• Course Description

    Writing is a making meaning process that requires the synthesis of skills to effectively communicate. K-5 students are immersed in daily opportunities to explore, inquire, practice and apply writing strategies and skills in a variety of genres. Cultivating writers who write with the reader in mind is guided by the connection between reading and writing process to convey authentic messages. Self-selected writing topics guided by positive, specific feedback ignite the joy and passion to grow as lifelong communicators.

    By the time children enter fifth grade, they will have been introduced to most if not all of the new skills expected of fifth-graders. The sequence of fifth grade units consolidates those skills and introduces the learning objectives called for in the sixth-grade standards: how to conduct research using primary sources, how to write narratives that are reflective and theme-based, and how to write argument essays that use counter arguments to clarify a position. Unit 1, Narrative Craft, helps students deliberately use their knowledge of narrative craft to make their stories more thematic. In Unit 2, The Lens of History: Research Reports, students draw inspiration and understanding from mentor texts, historical accounts, primary source documents, maps, and timelines to write focused research reports that engage and teach readers. Building on these new skills, Unit 3, Shaping Texts: From Essay and Narrative to Memoir helps students grasp that form follows content, learning to take insights about their lives and decide whether these are best expressed in narratives, in essays, or in a hybrid genre created especially to convey the writer’s content. In the concluding unit of this series, The Research-Based Argument Essay, fifth-graders learn to build powerful arguments that convincingly balance evidence and analysis to persuade readers to action.

    Grade Level(s): Fifth Grade

    Related Priority Standards (State &/or National):  K-5 Missouri Learning Standards & ELA Priority Standards

    Essential Questions

    • How does a writer know his/her writing is clear?
    • What makes an interesting narrative?
    • How do authors begin & end their stories?
    • How do authors convey sequence?
    • How do writers organize their ideas to aid comprehension?
    • Who is the audience and why does it matter?
    • How does an author's choice of voice, tone and mood affect the audience's perception/understanding?
    • Why does one write an argumentative piece?
    • Why is my argumentative writing worth reading?
    • How do my experiences impact my opinions?
    • Where do ideas for writing come from?
    • How do writers organize their ideas?
    • What makes an effective argument?
    • How does a writer know his/her writing is clear?
    • Why does one write an informational/explanatory text?
    • When does one write an informational/explanatory text?
    • How do writers choose relevant facts?
    • What determines accurate information?
    • How does one know a source is credible?
    • How does one know an author is credible?
    • How does an author's choice of voice and register affect the audience's perception/understanding?

    Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

    • Writing clearly is essential to effective communication.
    • Details enhance a narrative.
    • Appropriate transitions enhance continuity.
    • Narratives have a variety of organizational structures.
    • Narratives are written in a variety of forms.
    • Audience and purpose influence a writer's choice of organizational pattern, language, and literary techniques.
    • Expressing an opinion is a right that is to be valued and respected.
    • As our experiences change, so can our opinions.
    • Researched evidence supports a strong opinion.
    • Appropriate transitions enhance the continuity of writing.
    • Informational text is characterized by a formal style.
    • Well-chosen facts are specific to the topic, relevant to the audience and logically presented.

    Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

    • Unit 1: Narrative Craft
    • Unit 2: Lens of History
    • Unit 3: Research-Based Argument Essay
    • Unit 4: Fantasy Writing

    * The above adjustments to scope and sequence are pending Board approval on August 22, 2022.

    Course Resources & Materials

    Date Last Revised/Approved: 2013