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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 
  • PowerPoint 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.  


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). 

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  


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) 


 5th Grade Math: 

The Math Expressions Common Core 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)! 

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


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

  • Living Things and Ecosystems (aligned with our IslandWood overnight program)
  • 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 Word for writing 
  • Use of PowerPoint and visual presentations for various projects 
  • Use of Green Screen to record newscasts and create Solar System projects in the spring 
  • Instructional use of interactive flipcharts in math
  • MyOn 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- educational videos to support learning
  • Freckle for adaptive practice in ELA and Math