Fifth Grade Curriculum Overview

At the beginning of each school year, students are tested using Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to determine the course of curriculum for each individual child for the upcoming year. Testing is done again in the middle and end of the year to determine if we are meeting the needs of each student.

Using students’ Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) assessment results from the end (spring) of the previous year, we focus on creating differentiated curriculum and custom learning programs for each child.

To this end, our curriculum pulls resources from a variety of sources depending on the student’s needs. Below is an overview of materials and resources we use during the year:


Our math curriculum is taught using Saxon Math Level 6 by Houghton Mifflin. Topics covered include mastery of operations with large numbers, fractions, decimals, probability, integers measurement, and proportions. Students also use IXL. More information on the IXL program may be found at

Language Arts

Our language arts curriculum is taught using the Houghton Mifflin Journeys program, the Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop, and pre-selected books for nonfiction and literature studies. Examples of the standards topics covered include skill development in comprehension, vocabulary, plot summaries, six traits of writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions) and their application to several types of writing including narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository. Students use Google Classroom programs such as Google Slides for presentations and Google Documents for assignments. Students also participate in Accelerated Reader (AR).


Our religion curriculum is taught using Blest Are We, RCL Benziger Publishers. In fifth grade, there is an emphasis and review of the seven sacraments: holy orders, reconciliation, confirmation, Eucharist, marriage, anointing of the sick, and baptism. We dive into the richness of each sacrament throughout the year to help students better understand their faith. In addition, 5th graders perform the St. John Bosco play in late January.

Social Studies

Our social studies curriculum uses Houghton Mifflin Harcourt textbook, The United States, Beginnings Through the Colonies. Topics covered include Regions of North America, Eastern Woodland Indians, Plains Indians, Southwest Peoples, America 1492, Exploring the Americas, Early Settlements, and  13 Colonies.


Our science curriculum uses Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Science Dimensions. Units include Engineering and Technology, Matter, Energy and Matter in Organisms, Energy and Matter in Ecosystems, Systems in Space, and Earth’s Systems.


The application of technology continues in 5th grade using Chromebooks for research projects and papers in all subjects, and instruction in spreadsheet, presentation, database, and word-processing software, including Google applications.


In addition to the curriculum taught in the fifth grade classrooms, students attend at least one of the following enrichment classes each day:

  • Physical Education (2x a week)
  • Music
  • Library
  • Spanish (2x a week)
  • Art Masterpiece (Taught by volunteers on a rotating-monthly basis. In addition to students’ personal creations, this subject includes various aspects of art including focus on artists, mediums, history, expression, creativity, culture, etc.)