School District of Clayton

Fifth Grade Learning Objectives

Fifth-grade students participate in many activities which prepare them for a smooth transition to middle school. In the final year of elementary school, expectations increase for students to plan and organize their work. Fifth graders show a surprising scope of interests and they work to develop command of time, organizational skills and responsibility. Lessons in literacy, math, social studies and science support fifth graders in higher-level thinking by applying their study to real life problem solving. During this year of personal growth, fifth-graders need a sense of belonging, recognition and approval of their accomplishments amid efforts and opportunities to be responsible and make decisions on their own. With growing self-reliance, students will find in their classroom many opportunities for demonstrating curiosity, working independently, organizing daily work and assuming initiative in seeking help when needed.

Language Literacy

The Language Literacy curriculum focuses on developing skilled and enthusiastic readers and writers. Elementary students learn to be active and capable readers of both fiction and nonfiction, including a variety of print and nonprint texts, who enjoy talking about their reading with others. As a result, students engage in a wide range of comprehension activities designed to support both critical reading and continued growth as readers. Elementary students learn to write and to use writing to learn. Students write in a variety of genres, thus developing their ability to express ideas, emotions and beliefs while acquiring a firm, yet developmentally appropriate, foundation in the fundamentals of writing. Moreover, the District strives to develop students who enjoy reading and writing and who value reading and writing as a means for exploring their imagination, for learning about themselves and the world and for communicating with others.
The fifth-grade student:
Reads with Accuracy
  • Applies a variety of strategies to decode unknown words.
  • Reads with fluency.
  • Builds and applies vocabulary.
Uses Comprehension Strategies
  • Identifies and sequences main ideas and details.
  • Applies higher-level comprehension strategies: Predicting, Visualizing, Questioning, Making Connections and Making Inferences.
  • Participates in literature discussions.
  • Writes meaningful responses to literature.
  • Reads independently for pleasure and information.
  • Reads grade level text.

  • Uses steps of the writing process: Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing and Publishing.
  • Understands and applies the traits of writing: Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions (Spelling, Capitalization and Punctuation).
  • Communicates effectively in various forms of writing: Personal Narrative, Memoir, Personal Expository Essay, Persuasive Essay/Letter and Poetry.
  • Demonstrates growing independence and confidence as a writer.

  • Uses research skills to gather, analyze and apply information.



The amount of information available today necessitates that students acquire the skills to select, evaluate and use information appropriately and effectively.  School District of Clayton libraries provide access to print and digital resources for both learning and enjoyment. Librarians provide instruction in accessing and using library resources, facilitating research and appreciating literature.
Fifth Grade Objectives:
  • Student will know the meaning of plagiarism.
  • Student will know school district policies related to accessing and using sources.
  • Student will be able to select a topic of interest.
  • Student will be able to generate, predict the answer to and revise questions.
  • Student will be able to assess the reliability and credibility of a source.
  • Student will be able to locate information sources based on information needed.
  • Student will be able to identify information to determine the relevance to the topic.
  • Student will be able to assess for gaps in information gathered.
  • Student will be able to select and use navigational features of print and digital sources.
  • Student will be able to construct new knowledge based on information gathered.
  • Student will be able to revise focus questions and key words as information is gathered.
  • Student will be able to work collaboratively and cooperatively in an inquiry process.
  • Student will be able to evaluate whether the information need was met.
  • Student will be able to effectively share information.
  • Student will be able to assess the quality of their work.
  • Student will know that there are methods to use in order to choose books they will enjoy on an appropriate reading level.
  • Student will know that there are different literary genres.
  • Student will know there are different book awards in children╩╝s literature.
  • Student will know that authors and illustrators have different styles and create in different genres.
  • Student will be able to choose books they will enjoy on an appropriate reading level.
  • Student will recognize fable, myth and legend when he or she reads one of these genres.
  • Student will be able identify books that have won an award and he or she will be able to discuss what makes the books worthy of an award.
  • Student will understand what a call number is and why it is important.
  • Student will understand that they can narrow or broaden their searches to meet their information needs.
  • Student will understand what a database is and how it differs from a website.
  • Student will follow the norms and procedures that are in place in the library such as for check in and check out.
  • Student will locate fiction books using the author╩╝s last name.
  • Student will begin to sort and locate books to the second decimal number in the Dewey Decimal System.
  • Student will be able to choose a just right book.
  • Student will be able to write a call number down and find the book independently.
  • Student will use the online catalog to help them locate materials.



