Curriculum‎ > ‎Fifth Grade‎ > ‎

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