Leap Into Literacy 5th Grade

April/May

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A Closer Look at the U/V/W Text Band

At the end of fifth grade, benchmark readers will be reading books in the U/V/W text band. Books in this text band include these series: Harry Potter, Warriors, 39 Clues, and Series of Unfortunate Events. Here is an overview of the characteristics of books at this level according to the Reading Pathways book (included in your Units of Study bundle).


  • The passage of time becomes complex; backstory becomes important. A story might start with a flashback. There are jumps in time and foreshadowing of events.
  • Characters tend to be teenagers
  • Characters and setting become more symbolic of bigger themes
  • Point of view starts to become multidimensional
  • Major social issues start to be part of the story


To teach into the behaviors readers need to be successful within this text band, we can use these conversation starters in our conferences:


  • What is the issue or idea that the author is trying to convey? How do you know?
  • Why are these minor characters here?
  • Give an example where you didn't trust the character's perspective.
  • What is the backstory?



Additionally, the digital resources include more conversation starters around developing themes and theories about characters and making predictions.

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The R/S/T Text Band

Series books in the R/S/T text band include Joey Pigza, Sammy Keyes, Hatchet, Emily Windsnap, and Charlie Bone. Characteristics of books at this level include:


  • An evolving setting that is essential to part of the story
  • The setting also involves mood
  • Social issues begin to show up
  • Characters are complex. Readers must infer feelings because they aren't clearly spelled out.
  • Not all problems are solved
  • Readers will face tricky chapters as opposed to tricky passages in easier books



Here are come possible conversation starters to include in conferences with readers independently reading within the R/S/T text band:


  • Think about the setting's importance. What's the mood of the setting? How is the setting changing?
  • Discuss the problems and how the character responds.
  • Grow ideas about characters (including secondary characters).
  • Discuss confusing chapters.
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Visit A Reading or Writing Lab Site

Please remember that we continue to support your visitation to your colleagues' classrooms through our reading and writing lab sites. If you would like to visit a colleague, just reach out to your building's RDT. Think about an area of focus for your visit in order to make your time in your colleague's classroom meaningful and purposeful.

Happy Visiting!