Creation is at the heart of the visual art curriculum. Students learn to work with various tools, processes and media. They learn to make choices that enhance the communication of their ideas. Students learn to make critical judgments as they develop aesthetic perception by interacting with works of art and becoming knowledgeable about history and world culture.
Media, Tools, Methods
  • Use additive, subtractive and assemblage techniques for sculpture.
  • Identify problems encountered while making art and develop possible solutions.
  • Show awareness of photography, video and computers as art media and tools.

Principles and Elements
  • Use lines to depict the illusion of depth.
  • Identify shape as a two-dimensional concept consisting of length and width.
  • Use warm and cool colors to create the illusion of depth.
  • Use value to suggest light and shadow.
  • Identify form as a three-dimensional concept consisting of length, width and depth.
  • Identify contrasts between similar elements in works of art.

  • Identify and describe the artistic contributions of various American artists, including artists of different ethnic groups.
Social Context
  • Examine visual forms such as clothing, insignias and public buildings for expressions of group identity.
  • Describe visual images in television, film and advertising.
  • Discuss local, state and national museum collections.
  • Identify and describe the possible meaning of imagery used in our culture.

  • Make decisions about what is needed to improve and complete art work.
  • Classify and describe art works according to the concepts of style (e.g. representational).



The mission of the third- through fifth-grade health curriculum is to provide learning experiences that are relevant to students’ current lives and build a foundation for future health decisions. It impacts the development of the whole child: physical, emotional, mental and social. Such a curriculum requires a partnership among professional educators, parents and members of the broader community. An effective comprehensive health curriculum equips students with information, resources and skills. Additionally, it helps them develop attitudes necessary to choose healthy lifestyles, to become discriminating consumers of health information and products, and to empower themselves for a lifetime of wellness and productivity.
Personal Health and Safety (taught each year)
Play Safe-Stay Safe II
  • Safety in the expanding world
Healthy Living II
  • Importance of sleep
  • Communicable vs. non-communicable diseases
 Body Systems (taught biannually)
All Systems Grow II
  • Digestive, circulatory and nervous systems
  • Skeletal, muscular and respiratory systems
Nutrition (taught biannually)
Let’s Eat Healthy II
  • Effect of food on the body
  • How food influences growth and development
  • Meal planning
Family Life/Sexuality (taught by the classroom teacher)
  • Strand: Family Life/Sexuality
  • Learner Outcome 1: Demonstrate an understanding of how gender differences affect relationships.
  • Learner Outcome 2: Demonstrate an understanding of the process of puberty and reproduction.



Physical Education

The mission of the third- through fifth-grade physical education program is to develop knowledge and understanding, attitudes and behaviors, and skills that will enable each student to develop a lifestyle in which regular vigorous physical activity is practiced. Goals and objectives reflect the view that there are important learning’s in the psychomotor and cognitive and affective domains that lead to optimal development of the whole person. All students should have the opportunity to develop and exhibit desirable behaviors in each of the domains.
Fundamental Movement Skills
  • Manipulatives, body management, movement concepts and developmental games

Stunts and Tumbling
  • Roll, transfer weight and jump using a mature pattern

Personal Fitness/Healthy Lifestyles
  • Health and skill-related fitness, wellness and fitness principles
Outdoor Education/Team Building
  • Cooperation/Team building activities and outdoor pursuits

Rhythms and Dance
  • Essential elements of rhythm, creative/interpretive dance, rhythmic activities, forms of dance and social/cultural aspects of dance

Sport Skills and Lifetime Activities
  • Skill techniques, individual/dual/team sports and specialized activities



In fifth grade, instructional time should focus on three critical areas: (1) developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication of fractions and of division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions; (2) extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system and developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations; and (3) developing understanding of volume.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Write and interpret numerical expressions.
  • Analyze patterns and relationships.

Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Understand the place value system.
  • Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths.

Number and Operations - Fractions
  • Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions.
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions.

The Number System
  • Gain familiarity with concepts of positive and negative integers.

Measurement and Data
  • Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.
  • Represent and interpret data.
  • Geometric measurement: understand concepts of volume and relate volume to multiplication and to addition.

  • Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties.



Science education should encourage an attitude of inquiry in the world around us, excite an interest in the nature and process of science and explore the relationship of science to society, technology, mathematics and other disciplines. Through the science curriculum, students gain a foundation of process skills, leading to organized reasoning, analytical thinking and problem solving abilities.
Fifth-grade students will complete the following FOSS (Full Option Science System) units:
Motion, Force and Models
The Motion, Force, and Models Module has four investigations that focus on the physical science concepts of force and motion and provide students with in-depth experiences with scientific and engineering practices. In this module, students will:
  • ask questions about systems in the natural and designed worlds, including pendulums, springs, and ramps and balls.
  • design and conduct controlled experiments to find out what variables affect the transfer of energy.
  • use data and logic to construct and communicate reasonable explanations about forces and motion.
  • work with others as scientists and engineers to create conceptual and physical models to explain how something works.
  • plan designs, select materials, construct products, evaluate, and improve ideas to meet specific criteria.

Mixtures and Solutions
Chemistry is the study of the structure of matter and the changes or transformations that take place within those structures. Learning about the properties and behaviors of substances gives us knowledge about how things go together and how they can be taken apart. Learning about changes in substances can lead to the development of new materials and new ways to produce energy. The Mixtures and Solutions Module has four investigations that introduce students to fundamental ideas in chemistry. In this module, students will:
  • make and separate mixtures using screens, filters, and evaporation.
  • measure solids and liquids to compare the mass of a mixture to the mass of its parts.
  • use a balance to determine relative concentration and layer solutions to determine relative density.
  • plan and conduct saturation investigations. Compare the solubility of substances in water.
  • identify an unknown substance based on the properties of solubility and crystal form.
  • observe and compare reactants and products of several chemical reactions.

Sun, Moon and Planets
The Sun, Moon, and Planets Module has four investigations that focus on Earth’s place in the solar system. In this module, students will:
  • observe and compare shadows during a school day.
  • relate the position of the Sun in the sky to the size and orientation of an object’s shadow.
  • use physical models to explain day and night.
  • record observations of the night sky.
  • observe and record changes in the Moon’s appearance everyday for a month.
  • analyze observational data to discover the sequence of changes that occur during the Moon’s phase cycle.
  • make and interpret a model of the Earth, Moon, and Sun system.
  • classify planets by their various properties.
  • record and display the organization of the solar system graphically.
  • identify several constellations as stable, predictable patterns of stars.
  • use models to build explanations.


Social Studies

Social studies is a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach to the study of people, their physical environment, histories, traditions and cultures. Fifth-graders begin a three-year sequence studying American History from pre-Columbian times to 1800. The central themes of this year include the diverse cultural make-up of the Americas, the causes of the American Revolution and the core concepts of the Constitution.
Unit 1: Three Worlds Meet
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of the role of European explorers and their impact on the people of North America.
  • Explain the causes of European exploration in the New World.
  • Explain the effects of European exploration in the western hemisphere.

  • Trace the migration of people from Asia to the New World.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural similarities and differences that existed among Native Americans, Africans and Europeans.

