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Curriculum Overview

Fifth Grade

English Language Arts (ELA)

Fifth grade works to carry on the strong foundation of literacy instruction at Oostburg Elementary.  Developing 21st century skills (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, problem solving) in our students through reader’s and writer’s workshop  remains a priority.  Transferring and integrating literacy skills across the curriculum to other content areas, such as science and social studies, is a strong focus as well.

Fifth grade literacy skills include:

  • Connecting, comparing and responding to texts within the same genre
  • Using narrative structure to respond to text themes
  • Analyzing point of view, figurative language and structure of texts
  • Analyzing academic language in informational texts
  • Summarizing information learned about a topic
  • Examining multiple points of view on the same topic
  • Forming well-structured opinions and writing persuasive papers that will shape a reader’s perceptions and understandings about a topic
  • Writing a literary analysis
  • Collecting, analyzing and citing evidence from historical fiction texts to share information and change thinking
  • Writing research reports that impact the thinking of the reader

Students in all grades K-8 learn reading and writing strategies and skills through teacher modeling, guided practice and independent reading and writing time.  Through daily reader’s and writer’s workshop time, students learn to live as a reader and writer, thinking critically about texts and generating numerous narrative, informational and opinion writing pieces over the course of a year.


In Grade 5, students will build their understanding of the place value system by working with decimals up to the hundredths place. Students will also add, subtract, and multiply fractions, including fractions with unlike denominators. They will continue to expand their geometry and measurement skills, learning the concept of volume and measuring the volume of a solid figure. Activities in these areas will include:

  • Quickly and accurately multiplying multi-digit whole numbers
  • Dividing numbers with up to four digits by two digit numbers
  • Using exponents to express powers of 10
  • Reading, writing, and comparing decimals to the thousandths place
  • Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals to the hundredths place
  • Writing and interpreting mathematical expressions using symbols such as parentheses. For example, “add 8 and 7, then multiply by 2” can be written as 2×(8+7).
  • Adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators (bottom numbers) by converting them to fractions with matching denominators
  • Multiplying fractions by whole numbers and other fractions
  • Dividing fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by fractions
  • Analyzing and determining relationships between numerical patterns
  • Measuring volume using multiplication and addition


Students in 5th grade science will gain understanding of scientific investigation, interpretation of data, and evaluation of models, inferences, and experimental results through exploring a variety of scientific concepts:

  • Matter and properties of matter
  • Energy and energy resources
  • Gravitational force, sun, stars, earth
  • Distribution of water on earth
  • Geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere
  • Protection of earth’s resources and environment

Social Studies

Students will gain geographical perspectives of the world by studying the earth and interactions of people with places where they live, work, and play.  Students will learn about the history of the United States, examine change and continuity over time in order to develop historical perspectives, explain historical relationships, and analyze issues that affect the present and future through these area of study. Topics of study include:

  • European Exploration in North America
  • Colonial America
  • American Revolution
  • Constitution and Government
  • Civil War
  • The 50 States