Fifth grade students build on investigation and research skills developed in prior grades. Students study atoms, elements and the periodic table, as well as solids, liquids and gases. They learn about energy, electricity and light, and how cameras and telescopes work. Through experiments and research, students study the human body, including cell, heart, breathing, circulatory system, and digestive system. Students study animal and plant cells and life cycles of plants, animals, and insects. Fifth grade students learn about ecosystems, habitats, and weather effects on our planet. They also study constellations and planets' effects on each other.
Fifth grade students engage in standards based activities, including place value, decimals, exponents and prime factors. Students increase their facility with the four math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and apply them to fractions, decimals and positive and negative numbers. They learn to identify and add and subtract integers, use variable and tables, and organize and display data with types of graphs. Students study shapes, lines, points and angles, and learn to solve perimeter, surface and volume of an area. In the fifth grade students develop strong problem solving skills, conceptual understanding and basic and procedural skills.
In the fifth grade students study the people of the Americas, including Cliff Dwellers, Nomads, American Indians and Woodland People. Students study reasons for exploration and explorers, such as Christopher Columbus and Francisco Vasquez de Coronado. They study early land and sea explorers to the Americas, as well as early settlements in North America. In the fifth grade, students do reports, create dioramas, or bring artifacts to enrich understanding. Students learn about the many Colonies that made up early America. They study the French and Indian War, and the Declaration of Independence. In the fifth grade, students learn about early government, study the Bill of Rights, and learn of the Westward Expansion. They learn about the California Gold Rush and the Oregon Trail. Students work in groups, and alone, preparing charts and graphs, and developing critical thinking skills.
English Language Arts
Fifth grade students continue working with the Dictionary and Thesaurus. They learn proper usage of singular, plural and subject nouns; verbs, including action, compound, helping, and state of being; verb phrases and verb endings. Fifth grade students use spelling lists, study spelling rules, and identify the meaning of age appropriate words. The students study figures of speech, metaphors, imagery and narratives, including writing and giving a narrative presentation. To enrich the reading experience, students complete several literature compositions, including The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Mayflower Compact, Paul Revere's Ride and Aunt Polly Shedd's Brigade. Fifth grade students use the encyclopedia to conduct research and obtain information. They learn to write an outline, revise and rewrite, take notes, and complete a finished report.