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Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade Standards

Fifth Grade Standards

Dear Parent/Guardian,
Well-communicated standards provide you with the information you need to have a better understanding of what your child is to learn in a specific grade level and in a specific subject. Your knowledge of the standards will help you frame your questions for parent-teacher conferences; select reading and writing materials for the home; and shape your visits to public libraries and other places of interest.

English-Language Arts
Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
  • Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.
Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
  • Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. The selections in Recommended Reading Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition, by grade eight, students read one million words annually on their own, including a good representation of grade-level-appropriate narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information). In grade five, students make progress toward this goal.
Literary Response and Analysis
  • Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature. They begin to find ways to clarify the ideas and make connections between literary works. The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.
Writing Strategies
  • Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits the students’ awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
  • Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive texts of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
  • Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.
Listening and Speaking Strategies
  • Students deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey ideas clearly and relate to the background and interests of the audience. They evaluate the content of oral communication.
Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
  • Students deliver well-organized formal presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies (e.g., narration, exposition, persuasion, description). Student speaking demonstrates a command of standard American English and the organizational and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking 1.0.

History-Social Science
United States History and Geography: Making a New Nation
Students in grade five study the development of the nation up to 1850 with an emphasis on the people who were already here, when and from where others arrived, and why they came. Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. They recognize that ours is a nation that has a constitution that derives its power from the people, that has gone through a revolution, that once sanctioned slavery, that experienced conflict over land with the original inhabitants, and that experienced a westward movement that took its people across the continent. Studying the cause, course, and consequences of the early explorations through the War for Independence and western expansion is central to students’ fundamental understanding of how the principles of the American republic form the basis of a pluralistic society in which individual rights are secured.
  • Describe the major pre-Columbian settlement, including the cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the desert Southwest, the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland people east of the Mississippi River.
  • Trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.
  • Describe the cooperation and conflict that existed among the Indians and between the Indian nations and the new settlers.
  • Understand the political, religious, social, and economic institutions that evolved in the colonial era.
  • Explain the causes of the American Revolution.
  • Understand the course and consequences of the American Revolution.
  • Describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution and analyze the Constitution’s significance as the foundation of the American republic.
  • Trace the colonization, immigration, and settlement patterns of the American people from 1789 to the mid-1800s with emphasis on the defining role of economic incentives and the effects of the physical and political geography, and transportation systems.
  • Know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their capitals.

By the end of grade five, students increase their facility with the four basic arithmetic operations applied to fractions, decimals, and positive and negative numbers. They know and use common measuring units to determine length and area and know and use formulas to determine the volume of simple geometric figures. Students know the concept of angle measurement and use a protractor and compass to solve problems. They use grids, tables, graphs, and charts to record and analyze data.

Number Sense
  • Compute with very large and very small numbers, positive integers, decimals, and fractions and understand the relationship between decimals, fractions, and percents. They understand the relative magnitudes of numbers.
  • Perform calculations and solve problems involving addition, subtraction, and simple multiplication and division of fractions and decimals.
Algebra and Functions
  • Students use variables in simple expressions, compute the value of the expression for specific values of the variable, and plot and interpret the results.
Measurement and Geometry
  • Understand and compute the volumes and areas of simple objects.
  • Identify, describe, and classify the properties of, and the relationships between, plane and solid geometric figures.
Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability
  • Students display, analyze, compare, and interpret different data sets, including data sets of different sizes.
Mathematical Reasoning
  • Make decisions about how to approach a problem.
  • Use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions.
  • Move beyond a particular problem by generalizing to other situations.

Physical Sciences
  • Elements and their combinations account for all the varied types of matter in the world.
Life Sciences
  • Plants and animals have structures for respiration, digestion, waste disposal, and transport of materials.
Earth Sciences
  • Water on Earth moves between the oceans and land through the process of evaporation and condensation.
  • Energy from the sun heats the Earth unevenly, causing air movements that result in changing weather patterns.
  • The solar system consists of planets and other bodies that orbit the sun in predictable paths.
Investigation and Experimentation
  • Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. To understand this concept and to address the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations.