5th Grade Language Arts

Course Description

Semester A

The 5th grade Language Arts curriculum integrates reading, writing, speaking, listening, and the study of vocabulary and grammar in a way that engages today’s learners and supports them in building a broad and diverse set of literacy skills.  Students study classic literature as well as more contemporary forms, including media and multimedia products. Writing assignments in semester A focus on narrative and persuasive modes and emphasize the use of reasoning and details to support opinions. Each writing assignment spans several lessons and guides students through a writing process that begins with prewriting and ends by emphasizing one or more aspects of conventions of standard written English. Students also learn how to participate in collaborative discussion and peer review sessions. In each lesson, engaging and relevant models and step-by-step instruction guide students toward mastery and appreciation of 21st century communication in all its forms and functions.

Semester B

Like semester A, semester B provides an integrated curriculum.  Whereas the first semester focuses on skills needed to literary text, semester B focuses on skills for reading and analyzing informational text. In the second semester of the course, students learn how informational text differs from literary text and how different forms of information text differ from each other. Writing assignments emphasize expository writing and guide students through research projects. Near the end of the semester, students learn how to present information orally and using multimedia.

Course Requirements

Grade Level

5th Grade


Semester A:

  • Because of Winn Dixie
    by Kate Dicamillo
  • Number the Stars
    by Lois Lowry
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham
    by Christopher Paul Curtis

Semester B:

  • Maniac Magee
    by Jerry Spinelli
  • Out of the Dust
    by Karen Hesse
  • Island of the Blue Dolphin
    by Scott O’Dell

Course Materials List

*Materials listed should be acquired by the student prior to beginning work in the course.


2 Semesters



Technology Skills

  • Use of slideshow presentation software
  • Internet searches for research purposes

Semester A

Weekly Themes Include:

  • Foundational skills for reading and writing
  • Literary elements and devices
  • Literary forms, including poetry and drama
  • Fluency in reading and writing
  • Collaborative discussions
  • English language conventions
  • Classic literature

Semester B

Weekly Themes Include:

  • Strategies for reading informational text
  • Informational text structures
  • Research stages and strategies
  • Analyzing and evaluating information
  • Writing research reports
  • Media literacy
  • Oral and multimedia presentations
  • Peer review process and strategies
  • English language conventions