5th Grade ELA News


We've launched a poetry unit in reading. Students are learning about different poets, different types of poetry, and about how poetry is constructed and structured. We started by discussing how poetry makes us feel and what we notice about poetry. We then moved on to using background knowledge and/or context clues to figure out the meaning of unknown words and phrases in poetry, identifying similes and metaphors used in a poem to create meaning, explaining how stanzas of a poem fit together to build structure and meaning, and to explain how poets use structural elements to create meaning.

Reading stanza by stanza has been very powerful for students. As adults we know it can be a challenge to read an entire poem and grasp the meaning but by chunking it, kids are becoming increasingly successful in this. Poetry is great because it reaches all types of readers - even those who struggle with reading, it's often perceived as them as "easy" because it's shorter than a book. We'll wrap up the unit after winter break and move in to our next reader's workshop.

Book Projects

Thank you for your support at home with the students' book projects. They were so excited to turn in their visuals on Friday and I imagine are ready to present beginning today! They will get their scoring rubric and grade following their presentation. I would encourage you to go over this with your child and celebrate their hard work!


We will not be switching class on Friday, December 18th. Therefore, there will be NO spelling this week. Let me know if you have questions!


Students' colonization informational writing is almost complete. We spent time crafting introductions and conclusions, incorporating text features (maps, glossary, captions, "Did you know?" information boxes, etc.) and revising and editing with the help of me and their peers. A lot of their revising and editing involve comparing their writing to the writing checklist and rubric we have used throughout this writing process to guide their work.

As time allows, students are adding bibliographies to their pieces, too. We've talked at great length about the primary sources they are using as research resources, how to cite those (in a 5th grade way, that is) and how to put their sources' words into their own. I'll score these over winter break and provide them with that feedback before we move on to our next informational piece.


We are often annotating text with notes - post it notes! We would love to have more post it notes for our classroom. We will take any size, any color, complete or incomplete pads. Thank you for considering!