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Fifth Grade Curriculum

Language Arts:

In fifth grade, students continue to build important reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Students read a range of literature including fiction, nonfiction, biography, plays and poetry. Additionally, they will learn information about history, science, the world and many other areas through reading. Fifth-grade students are expected to understand and clearly summarize what they have learned from readings and classroom discussions, referring to specific evidence and details from the text. Through Writer’s Workshop students will write different types of pieces including narrative stories, essays, opinion, and informational writing. Students will write regularly and continue to develop their ability to gather, organize, interpret, and present information. Learning the rules of spoken and written English through vocabulary and grammar instruction prepares students with systemic lessons and effective grammar practice to communicate clearly through oral and written language.

Social Studies:

The fifth-grade social studies curriculum emphasizes American history from the earliest Native American cultures through the Revolutionary War. Students analyze our national and Jewish experience through time, recognize the relationships of events and people, and interpret significant patterns, themes, ideas, and beliefs in American history. The issues of exploration and rebellion as they occurred throughout the world are studied in more depth. Students learn the origins of our democratic beliefs and values; understand the election process, our national government, and the responsibilities of good citizenship.


Fifth-grade science students are first exposed to the scientific method and the concept and components of experiments. Through reading, discussion,“labs,” and other hands-on activities, students are then introduced to four main branches of science: health science (nutrition, hygiene, and physical fitness); life science (plants and animals, human cells, tissues, organs, and body systems); Earth Science (Earth’s composition, rocks and minerals, the rock cycle, water and the water cycle, natural disasters, Earth in space, and the solar system); physical science (introduction to matter, energy, motion, and the laws that govern the physical world). Fifth-grade science helps students obtain a better understanding of science, in general, and it helps provide a solid foundation for the specific, individual branches of science that will be covered in sixth, seventh and eighth grades.


Fifth-grade students are enrolled in either Grade 5 Math, Math 1 or Math 2.

Grade 5 Math (grade level math):

Topics covered in on-level 5th-grade math include a review of many previously introduced concepts at a more advanced level. Students become strong thinkers of mathematics who are confident in their strategies and abilities to do the math. New concepts covered are: multiplication and division of whole numbers and decimals, exponents, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions and mixed numbers, prime and composite numbers, algebraic expressions and equations, geometry, percent, ratios, probability, and integers. Completion of this course will prepare students to take Math 1.

Math 1 (sixth-grade level math):

Math 1 includes a review of many previously introduced concepts explored at a deeper level. Students continue to become strong critical thinkers with confidence in their strategies and abilities to do the math. New concepts covered are: multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals, fractions and mixed numbers; percent-fraction-decimal relationships; ratios, rates and proportional relationships; integers and exponents; order of operations (PEMDAS); algebraic expressions and equations; functions and inequalities; area, surface area and volume; statistical measures and displays. Completion of this course will prepare a student to take Math 2.

Math 2 (seventh-grade level math):

In the first semester, Math 2 builds upon previous concepts taught in Math 1, and then leads students through basic algebraic, geometric, and statistical procedures in the second semester. The major goals of this course are to analyze proportional relationships; calculate percents in real-world applications; extend previous understandings of operations with the new twist of positive and negative integers; extend operations with fractions by including positive and negative numbers; introduce algebraic expressions to generate equivalent expressions; use properties of equality in algebraic expressions; solve one- and two-step algebraic equations and inequalities; draw, construct, and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them; Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angles measure, area, surface area, and volume; investigate, develop, and use probability models; and use random sampling to draw inferences about a population. Students will develop problem-solving skills to apply these problems to real-life circumstances. Successful completion of this course will prepare students for Pre-Algebra.


This class serves as an introduction to the Spanish language. The main emphasis is on vocabulary which includes classroom objects, animals, shapes, colors and numbers. Proper demonstration of vowel sounds is the main focus as students develop simple conversations using proper greetings and expressions of courtesy. Classes meet twice a week and are taught using multimedia presentations and interactive activities.

Jewish Studies:

Pardes Jewish Day School has the distinct honor of participating in the Jewish Theological Seminary Standards and Benchmarks Program. The core goal is that our students will leave with an in-depth knowledge of various selections of the TaNaKH (Bible) as the primary source. With this goal in mind, the 5th grade Judaic studies curriculum is focused on the second book of the Torah, Shmot (Exodus). After a quick review of B’raisheet and Moses’s birth, students continue learning texts involving Shifra and Puah, Moses and the taskmaster, the burning bush, the Ten Plagues, and the Ten Commandments. Our learning is focused on two themes: the first theme is moral courage and the second theme is from slavery to peoplehood. Using these ideas as a guide the students delve into investigating our moral obligation to help others, and how a disjointed group of former slaves have become the Jewish people.

Judaic Studies classes are designed as an engaging experience with a great deal of active learning strategies, to help the students to not only connect to the material, but to connect to each other and Judaism in general. Therefore, while examining the texts students also develop their analytical skills by studying Torah in the same method as the ancient rabbis: working with chevrutot (partners), and learning to ask questions about the texts. Along the way, students write and perform skits, create storyboards, write letters to characters, and create original songs, all with the goal of putting themselves into the “sandals” of the Torah personalities.


Our fifth graders start using the Chaverim B’Ivrit reading series. This curriculum is based on the most current understanding of language acquisition in children. Chaverim B'Ivrit develops active language production in children by treating Hebrew as a living language. Through age-appropriate stories, conversations, poems, songs, journals, and many other child-centered activities, this unique curriculum pays special attention to the beyond-the-classroom interests and needs of students, allowing learners to transfer and apply their learning in new contexts and situations. Moreover, Pardes students learn about Jewish values and holidays using modern Hebrew reading, writing and conversational skills that are enhanced each unit.