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5th Grade Curriculum

What Do We Learn in 5th Grade?

Mercer Island School District's curriculum is selected to support student learning as defined by the
Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs). 

To view the fifth grade standards, check out The Common Core. Washington State is currently in the middle of adopting and transitioning to the Common Core, a set of national standards. 


There are many opportunities in 5th grade to hone Communication skills. Some of these opportunities include: 

  • Book report presentations 
  • Google Slides presentations 
  • Independence debate unit 

Health & Fitness

In General Education, we cover Human Growth and Development later in the year as part of our science/health curriculum. More information to come as the unit approaches! 


Please direct further inquiries to our P.E. teacher, Mrs. Smedberg.


The iReady math program is a rigorous, college-preparatory program.  We cover the following 5th Grade targets (a Common Core standards packet will be distributed during Curriculum Night): 

*For your child's best interest, it is important that they enter 5th grade competent and confident with their fast facts and multiplication tables. We start right away expecting that they have mastered this material in order to succeed in our fraction unit (and the rest of the year)! 

  • Adding and Subtracting Fractions 
  • Addition and Subtraction with Decimals  
  • Multiplication and Division with Fractions 
  • Multiplication with Whole Numbers and Decimals  
  • Division with Whole Numbers and Decimals 
  • Operations and Word Problems (equations and multi-step word problems) 
  • Algebra, Patterns, and Coordinate Graphs 
  • Measurement and Geometry (converting units of measure, area, volume, and classifying geometry figures)


We are using Mondo BookShop Curriculum. This curriculum covers 11 units of study alternating nonfiction and narrative text. This curriculum follows Comprehensive Literacy, which includes: 

*Students also use daily reading logs to track their reading. To improve fluency, students are expected to read aloud for a portion of their 30 minutes of nightly reading. 

  • Word Study: Greek/Latin roots, contractions, etc.
  • Read Aloud
  • Shared Reading (whole class reads together)
  • Independent Reading
  • Guided Reading
  • Constructed Responses (written responses about what was read). 


We cover five required Being a Writer genres: 

*There are also additional, optional units including Scary Stories, and Fantasy 


Being a Writer also includes weekly grammar and guided spelling lessons, in addition to Mondo word study lessons.

  • Narrative Writing
  • Expository Nonfiction
  • Opinion Writing
  • Poetry
  • Functional Nonfiction (or Explanatory Writing) 

Social Studies

5th Grade Social Studies brings history to life! We cover the following units of study: 

  • Discovery of America and Native Americans 
  • Colonization 
  • The American Revolution  
  • United States Government and the Constitution 
  • United States Geography  


5th Grade science is hands-on and inquiry-based. We cover the following units: 

  • Living Things and Ecosystems
  • Earth Systems
  • Changes in Matter
  • Earth, the Moon, and the Stars 


In 5th grade, we use one-to-one iPads in all subjects! Students have daily experiences with technology. Some ways we use iPads and technology include: 

  • Daily use of GoogleDocs for writing 
  • Use of Google Slides and visual presentations for various projects  
  • Instructional use of interactive flipcharts in math
  • MyOn and Sora for accessing a wide range of electronic books
  • Nearpod for interactive technology lessons  
  • PicEdu to create digital citizenship posters to display around our school
  • BrainPop to access educational videos to support learning
  • Freckle for adaptive practice in ELA and Math
  • i-Ready Math for individualized math practice and review