What Do Students Learn in the 5th Grade?

Fifth grade is the last stop before middle school for many students, and the year marks many changes - both in the curriculum and the social activities for students.

Worksheets become more difficult, and students may start to have different teachers for different subjects. Long term projects become more frequent. At the same time, fifth graders are becoming increasingly obsessed with their social standing, and friends play an increasingly important role in their lives.

Developing reading and writing personalities

Fifth grade may be one of the last chances to foster a love for reading in students, as teacher worksheets from this point forward will be filled with required reading.

In fifth grade, students still have the time to enjoy the genres and subjects that they are interested in without the distraction of peer and after-school activities. At the same time, students who read frequently are able to develop a better vocabulary. At this point, most fifth graders will have an individual writing style and create more complex writing projects in both fiction and non-fiction. Students should be comfortable with basic grammar and spelling rules, and many will enjoy writing as an outlet for emotions.

Developing real world math skills

Fifth graders can work with large, complex numbers and understand fractions and percentages. They also start to apply these math skills to solve real world situations involving money, time, and measurement. Printable worksheets may now include story problems for students to solve on their own.

How the world works

Fifth graders can now complete more complex experiments to ascertain how dynamics work in the world around them, and homeschool worksheets may include projects for them to complete at home.

Students build on the skills they have already acquired to learn about living things and record observations. Some classes may even start to look at basic chemical reactions. For many students, this will be the first year studying puberty and the reproductive system.

A look into history

This year, fifth graders will focus on early American history, including the colonial period and Native American tribes. They may also discuss immigration and why people came to the United States, and how this influx of different cultures and peoples influenced the development of the country.

Big changes

Fifth grade marks a time of change for students. They are becoming increasingly independent, but may still revert to juvenile behavior during times of stress. Students still need assistance working problems out among peers. Peer relationships can add an additional burden, as peer groups become more complex.

Some students are starting to hit puberty at this time, throwing a complex mix of hormones and physical changes. Girls usually develop first, and some may be starting to have an interest in boys. Appearances are becoming more important, and mood swings are starting to emerge. Both sexes are more self-conscious and anxious to fit in with who they think is the popular crowd. Parents and teachers should help kids to excel in the areas they are strong in to give them confidence to tackle areas in which they struggle.