Curriculum Highlights: Fifth Grade

Language Arts

  • Parts of speech
  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Sentence writing
  • Paragraph writing
  • Writing process
  • Writing:  narrative, descriptive, creative, persuasive, reports, letters, journal
  • Literary terms
  • Reading skills
  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary
  • Independent reading
  • Oral reports
  • Junior Great Books
  • Summer workbook
  • Summer reading


  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
  • Exponential notation
  • Percentages
  • Rates, ratios, and averages
  • Probability
  • Negative numbers
  • Factors, prime factors
  • Divisibility rules
  • Metric units of measurement
  • Basic geometry: perimeter, area, volume, and congruency of simple figures
  • Angles
  • Ordered pairs and function rules
  • Inverse functions
  • Graphing
  • Map skills
  • Money and banking skills
  • Summer workbook

History / Classical Studies

  • Sources of historical knowledge
  • Legacy of Rome
  • Roman mythology
  • Rome as a kingdom
  • Roman republic
  • Augustus and the Golden Age
  • The Aeneid
  • Roman daily life
  • Rome as an empire
  • Decline and fall of Rome
  • Note taking, outlining, research skills
  • Written/oral reports
  • National Mythology Exam: The Iliad, The Odyssey, myths, gods


  • Scientific method
  • Frequent hands-on activities/labs
  • Animals: classification, adaptations
  • Body systems and health
  • Plants: photosynthesis, cellular respiration
  • Astronomy: effects of the movement of earth, distances in space, stars
  • Matter: properties and states, physical/chemical changes, periodic table, chemical equations, solutions
  • Forces: gravity, motion, work/machines
  • Energy: energy transfer, electricity and magnetism, thermal energy, waves
  • Independent experiment:  design, implement, report findings


  • Themes and elements associated with geography
  • Review of globe concepts/skills
  • Review of map concepts and skills
  • Map projections
  • The United Kingdom and Ireland
  • France
  • Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg
  • Germany, Switzerland, and Austria
  • Spain and Portugal
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Poland
  • Baltic republics
  • Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia
  • Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia
  • Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova

Modern/Classical Languages


  • Listening comprehension
  • Pronunciation skills
  • Vocabulary:  greetings, friends, classes, family, house, school, café/restaurant, travel, numbers, time
  • Grammar: articles, nouns, verbs, present and future tenses, positive and negative sentences, adjectives, expressions of quantity
  • Culture: comparison with other cultures
  • Oral report in French
  • Autobiography in French

Physical Education

  • Daily P.E. class in uniform
  • Fitness and conditioning, including endurance, strength, balance, flexibility
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Social dancing: Virginia Reel, line dances, dance party
  • Game skills/strategy: soccer, football, basketball, softball, whiffle ball, field/floor hockey, volleyball, bowling, track and field, frisbee, lacrosse
  • Intramural opportunities
  • Sports teams opportunities (all students may play)
  • Responsibility, self-control, team work, good sportsmanship

Visual Arts

  • Weekly art class
  • Drawing: pencil, eraser, markers, colored pencils, oil crayons, oil pastels
  • Painting: watercolors, tempera paints, acrylic paints
  • Sculpture: polymer clay, air drying clay
  • Relief printing: linoleum blocks, carving tools, water-soluble ink
  • Color:  color wheel, terms, variations, mixing
  • Classical proportions:  human face, figure
  • Emotions in portraits
  • Patterns, repeated images
  • Andy Warhol
  • Annual school-wide art contest

Performing Arts


  • Develop choral singing
  • Develop musical literacy
  • Musical tour of the Western World:  life and works of various composers
  • Story and music of ballets
  • Percussion instruments
  • Performance:  music program twice each year


  • Attendance at drama productions
  • Speaking role in class play
  • Develop acting skills
  • Imaginative use of costumes/props
  • Ensemble/solo singing, choreography
  • Public speaking, confidence, poise


  • Selecting/checking out books
  • Research skills, internet research
  • Journalism
  • Historical atlases
  • Periodicals
  • Biographies
  • National Archives
  • Internet research
  • Autobiographies
  • Fantasy literature
  • Books on Roman society
  • Book fair


  • Star Boards in each classroom
  • Rolling computer cart for computer use in classroom
  • Weekly computer/technology class
  • Basic keyboarding
  • Word processing
  • Basic computer operations
  • Touch typing
  • Creating/revising documents
  • Navigating internet; safety
  • Integration within academic classes

Field Trips

Several field trips per year; recent examples include:

  • Inner Quest (outdoor challenges)
  • National Building Museum
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Capital Mall
  • Gunston Hall
  • National Library of Medicine
  • Marriott Corporation