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What Kids Learn in Grade 5

By grade 5, you’d think us parents have got the hang of what our kids learn at school.  However, it just seems to get harder to keep up with what they are supposed to learn.  So let’s dive in – what are they supposed to know by the end of grade 5?

Grade 5 studentSome Background

Grade 5 is when it all comes together.  Fifth graders draw from the skills and strategies they have learned throughout elementary school as they embark on more difficult projects that expect them to take responsibility for organization and long-term planning. 


Fifth grade readers are asked to cover a lot of subject areas and to delve deeper into stories, learning to analyze characters, plots, settings and the author’s style of writing as well as purpose for writing.  Students will also be asked to interpret texts from their perspectives and provide their own opinions.


Writing goes hand-in-hand with the reading your kids carry out in grade 5.  They’ll be asked to write in many different styles, from journaling, to book reports, to essays, short stories and poems.  They’ll be asked to explore their inner author and to express facts and opinions in clear, concise and well-presented ways. They will be asked to edit their writing and use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.


Fifth grade math is about solving complex problems with complex numbers.  Students make connections between decimals, fractions and percentages.  They move onto multiplying and dividing fractions and they apply problem-solving to real-world time, measurement and money problems.  They will also be covering geometry, learning about the symmetry of shapes, perpendicular and parallel lines, and how to use formulas to calculate the volume of geometric shapes.


Science moves your kids to the next level.  This year they will cover photosynthesis, the digestive system and the chemical properties of elements.  They will be asked to experiment, observe, gather data and draw conclusions.  They may even experiment with simple chemical reactions.

Social Studies

Grade 5 students focus on citizenship.  They look back at early immigrants and the events of early American history.  They cover and compare the Native American experience to those of the colonial settlers and to their lives today.  They learn why people immigrated to America and the different cultures of the colonies.  They will also cover the evolution of our government and its branches.  Students will also cover the different geographies of each of the states.