Reading Curriculum Ideas for Fifth Grade Teachers

It’s essential for fifth-grade teachers to have a valuable reading curriculum that builds the reading-comprehension skills students will need when they start middle school. As early as fifth grade, students are creating the building blocks for high school and college, where they will be expected to read, analyze and interpret work on their own.

The following ideas can be implemented into a 5th grade reading curriculum plan.

Analyzing ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Many fifth-grade students have heard of “Alice in Wonderland,” and some might have seen the recent blockbuster movie. Because “Alice” is a pop culture staple, it’s relevant to a reading curriculum because students will naturally be interested in the story. Teachers can have students read the original “Alice in Wonderland” and write up descriptions of the key character. Students can then compare their work to see how descriptions can be understood in different ways.

Poetry collaboration

Poetry is an important first step in reading comprehension because it helps students learn there is more to literature than words.  This is a great way to introduce the concept of symbolism and to get students to start thinking critically about what they read. Teachers can have students work together to write their own poems and then see how their classmates interpret their poetry.

Historical eyewitness accounts

In the fifth grade, students are beginning to understand how historical events shape how we think and live. After reading a book about a true historical event, such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, ask students to interview a parent or relative, write about their loved one’s experience and explain how the event has affected their family. Students should read these pieces aloud to the class, so everyone can learn from each others’ experiences.

Modernized fairy tales

This lesson plan can promote reading comprehension and helps to develop creative writing skills. This activity requires a student to read a  fairy tale that takes place in an ancient time. Once the students have read and understood the story, they should rewrite the fairy tale as if it took place during modern day. Students should share their stories with the class to see how one story can be interpreted in many ways. This helps the teacher see how well the story was understood, and see how well a student can adapt creatively.

Greek mythology

Greek mythology has a long-lasting impact on how people learn and live. This lesson plan requires students to read three Greek mythology tales. Once they have finished the readings, students need to find three examples of the Greek mythological themes in the modern day, including movies, songs and books. Students should be pushed to think creatively so they can see that these themes in everyday life.

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