Leap Into Literacy Grade 5

October/November 2017

Reading Workshop

We know choice is incredibly motivating to our 5th grade students. When we are putting together our book clubs, we want to preserve that choice for students since they will be reading these books deeply. One way to do this is to use Book Pass. Here are the steps:

  1. Place students in groups with a set of selected book club texts for each group.

  2. Each student selects a different book to sample, and finds the title on the Book Pass form.

  3. Give students about 3 minutes to sample their book by looking at the cover of the book, reading the back or the inside front cover, then start reading from page 1, reading as far as they can until you tell them to stop.

  4. After the time ends, guide students in filling out the form for the book they just sampled.

  5. Students will pass the book to the person to the left (or right) and repeat steps 2-5 until all books are sampled.


These forms can help you make your book club groups. You can try to match their choices to books that you know will be close to their reading level. If there are a few students with a disconnect between their top choices and books you feel would be more appropriate, you can have a conversation with those students before you tell them their groups.

Writing Workshop

Remember that the emphasis for the Narrative Craft Unit of Study is student independence and refining the strategies the students have learned over the past 5 years. You want to lift the quality of students’ work and help them realize that their story is dramatized instead of being summarized. Ask them “What is my story really about?” “What am I really wanting to say about this event?” Help students understand that they are stepping into the shoes of the character in their story and write in the point of view and with the details that are true to the unfolding story.

Another useful idea from the “Welcome to the Unit” section is using the pre-on-demand as more than just an assessment. Copy the students’ writing and give a copy to each student to tape on the first page of his/her writer’s notebook. This way the writing serves as a reminder of what the student was able to do and see how the writing has improved as the unit progresses. Looking back at this beginning writing helps them see how much stronger their writing is getting.