Grade Level Overviews Fifth Grade

The fifth grade is a huge year of growth and development. 

The theme, "Choices Make History", reflects the focus on both intrapersonal and interpersonal growth. Students gain a deeper understanding of themselves as learners and develop a sense of responsibility to one another and their communities. 

The advisory model -- begun in fifth grade -- offers a supportive, small-group environment in which students build these skills. They work on effective communication and learn to collaborate with others to solve problems. Experiences at Camp Manitowa, as well as daily group challenges, enable students to grow in their ability to appreciate and embrace diversity. They recognize that their different strengths and perspectives make them stronger.     

Understanding is the goal and students are engaged. They question, reason, reflect, and confront issues. It is a special time for learning as students grow in all of their multiple intelligences. Fifth graders use their linguistic intelligence as they become authors and critical readers. They use their logical-mathematical intelligence as they analyze and solve problems, becoming critical thinkers in many different content areas. Their naturalist intelligence grows through experiences at camp and in our garden area. Development of their interpersonal intelligence guides them as they complete service projects and form classroom communities. Students use their spatial, musical, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences to create projects which enhance their understanding.

What to Expect from Your Fifth Grader

Fifth grade begins the transition into adolescence. At this stage of development, students become more independent and assume more responsibility for their own learning, though they may still need some support. They start to prioritize tasks,  implement effective study habits, manage their time and materials, and increase their problem-solving abilities.  

As they develop their own identities, they begin to question the status quo. The students have a strong sense of justice and want to know why things are the way they are. Although fifth graders are competitive by nature, they also enjoy working collaboratively with their peers. They begin to see themselves as the ‘big kids,’ feel nostalgic about their childhoods, and are nurturing to students younger than themselves. Fifth graders are proud of their achievements.

Top Ten Things to Know about Fifth Grade

Advisories: Small peer groups enable students to form lasting friendships and enhance personal development.

Overnight at Camp Manitowa: Students gain confidence through low-ropes and challenge courses.

Class Play: This whole grade presentation incorporates all intelligences and expresses theme through drama.

Primary Source Documents: Through analysis and critical thinking, students become historians.

Living History Project: Students gain personal insights into history by corresponding with older adults.

The Great Egg Drop: Fifth graders solve logical-mathematical and physics problems by using their spatial intelligences to design carriers for an egg that will survive a drop from the roof of the building.

Typical Fifth Grader: Students explore their similarities and differences through a data project.

Field Trips Around St. Louis: Civil Rights and Civil War sites provide students with first-hand experiences.

Block Schedule: Students transition from class to class.

Autobiographical Essay: Fifth grade writers reflect upon their experiences and discover what they learned about themselves.

If you would like more information about the content and skills covered in the fifth grade curriculum, click here.