  • Explain the role of trade in the sponsorship of exploration of the New World.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the origins of slavery as a labor system in the New World.

Unit II: Establishing Colonies
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the economic, political and religious motives for English colonization along the Atlantic seaboard of North America.

  • Locate the thirteen colonies and group by region.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of geographic terms.

  • Develop an understanding of the interdependence among Europe, Africa, the North American English colonies and the West Indies with regard to triangular trade.
  • Explain comparative advantage in relation to the economic development of the three regions comprising the English North American colonies.
  • Identify the role of slavery and indentured servitude as sources of labor in the colonial economy.

  • Explain the political relationship between England and its North American colonies.
  • Develop an understanding of the daily lives of people living in colonial times.

Unit III: Colonies to Country
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the causes and effects of the French and Indian War and American Revolution.
  • Identify significant contributions of key individuals and groups in the American Revolution.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of geographical features on military battles to the American Revolution.
  • Identify and locate the territorial boundaries of the United States in 1783.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the economic causes of the tension between England and its North American colonies.

Unit IV: The New Nation
  • Identify the Articles of Confederation, its structure, powers and weaknesses.
  • Explain significant contributions of various individuals in the creation of the United States.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the main purposes of the Constitution as expressed in the Preamble.

  • Identify the economic causes and results of the creation of the Constitution.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the system of checks and balances and their purpose in our system of government.
  • Identify and explain the powers and responsibilities of the three branches of the federal government.

Contemporary Applications
  • Demonstrate and understanding of the ways in which the U.S. Constitution continues to influence American society.


Technology motivates and empowers all members of our learning community to explore, experiment and connect with the larger global community. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum to expand resources for learners, improve communication and provide greater versatility in the curriculum. Prior to completion of fifth grade, students will:
  • use common input and output devices (including adaptive devices when necessary) efficiently and effectively.
  • demonstrate responsible use of technology and information.
  • use technology tools (e.g. multimedia authoring, presentation, Web tools, digital cameras and scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication and publishing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.
  • use telecommunications efficiently to access remote information, communicate with others in support of direct and independent learning and pursue personal interests.
  • use available technology (e.g. calculators, data collection probes, videos and educational software) for problem solving, self-directed learning, extended learning activities and personal productivity.
  • determine which technology is useful and select the appropriate tool(s) and technology resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.
  • evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness and bias of electronic information sources.



The Spanish curriculum is based on the belief that anyone who can learn his or her native language can learn a second language. The curriculum is designed for all learners and addresses a variety of learning styles. Students are given frequent opportunities to interact and use the language. Grammar is presented through and for usage, not as the object of instruction. Teachers emphasize task-oriented, hands-on, concrete activities, which integrate all five language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking and culture) In fifth grade, students will learn to:
  • use vocabulary to create original dialogues.
  • create skits to demonstrate greetings, introductions, making friends and making requests.
  • ask and answer common questions (e.g. What’s your name, how old are you and where are you from?).
  • identify countries and capitals of Central America and the Caribbean.
  • use large numbers to tell dates and/or calculate math.
  • use appropriate vocabulary to describe self, family, likes and dislikes, weather and climate, geography and animals.
  • research a famous Hispanic person and present to the class during Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • compare daily life for children in Central America and the United States.
  • name and identify features related to world geography and the geography of Costa Rica.



Communication and expression through music and movement is an important part of growth and brain development. Students in music learn, develop and improve motor skills. The music curriculum provides all students the musical opportunities and experiences necessary to become informed consumers, creators and/or performers of music.
Melody (singing)
  •     Identify and perform major and minor keys.

  •     Recognize and perform time meters including common time.

  •     Recognize and perform D. C. al Coda, D. S. al Coda and D. C. al Fine.
  •     Recognize and perform D. C. al Fine and Fine.

  •     Recognize and perform crescendo/diminuendo.
  •     Identify and perform different types of harmony including rounds, partner songs and two-part singing.