5th Graders Engage in Vocabulary Study, Here is what it Means:

Vocabulary development is an essential skill for reading and overall academic achievement. We use a hands-on, developmentally driven approach to word study where we are not just asking students to memorize words but asking them to understand their synonyms, antonyms along with how they might see them in their reading. In our 5th grade classrooms, we use daily vocabulary instruction using words selected from our curriculum and content. Explicit, consistent instruction leads students to vocabulary growth and a greater love of language. Word mastery and confidence is achieved from daily routines that engage students with new words in a classroom community that promotes academic risk-taking.

Each week, the 5th grade will introduce five new vocabulary words over the course of four weeks. Each introduction will be done as a class where we will talk about their meanings, what type of word they are and their synonyms and antonyms. We will also use different activities over the month to practice these vocabulary words, from writing a story, comic strip, Google slideshow, mind maps, Pear Deck, and lots of other activities. We have found that students tend to just memorize words and we are trying to get them to use them as much as possible in order for students to truly understand their meaning. On the assessment/check in we will do at the end of the 4 weeks we only ask students to spell one of the vocabulary words and the rest are multiple choice options that let us know the students understanding of the words. Most of this work will be done in their vocabulary journals and these will be sent home to complete any assignments. These journals will need to come back to school the next day.

Readers Workshop

Fifth grade is a time for children to hone their intellectual independence. In the first unit, Interpretation Book Clubs: Analyzing Themes, students draw on a repertoire of ways for reading closely, noticing how story elements interact, understanding how different authors develop the same theme, and comparing and contrasting texts that develop a similar theme. In the second unit, Tackling Complexity: Moving Up Levels of Nonfiction, children investigate the ways nonfiction texts are becoming more complex, and they learn strategies to tackle these new challenges. This unit emphasizes the strong foundational skills, such as fluency, orienting to texts, and word solving, that are required to read complex nonfiction. In the third unit, Fantasy Book Clubs: The Magic of Themes and Symbols, students work in clubs to become deeply immersed in the fantasy genre and further develop higher-level thinking skills to study how authors develop characters and themes over time. They think metaphorically as well as analytically, explore the quests and themes within and across their novels, and consider the implications of conflicts, themes, and lessons learned. In the final unit for fifth grade, Argument and Advocacy: Researching Debatable Issues, students read complex nonfiction texts to conduct research on a debatable topic, consider perspective and craft, evaluate arguments, and formulate their own evidence-based, ethical positions on issues.

Teaching Text that go along with our Units of Study
  • Alien Deep by Bradley Hague

  • Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylan

  • Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting

  • Home Of The Brave by Katherine Applegate

  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

  • The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

  • The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

  • When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson