Reading in the Fifth Grade

reading fifth grade

By the time your child is in the fifth grade, you’ll want to get her on a good reading schedule, both for school assignments and for pleasure. Set aside a time during your school day for her to read required books: biographies, autobiographies, and other history books, science books, classic literature — whatever fits in well with the curriculum you’re using. Then set aside another time during the day, perhaps at night before bed, when she can choose a book to read for fun, such as a book from one of the mystery or animal series.

What should your child be learning as she reads? As a general guideline, a fifth grade reading program will help your child:

  • Determine the meanings of words within context
  • Decode unknown words using learned strategies, including roots and affixes, reference sources, and context
  • Understand the sequence of events in the text
  • Identify the characters, setting, plot, and theme of a story
  • Determine the main idea and find the supporting details in a text
  • Identify cultural and historical eras represented in the text
  • Identify the intended audience for the text
  • Recognize and understand figurative language in context, such as metaphors, personification, similes, and hyperbole
  • Understand the differences among the literary genres, such as drama, biographies, autobiographies, and poetry
  • Understand a variety of informational texts, including primary sources such as letters, diaries, and Internet sites
  • Understand the difference between first person and third person point of view

Some homeschooling families like to incorporate reading and literature as a part of the other subjects they are studying, while other families follow an established program. If you are looking for a reading curriculum for your fifth grader, here are a few to consider

  • A Beka Home School Language Arts 5 Curriculum: This program is designed specifically for homeschoolers and features detailed daily lesson plans divided into four sections: language, penmanship, reading, and spelling.
  • Bob Jones University Press Reading 5 kit for fifth graders includes a student workbook, reading books, a teacher’s worktext, and a teaching visuals flip chart.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills, Grade 5: This book is a good supplement for review or extra practice. With lessons in reading, writing, English, reading comprehension, and math, Comprehensive Curriculum is organized so the student masters the basic skills in the order of importance. Included are teaching suggestions and an answer key.

  • Learning Language Arts Through Literature Purple Book by Common Sense Press focuses on fifth grade skills. The 36 weekly lessons are pre-designed and require little or no preparation to begin. Skills addressed include grammar, creative writing, composition, spelling, higher-order reasoning, and study skills. This curriculum also includes four book studies: Farmer Boy by Laura Ingles Wilder, Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, Meet Addy by Connie Porter, and Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. A student workbook is also available for more independent study.

  • Making Connections Starter Set Grade 5: This set by Educators Publishing Service features six books, each of which contains a purpose-setting question, comprehension questions, and writing activities. The books and their skill focuses include: Rock Climbing (main idea), Tarella (drawing conclusions), The Astonishing Book (cause and effect), Rainbows (fact and opinion), A Virtual Visit: Mexico City and Boston (compare and contrast), and A Way with Words (figurative language).
  • Keystones for Reading Grade 5 Level E activity book by Modern Curriculum Press focuses on reading comprehension. Skills are grouped into three categories, including vocabulary, comprehension, and study skills. The reading selections have been chosen because of their high interest, making this a good program for reluctant readers as well.
  • McGuffey 2nd Reader is recommended for grades 4 and 5. This book begins with one- and two-syllable words and moves on to more difficult words. Story topics include American history, manners, courage, and more.
  • Pathway Readers Curriculum Grade 5 curriculum includes the reading textbook, teacher lesson plans, and student workbook. This program focuses on reading comprehension and is designed to make teaching reading easy and enjoyable.

Even if you don’t use a set reading curriculum, you can include time for practicing reading skills as part of your school day. Have your child study the different genres of literature, read out loud to you, and practice using the dictionary to find particular spellings or meanings of words. You may even want to have her write and present original plays. Remember, too, that although your child is now in the fifth grade, she probably still enjoys it when you read to her. Choose one of your favorite childhood novels and share a chapter together each day. Not only do you want your fifth grader to be reading well, but even more importantly, you want her to love reading.

Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell

Photo by by KOMUnews

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