Grade 5

In fifth grade, students learn explicit skills in organization and time management, which foster success in this journey. Because of their now solid background knowledge, students are given a greater opportunity to explore and examine subject matter, allowing them a greater sense of freedom and responsibility. They are ready and able to synthesize information. They are encouraged to discover and embrace their unique learning styles and work with their strengths in mind. Long-term projects are formulated to encourage students to take ownership of their learning, positioning them to solve problems as they arise.

Grade 5 Curriculum


  • Master whole number operations and facts
  • Solve problems involving fractions and decimals
  • Represent and analyze mathematical structures using equations and algebraic symbols
  • Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional shapes
  • Apply various strategies and algorithms to problems

Language Arts


  • Continue to develop and strengthen reading skills: fluency, word recognition, vocabulary, oral reading, and comprehension
  • Extend thinking beyond the surface elements of the text and begin to understand symbolism, metaphors, and imagery
  • Analyze texts with a critical eye and formulate opinions about what is read
  • Identify and appreciate the elements of a story: plot, theme, characters, setting, problem, and solution


  • Continue strengthening the use of writing mechanics, such as spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure
  • Study and practice different genres of writing, including persuasive writing, essays, personal narratives, poetry, and fictional stories
  • Understand the value of proofreading, editing, and revising a piece of writing
  • Develop a personalized style of writing, allowing one’s own unique voice to come through in the writing


  • Enhance note-taking strategies, including recording key terms and drawing and labeling accurate diagrams, while promoting analytical thinking and accurate experiment design.
  • Observe, test, and categorize rocks and minerals in the lab and field
  • Model and understand geologic processes
  • Introduction to microscopes and the micro and nano world
  • Investigate electricity and circuits and use that knowledge to design and carry out a scientific experiment
  • Independent scientific experiment investigation a question of each student's choosing

Social Studies

  • Focusing on the theme of social justice, fifth graders will explore the idea of human rights from a variety of perspectives, cultures, and governmental systems
  • Learn to define and decipher wants versus needs, and discover how “human rights” can differ from location, organization, and governmental systems
  • Investigate how rights have changed over time and have been influenced by history (i.e., Women’s Suffrage, Workers Rights, The Civil Rights Movement)
  • Develop skills that include reading and analyzing primary source documents, writing to inform, and articulating thoughts and ideas;
  • Continue to practice and implement organizational, research, and note-taking skills and strategies
  • Examine and interpret historical maps and their projections, and create maps of their own


  • Continue to develop speaking skills to communicate complex ideas
  • Continue to develop reading and writing skills in order to read and write longer passages in Spanish
  • Identify Spanish speaking countries on a map and gain specific, in depth knowledge of 1-2 countries of choice
  • Solidify foundational vocabulary, including: greetings and introductions, calendar, country facts, clothing, colors, classroom items, hobbies, and likes and dislikes
  • Explore Spanish and Hispanic culture


Integrated Technology

  • Expand experience with digital and printed media types while working on various writing genre such as professional letters, student-authored picture books, and newsletters.
  • Extend multimedia capabilities by adding hyperlinks and action buttons within presentations.
  • Develop an enhanced ability to draw conclusions from data as students explore more advanced spreadsheet functions in Numbers (e.g., average)
  • Expand video editing tools, combining still images, video, and audio in varied presentations.
  • Use Chromebooks, desktop computers and iPads to assess skills in areas like reading and math.
  • Continue to develop research and critical thinking experience using online resources


  • Develop more advanced programming skills using Scratch
  • Create projects and solve coding challenges independently
  • Use nested conditional statements to drive program decisions
  • Complete a long-term Personal Interest Project in Scratch


  • Recognize, demonstrate, notate, and create with the rhythms: dotted half, eighth notes, dotted quarter, syncopation and the same duration for rests
  • Identify, sing with accuracy, notate, and create with melodic notes: do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, and high do (extended diatonic scale)
  • Sing back appropriate pitches from given hand sign
  • Play accurately and sensitively several moderate level pieces on the soprano recorder
  • Read notes middle C through high G on the treble clef and finger the pitches on the soprano recorder
  • Play with good mallet technique and tone on the Orff instruments
  • Finger and strum chords C, G7, F and Dm on ukulele
  • Demonstrate independence and accuracy when singing rounds, two- and three-part songs, and more difficult melodies
  • Move rhythmically to music in the context of more difficult partner and group dances
  • Learn to sing thirty to fifty folk songs confidently, with expression and in pitch
  • Use the real names for rhythmic values learned and read simple melodies with absolute note names
  • Learn recording basics on iPad GarageBand application
  • Participate in a class musical presentation, working on stage speaking skills, solo voice, and public speaking

Visual Arts

  • Apply knowledge of color theory when making design decisions
  • Explore additional printmaking methods
  • Experiment with a variety of armature materials with the goal of achieving structural integrity
  • Think and work independently
  • Learn to render the human face, using rules for proportion and placement of features
  • Create a self portrait with the aid of a mirror
  • Participate in a community critique using fifth grade art vocabulary



  • Use more sophisticated woodworking tools such as a plane, spokeshave, chisel, and lathe
  • Apply prior knowledge to independently complete complex woodworking project

Physical Education/Intramural Sports

Our intramural program helps to establish the team sport athlete in each fifth grade student. Confidence and sport-specific skills are further enhanced and include a focus on rules, strategies, and pace of play. Intramurals offer students the opportunity to learn how to compete as a team while understanding different roles and positions. We encourage the students to challenge themselves, ask questions and develop routines that will carry on to the field, court or course going forward.

The goal is that students feel confident and well prepared for participation in Tower's Athletics program, which begins in grade six.

5th grade model boat building