Fifth Grade

Fifth grade emphasizes both group and individual responsibility, in preparation for the transition from Meridian to middle school.


Students strive to communicate effectively and responsibly with others as they work alone and cooperatively. By setting goals, evaluating progress, and managing their time, fifth graders develop the study skills needed for secondary education. Thematic studies wrap specific subject areas into big-picture learning.


Social Emotional Learning (SEL)  guides fifth graders to cooperate as a team and to demonstrate personal accountability. Appropriate listening, thoughtful responses, and constructive feedback are emphasized. Students practice good citizenship through social responsibilities such as volunteering at a food bank, serving as “buddy classes” for second graders, and taking leadership roles in school projects such as Friday Morning Meeting and organizing the school sock-hop.

Literacy promotes independent reading at personal reading levels, public speaking in summative presentations, writing comprehensive essays, and listening to classmates and speakers share information. Using the materials from The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, students engage in the full writing process, learning proper use of grammar, dialogue, powerful word choices, and reflection. Teachers guide thoughtful consideration of strategies for accessing text, crafting writing, and evaluating work. Fifth graders are encouraged to experiment, take risks, use language of many genres, and think of themselves as readers and writers.

Math engages all mathematical strands through mental math, hands-on activities, visual interpretations, and computation. Topics range from 3-D symmetry to algebraic thinking, manipulating fractions to multiplying multi-digit numbers, calculating area and volume to interpreting data from graphs and tables. Students are asked to explain their strategies and solutions and to demonstrate logical reasoning.  Fifth graders work with the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum.

Social Studies integrates United States history, service learning, global studies, and language skills. Through our units on Lewis and Clark, family heritage, Westward expansion, and global studies students learn to master research and writing processes. Students write creative stories, personal accounts, research papers, and formal and informal inquiries to explore topics. Students take creative initiative to explore units through technology and project-based learning. For example, in the fall, students explore topics related to Lewis and Clark & their Corps through non-fiction reading and writing units to create a research paper. In the winter, students learn to navigate Adobe Spark as they create a personal poem of their family’s past and present and in the spring, students make Revolutionary War stop-motion animation movies using multiple iPad apps. These projects are student driven and promote teamwork and leadership. Each year global studies is creatively embedded into the curriculum to connect the themes of the year.

Life Science: Fifth graders complete an in-depth study of the interconnectedness within ecosystems and the food chains and webs present in different ecosystems of both Washington State and around the world.  Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

Physical Science: Students explore the history of NASA and space exploration through a series of cooperative lessons in which they work together to solve problems. Students are also introduced to chemistry and the periodic table of elements with a series of hands-on investigations.  Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

Earth & Space Science: Students observe, document, and graph the observable patterns that led to the scientific understanding of the Earth’s relationship to the sun, moon, and stars. Visit the Science Lab to learn more>

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