Welcome Fifth Graders
The central theme of the fifth grade Religion curriculum is that the Sacraments are the center of our whole liturgical life that nourishes and strengthens us. Instructional emphasis is placed in three main areas. First, students develop an understanding that the Sacraments are celebrated through the use of sacred signs and symbols. Second, we emphasize that Christ’s presence in our lives is celebrated in the Sacraments and through prayer. Third, students understand that we participate in God’s own life through the sacraments. The Family Life curriculum is also taught in fifth grade. This includes lessons on human reproduction. The students also attend one morning Mass each week.
Fifth graders read a wide range of materials including literature from different times and cultures. They also read grade-level informational text in all subject areas. Students compare two or more texts and compare and contrast information. They learn how to analyze structure, point of view, visual elements, and figurative language using Step Up To Writing and Writer’s Workshop strategies. In their writing, students learn to group related information logically. They revise, edit and rewrite their compositions and learn to try new approaches to improve their writing. Students conduct research projects that provide them with practice in editing, revising, and rewriting. To support their writing and speaking, they learn the conventions of standard English grammar and usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation. Students learn to use print and digital reference materials to determine the correct pronunciation and meaning of words.
Fifth grade math instruction focuses on three critical areas. First, students develop fluency in addition and subtraction of fractions and developing understanding of multiplication and division of fractions. Second, students extend division to two-digit divisors and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations. Lastly, fifth graders develop an understanding of volume.
Fifth grade Science topics are organized into the following domains: physical science, life science, earth science (water, weather, and the solar system) and investigation and experimentation. In the physical sciences students develop the ability to distinguish between molecules and atoms and chemical compounds and mixtures. They learn about chemical reactions and discover the properties of metallic elements and salts. In the life sciences they learn the basics of physiology, and the structures and processes of living things. Fifth graders deepen their understanding of the hydrologic cycle, and how water moves between the land and the oceans. They learn about how the cycle influences weather. They also study the solar system and learn about the composition of the Sun and the relationship between gravity and planetary orbits. The class also has an opportunity to participate in the annual school Science Fair.
The fifth grade social studies curriculum presents the story of the development of the United States, emphasizing the period up to 1850. Throughout the year we explore the creation of a new nation by immigrants from all parts of the world, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and English traditions of self-government. Students examine the human and physical geography of the United States by studying present-day maps of the United States and identifying the connections with thematic maps.
Students in Grades 4-8 receive 1 hour of Art instruction per week with an Art teacher. There is a weekly music class taught by the school music teacher and two annual music concerts.