necessary parts of reading and writing; and it presents a variety of literary experiences to foster a sense of meaning and enjoyment in learning to read and write.
  • Listen to obtain information, directions and instructions
  • Understand speaker’s message
  • Listen critically: analyze the effect of the message and the medium
  • Identify feelings expressed by others
  • Listen for enjoyment
  • Conduct interviews
  • Participate in dramatic presentations
  • Give extended reports from notes
  • Participate in small- and large-group discussions
  • Recite poetry
  • Read own written work aloud to an audience
  • Use speech to understand and interpret new information

  • Apply mature phonetic, structural, and contextual analysis to unfamiliar words
  • Continue building automatic recognition of irregular words and specialized content
  • vocabulary
  • Read orally with appropriate rate, phrasing, and expression
  • Adjust oral and silent reading rate to the demands of the material

  • Formulate literal, interpretive, and philosophical questions about the text while reading
  • Make connections to personal experience and general background knowledge while reading
  • Make inferences about plot, characters, and theme that can be supported with text evidence
  • Use visualization while reading as a strategy to enhance understanding
  • Contribute questions and observations about assigned reading to group discussions
  • Use comprehension strategies unique to nonfiction text
  • Practice rereading for clarification and deeper understanding

  • Use structural and contextual clues to gain meaning of unfamiliar words and expressions while reading
  • Learn when to use a dictionary, when to use context clues, and when to skip over unfamiliar words while reading
  • Continue to acquire understanding of words and expressions with multiple, implied, or idiomatic meaning
  • Broaden knowledge of specialized vocabulary used in the study of literature, mathematics, science, and social studies

Additional Skills:

Read selectively for an established purpose, particularly with informational text
Choose pleasure reading material at appropriate independent reading level
Sustain silent reading focus for at least 30 minutes
Read independently from a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction genres


  • Brainstorm, alone or in a group, for topics to develop
  • Share ideas aloud
  • Categorize ideas
  • Maintain a list of possible topics for future stories
  • Select a topic to develop
  • Use information skills to research a topic


  • Write a piece that communicates effectively to an audience
  • Respond to the reactions of an audience
  • Share stories within structured groups
  • Generate text easily
  • Compose poetry, reports, letters, creative writing, persuasive writing, first-person narratives and single-draft journal entries
  • Give constructive feedback to an author, as modeled by the teacher
  • Conduct peer conferences
  • Share and publish own work
  • Reread own work to assure the meaning is clear
  • Expand the work
  • Delete unwanted portions
  • Substitute new words in order to enrich the piece
  • Use a variety of sentence patterns
  • Rearrange paragraphs to refine the piece
  • Respond to the reactions of an audience
  • Practice peer conferencing
  • Correct selected spelling errors using classroom word lists, spelling dictionary, peer or adult assistance and computer spell checker
  • Use correct capitalization and punctuation
  • Use pronouns correctly
  • Use correct subject/predicate agreement
  • Use adjectives and adverbs correctly
  • Correct run-on sentences
  • Use sentence combining
  • Use various forms of final-draft publishing
Grammar and Usage

Parts of Speech
  • Nouns: common and proper
  • Pronouns: personal and demonstrative
  • Verbs: action and being
  • Adjectives: articles, proper and possessive
  • Adverbs
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections
Grammatical Relationships
  • Subjects and predicates
  • Phrases
  • Clauses
Capital letters:
  • Sentences and the word I
  • Proper nouns: names of places, people and things; titles for people and things
  • Letter writing
  • Titles for people
  • Names of places
  • Names of states
  • Time and dates
  • Measurements
Punctuation marks:
  • Periods
  • Question marks
  • Exclamation marks
  • Commas: in series; in compound sentences; in introductory words and phrases; in numbers; in letter writing
  • Quotation marks: in direct quotations; with other punctuation marks; for dialogue
  • Hyphens: to indicate syllables at the end of a line; in numbers and words; at ends of lines
  • Underlining/italicizing: titles of books

Learning to spell is a developmental process. Spelling instruction includes helpful strategies and some useful rules that can help children learn to spell. The spelling program aims to help students become competent, independent spellers and encourage them to apply their spelling skills across the curriculum in meaningful writing experiences.

Students learn high frequency spelling rules and generalizations to aid in spelling development. The key components of the spelling program are:

Students use word lists that include:
  • Words most frequently used in writing
  • Words governed by reliable or phonic generalizations
  • High-frequency demon words that defy generalizations
  • Words most frequently misspelled in writing
  • High-utility content-area words
Misspelled words are identified and worked on in writing.
Accountability and evaluation are built into the
spelling program.

Students learn and use proofreading skills that
may enable the writer to distinguish between
correct and incorrect spelling.

Students learn use of dictionary and other resources
to check spelling.

  • Use legible upper- and lower-case cursive or printing
Information Skills
  • Utilize prior knowledge
  • Locate definitions in the dictionary
  • Use the atlas to locate a place
  • Use the index to look up information in a book in an encyclopedia, and a periodical
  • Use brainstorming techniques to focus questions and direct research
  • List key words related to a topic, and use them to direct research
  • Use an on-line catalog to find resource materials on a topic
  • Locate materials in schools library/media center
  • Use print and nonprint resources, including periodicals, to find information on a topic
  • Evaluate the usefulness of materials
  • Skim and scan for information
  • Take notes, using own words (using key words and phrases)
  • Create a list of topic categories in their notes
  • Cite sources correctly
  • Make a written presentation to share information
  • Make a visual presentation to share information
  • Make an oral presentation to share information
  • Evaluate effectiveness of search strategy and information use


Problem Solving

  • review and explore additional problems solving strategies
  • use simple problems to suggest more complex solutions
  • solve multi-step problems
  • develop confidence, perseverance and persistence in problem solving (independently and in groups)
  • use models, facts, properties and relationships to explain thinking
  • compare and contrast 2 dimensional geometric figures
  • given a problem, identify one or more strategies for solving the problem
  • make and validate conjectures about relationships
  • draw diagrams and use objects to illustrate concepts
  • use table, charts, graphs and mathematical symbolism
  • discover relationships and patterns within the set of whole numbers
  • explore patterns and relationships within geometry
  • use mathematical topics in other disciplines
  • apply mathematics in everyday life situations
  • explore the relationship between +,-,x,÷ with whole numbers
  • connect operations with whole numbers to fractions and decimals
Number Sense and Numerations
  • name place value from thousandths to millions
  • round numbers for estimation and mental computation
  • order a set of rational numbers
  • read and name numbers with whole number exponents
  • explore prime, square, and composite numbers
Whole Number Operations
  • develop meaning of + – x ÷ with fractions
  • explore concept of +, -, across whole numbers, decimals and fractions
  • explore x across whole numbers, decimals and fractions
  • basic facts – all operations
  • + – x ÷ whole numbers of reasonable size
  • use calculators as appropriate
  • explore and describe properties of common 2 dimensional figures
Spatial Sense
  • identify congruent or similar figures
  • use standard to measure length
  • use standard and to find the area of common figures
  • explore and prepare formulas for the areas of rectangle and triangle
  • explore standard and non-standard units of measure for volume, capacity, weight and temperature
  • determine the amount of change from a purchase
Data Analysis and Probability
  • construct and interpret picture, bar, circle and line graphs
  • quantify the empirical probability of simple events
Functions and Relations
  • recognize, describe, analyze, extend and create a variety of patterns using models, tables, graphs, simple rules and manipulatives
  • write and solve open sentences
  • plot points on a number line and on a rectangular coordinate system


Children will use the scientific method to study the physical and natural sciences. Through research and inquiry, students will explore themes in anatomy and physiology, human growth and development, diseases, the respiratory system, and animal behaviors. They will also explore these themes relating to aquatic studies (watershed and wetlands) – adaptations, changes, human factor, diversity, interactions, energy, and systems.

The process of scientific investigation will help students realize that becoming involved, remaining open to new ideas, and risking failure are all critical to scientific discovery. They will be encouraged to take calculated risks without fear of failure, become involved, and tolerate individual differences. In the course of their studies, children will employ the following skills:


  • use senses to gain information
  • recognize patterns
  • describe observations
  • compare and contrast similarities and differences
  • see continuity and changes
  • distinguish between relevant and irrelevant observations
Classify: objects, actions, relationships, and data

Social Studies

Children will begin to gain an understanding of the larger world through social studies. In addition, they will begin to understand themselves, their relationships,and their responsibilities to themselves and to others.

The fifth-grade program of studies includes interdisciplinary themes that integrate topics in social studies and science.

