In 5th grade, students develop their ability to read for comprehension and meaning, with a focus on self-selected non-fiction texts. They learn to write with intention, establishing their purpose, identifying their audience, and revising their work to improve clarity.
The emphasis is on comprehension and non-fiction; students continue the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. They become increasingly capable of understanding the meaning between the lines in a variety of texts. Students are presented with high-interest, theme-based, or genre-related literature and allowed a choice in their reading. They move between self-selected independent reading workshops, guided reading groups, reading partnerships, and literature circles. Reading components include discussion-based read-alouds, reading partnerships, small group literature circles, and independent reading.
Students identify themselves as writers and write in authentic ways each day. They identify their audience and purpose, use visual planners to organize their work, draft, revise, edit, and publish. Revision takes on an important role in helping to clarify, add, or delete copy. Writing workshop components include skills-based, styles-based, and conventions-based mini-lessons. Students have sustained writing time and engage in active feedback.
Using relevant and focused literature as examples, students learn through mini-lessons, one-on-one interactions, and in small groups. Components of writing are also incorporated into project-based learning where students are using their composition skills to demonstrate understanding and share information.
Throughout the 5th grade year, students continue to focus on and build competency in the writing traits introduced the previous year: conventions, organization, ideas, word choice, voice, and sentence fluency. Students write in a variety of forms, including creative writing (poetry, fiction, plays) and informational writing (reports and presentations).
Vocabulary building and etymology is taught in differentiated groupings through multi-sensory practice. It is also an integral part of reading and writing workshops throughout the year.