• Grade 5 Writing Curriculum

    K-5 Overarching Concepts 
    • Writing is communication.

    • Writing is power.

    • Writing is personal and gives voice to ideas.

    • Writing is generating ideas and refining thinking.

    • Writing is impacted by audience and experience.

    • Writing is embedded in a community of inquiry, reflection, and collaboration.

    • Writing is an ongoing creative process.

    • Sharing writing connects people with one another.

    Grade 5 Writing Course Description

    Fifth grade students experience increasing complexity in the following three types of writing:  narrative, informative, and opinion. Students experience the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing/publishing through writer’s workshop which includes a mini-lesson, writing time (writing, conferring, peer work), and sharing.  Conversations about writing are framed by essential questions and mini-lessons support what students need to know, do, and understand as fifth grade writers.  Writing for research is embedded in each type of writing.  Students apply conventions through the editing component of writer’s workshop. Fifth grade students also use writing as a response to reading through read alouds, small group and independent reading using evidence from the text to support ideas in their writing.  Students continue to build on their ability to use evidence from the text as a part of their analysis reflected in their writing.  Mentor texts play a key role in providing models during independent writing.

    Writer's Workshop Instructional Framework

    Unit 1 Our Lives Are Stories:  Narrative Writing
    Teachers College Units of Study Narrative Craft  
    • Narratives create connections, evoke emotion, or shape perspective, through listening and telling stories.

    • Narratives can motivate change.

    • Narratives can inform, persuade and/or entertain

    • In every context of life, there is  a story, including past, present, and future events.  

    • Narratives are inspired by real and imagined experiences, events, and people.

    • Narratives inspire other narratives.

    • There are many narrative formats.

    • Writers chose the best format based on the purpose and audience.

    • Narratives relate events and how characters’ respond to them.

    • Narratives explain how the events ended or were resolved.

    • Narratives can be conveyed through different points of view (ex. narrator, character).

    • Story elements interact to provide a framework for narratives.

    • Narratives begin by orienting the audience with a situation.

    • Narratives end with a conclusion that follows from the experiences or events.

    • Narratives have a clear event sequence that unfolds naturally.

    • All events in a narrative should relate to the situation and move the narrative or plot forward.

    • Engaging narratives develop experiences and events (dialogue, pacing, description)

    • Engaging narratives show how characters respond to situations.

    • Narratives engage the audience with a problem or conflict in need of (re)solving.
    Unit 2 Gain and Share Knowledge: Information Writing
    Teachers College Units of Study The Lens of History 
    • Writing that informs and explains can create interest in and correct misunderstandings about a topic.

    • Information and explanation can ignite or expand interest in a topic.

    • Organizing related ideas and grouping them together around a central thesis using paragraphs and sections makes writing clear

    • The ideas and parts in informative or explanatory piece are interrelated and interdependent.

    • Writers use transitions to clarify relationships between ideas and concepts.

    • Writers can gather ideas and knowledge from more than one source or different types of sources.

    • Writers can make sure what they write is true by checking multiple sources.

    • Writers examine and clearly convey accurate and relevant information and ideas pertaining to their topic and purpose.

    • Writers develop their topic through facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to their topic.

    • Writers can use text features, formatting, and multimedia

    • Writers use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain their topic.

    • There are many ways that information and explanations can be presented, and the best format depends on the writer’s purpose and audience.

    • Informative or explanatory writing can be conveyed in various styles more informal to more formal.
    Unit 3 Understanding Empowers People: Opinion Writing
    Teachers College Units of Study The Research-Based Argument Essay 
    • Opinions express a point of view about a topic or text.

    • Opinions can influence what others feel, think, and do.

    • Opinions can motivate change.

    • Writers can consult multiple sources and points of view on a topic  in developing their own opinion.

    • Writers’ opinions are shaped by their purpose, interests, beliefs, values, and experiences.

    • Writers craft opinion pieces with an audience in mind.

    • The parts of an opinion piece are interdependent but don’t always follow a set formula.

    • The organizational structure of an opinion piece must support the writer’s purpose and way of thinking about the topic or text.

    • Opinion pieces clearly identify and take a position on a topic.

    • Opinion pieces begin by explicitly introducing the topic and conclude by referring to the overall opinion.

    • Opinion pieces present reasons that are linked to the topic, well-supported by relevant facts and details that are logically grouped and ordered.

    • An opinion can show good or strong reasoning without persuading the audience.

    • The clarity of an opinion affects how persuasive it is.

    • Persuasive opinions are built on reasons supported by credible and relevant evidence from multiple and varied sources.

    • Persuasive opinions acknowledge or imply an awareness of opposing points of view.

    • The most persuasive opinions can  influence  an audience’s perspective.

    • Writers can use certain words, phrases, and clauses to connect opinions and reasons to help make a strong opinion.

    State College Area School District Writing Curriculum.


    Units of Study for Writing from Teachers College at Columbia University


    Hockett, Jessica.  English Language Arts Curriculum Writing Scope.  2014.

    Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Academic Standards for English Language Arts.  March, 2014. Web.
Last Modified on August 4, 2018