  • In-depth study of an historical period
Skills and Processes
  • Participate in class effectively as a group member
  • Participate in discussing world and local current events
Map Skills
  • Read maps and globes
  • Interpret a variety of maps
  • Geography related to historical period
  • Land and sea charts
Research Skills
  • Interpretation of historical documents
  • See Information Skills listed under Language Arts
  • Historical figures
  • Political/governmental/organizational structures
  • Impact of culture and beliefs
  • Similarities and differences
  • Awareness of arts and culture in historical period
  • Interdependence of peoples
  • Cultural, racial, and gender equity
  • Awareness of other civilizations
  • In-depth experience of a selected period of history
  • Compare own culture with that of other cultures and periods in history


Children study the foundations of personal health and physical well being through a program of health education based on age-appropriate information about issues in these categories: Growth and Development, Mental/ Emotional Health, Personal Health, Family Life and Health, Nutrition, Disease Prevention and Control, Safety and First Aid, Consumer Health, Substance Use and Abuse, and Community and Environmental Health Management.


Word Processing

At least one major piece of writing done on computer from start to finish review, emphasize design and publishing, templates, more advanced formatting, regular use in classroom, composing at the computer


Online Catalog, data bases, Internet research


Enhance geometry and problem solving, expand programming skills (e.g. conditionals, sub-procedures, recursion,) use of graphics, buttons, sliders

System Skills

Review, basic troubleshooting skills, organization and maintenance skills


Students apply art skills and concepts acquired at previous levels. They learn to perceive subtle qualities of line, color, shape, form, texture and particularly value, becoming aware of gradual and sharp contrasts in light, color and other visual changes that can be seen in natural and constructed environments.

Lessons emphasize sketching using gradations of tone to change two-dimensional shapes to three-dimensional forms and rendering objects more accurately in proper proportion. The skills gained in the drawing unit enhance other lessons presented in painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, art appreciation, and art history.

Various arts and cultures around the world are explored through a variety of resources including technology. In addition, all classes will create art that correlates to our PTO- A.R.T. gallery artist. Fifth graders have the opportunity to serve as docents for this program and lead gallery tours for children in younger grades.


General music at the Ray School is full of hands-on activities that help students learn the concepts of music and the art of listening. The majority of general music classes use the Orff-Schulwerk method, a teaching approach which promises that we and our students will interact as partners in making music. Playing instruments , singing and moving are treated as ensemble experiences, requiring mutual awareness and cooperation in order to create successful musical expression. Improvisation and composition are an integral part of this process. Some of the materials used in class may include barred instruments, recorders, bells and simple percussion.

Additional instrumental and vocal opportunities are available. Students in 4th grade may elect to study violin in group lessons while 5th graders may choose violin, cello or one of the traditional band instruments. Chorus is a requirement for all 3rd and 4th graders and is optional for 5th graders.

In December, two concerts are held: one by students in grades K-2 and another by the singers in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade choruses. These older choruses also perform in late spring. Throughout the year, children may participate in mini-recitals, giving them an opportunity to showcase skills learned outside of school. The maxi-recital in June is reserved for 5th graders only.

It is our goal that all students leave the Ray School with a well-rounded knowledge of music and a deep desire to learn more.

Physical Education

Our mission in physical education is to help all students acquire the knowledge,skills, and attitudes they need to lead healthy,active lifestyles throughout their lives. Students develop motor skills,identify movement concepts, and work to achieve and maintain a health enhancing level of physical fitness in a safe and structured environment. And, our curriculum is designed to help students develop acceptable social and personal behaviors in physical activity and team building settings.

The fifth graders are called “Personal Trainers”. In fifth grade the students are given more responsibility. Throughout the year, they work on a journal which archives and culminates their physical education experience at the Ray school. In class, the students, using skills learned as “Learners” and “Team Builders” begin to play self-refereed short-sided games. These games encourage positive social behavior while providing students with a good aerobic workout. And, the students continue to lean about physical fitness as it relates to them, personally.

Special Educatation

In accordance with the Individuals with the Disabilities Act, special education at the Ray School will provide individual education programs (IEPs) that enable children with identified disabilities to make steady educational progress and participate to the greatest extent possible in the schools mainstream classes and the curriculum described herein.

Affective Education

A comprehensive guidance and counseling curriculum encourages the child to grow in skills in the following areas: personal, social, emotional, educational, moral, self-understanding, and decision-making skills, and gain competence in taking care of oneself.

Bonding to Family and School

  • Appreciate self as special
  • Identify healthy ways to have fun and feel good
  • Identify sources of self-assessment
  • Assess self and give positive self-talk
  • Ask for affirmations from others
  • Ask for advice from a trusted person
  • Identify stressful situations, know effects of stress and ways to deal with stressful situations

Shane Clifford

5th Grade Teacher

Stephanie Hareld

5th Grade Teacher

Robert Stone

5th Grade Teacher