5th Grade ELA News


These last two weeks of readers workshop the kids have focused on analyzing the setting, main character, and conflict both in mentor texts (picture books we analyze as a class) and their own novels, independently. Students have to be able to identify before anything else and some students needed direction in identifying the setting, conflict, or main character in their book before moving to analysis.As we analyze, students are working to analyze critically, make inferences, cite evidence, and think deeply. Students use a graphic organizer to collect their information (cite evidence) and to make inferences about the evidence in order to analyze and think deeply, drawing conclusions about the different aspects (character, conflict, setting).

We'll spend tomorrow wrapping up unfinished jobs before launching into new books later this week.


We've launched into opinion writing. I think the kids are enjoying it already and it's a good writing genre as it builds on a lot of the things they learned in their informational writing unit.

We started by reading a few picture books that show opinion writing as well as some articles. The articles allowed us to explore the components of opinion writing and to expose them to high quality examples. Some of the things we noted included, "They didn't start with 'I'm going to tell you...' or 'I hope you liked my writing.'"

Students then were given four sources (articles), asked to choose a side (for or against zoos) and find a piece of evidence in one of the sources to support their opinion, emphasis on support for their opinion. We talked about how circular logic doesn't work. Don't tell me you like zoos because you like them. You have to back it up!

After immersing themselves in the sources, they created their "box and bullets" (box being their claim followed by 3 bullets that are their reasons), "flash drafted" (wrote a rough draft) their opinion piece. Following their flash draft, they worked to incorporate compelling evidence to support their opinion by paraphrasing. Next week we'll work more with incorporating direct quotes. Although many of them want to utilize other sources and finish support for different reasons they may have, for this first piece, they'll all use the four sources they've been given. In our next piece, they will have more opportunity to do independent research.

If you haven't already, please sign your child's winter writing assessment rubric and return to school!


We explored the fiction piece, "The Worm Turns" which allowed students to answer questions about the text and analyze the conflict. They also read and responded to the nonfiction piece, "Malala the Powerful" which allowed them to answer questions and analyze the character of Malala. Both of these piggybacked beautifully on our analysis work of recent!