Curriculum Guide: Fifth Grade


Fifth Grade

Fifth grade is a year of stepping outside one’s own perspective and viewing topics through different lenses.

5th Grade
The opportunities for fifth graders expand critically and creatively as they explore some advance ideas in art, design thinking, and more.


Students have the opportunity to investigate ruptured relationships that have existed throughout American history since the settlement of Paleo-Indians. With an opportunity to delve deeply into culture, fifth graders learn that they are not only historians, but they also have the opportunity and responsibility to make a positive, personal history. Practicing wearing others’ shoes, our fifth-grade boys spend time reading memoirs and writing their own. Fifth grade is a great time to try something new. Many fifth graders choose to do just that by joining the PDS Band or participating on the Lego Robotics team.


Language Arts

  • Appreciate and respond to literature during Reader’s Workshop
  • Integrate comprehension strategies while reading to gain understanding of text
  • Understand literary elements as conventions in reading and writing
  • Apply metacognitive skills while reading
  • Examine word choice to develop accuracy and precision of language
  • Complete analogies and state their relationships
  • Use figurative language to gain understanding while reading
  • Apply the six traits of writing to all Writer’s Workshop narrative, informational, and opinion texts
  • Use MLA format to write an evaluative, research-based essay on topic of choice
  • Analyze sentence structure and edit writing samples for proper use of parts of speech, phrases, subject-verb agreement, clauses, mechanics, and spelling rules


  • Perform calculations with multi-digit whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
  • Process and solve word problems using all operations
  • Explain prime and composite numbers
  • Convert fractions to percents and percents to fractions
  • Convert fractions to ratios
  • Explore geometric properties and relationships of lines, angles, polygons, and circles
  • Discover different types of angles, polygons, and triangles
  • Use formulas to find area, perimeter, volume, circumference, and diameter
  • Demonstrate an understanding of elementary algebraic patterns and relationships
  • Construct various graphs to communicate data appropriately
  • Analyze data using basic statistical terms

Social Studies

  • Survey and examine events in U.S. history from pre-contact America through the Civil War
  • Make connections from the past to the present and possibly the future
  • Read for understanding and summarize historical events
  • Conduct internet research
  • Determine main ideas and worthy conclusions within texts and take informative notes
  • State a claim and support it with historical data
  • Apply understanding of vocabulary and sentence structure to write an essay featuring content and opinions of American history
  • Use critical and creative-thinking skills to write a reflection on historical topics


  • Observe, investigate, and describe Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Understand the impact of friction on a moving object
  • Relate potential energy to kinetic energy
  • Describe the action and reaction forces involved in motion
  • Discover and demonstrate the properties of air
  • Build and launch parachutes; observe how the shape and size of parachutes affect flight
  • Investigate and construct model airplanes
  • Relate an increase in power to an increase in thrust
  • Build a model rocket complete with internal fuel source
  • Observe how air pressure provides thrust needed to launch a spacecraft into orbit