5th Grade Science and Social Studies

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Course Summary

In this fifth-grade course, students explore a wide variety of social studies and science topics while building their skills in informational reading and writing. Though it can be used to teach science and social studies content, this course is an important component of Match’s fifth-grade English Language Arts curriculum.

Both social studies units challenge scholars to consider how groups of people have fought for their rights, particularly immigration and civil rights. It is our hope that both units will inspire and motivate students to see that groups of ordinary people can fight to change the world, no matter what obstacles they face. Both science units challenge scholars to think about the way things around them (both natural and man made) work and interact, starting with a study of ecosystems and ending with a unit on inventions. Through readings and hands-on experiments, fifth graders will become more motivated and inspired by the world of science.

At Match Elementary School, we structure our 70- to 90-minute fiction block so that over the course of the week scholars have a chance to grapple with the text and themes of the unit in multiple ways. We aim to ensure that scholars spend the majority of class time deeply engaged with the text, either individually or as a class, annotating, writing, and discussing key themes and questions. Target tasks are a central part of each daily lesson and offer opportunities for writing and discussion that both deepen students’ understanding of the content and build their writing and discussion skills. These writing target tasks and the longer more focused writing tasks embedded in the units are the primary focus for writing instruction at Match; students do not have a separate writing block. Starting with unit 2, students also begin daily practice with answering multiple-choice questions that require deep consideration and analysis of the texts and themes.

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Science and Social Studies at Match

At Match Education we have ambitious goals for our students. Through our teaching, we strive to transform our scholars into critical readers, writers, and thinkers, and we seek to widen our students’ perspectives and deepen their character so that they can better understand themselves and the world around them.

In grades kindergarten through five, our science and social studies curriculum does double duty. It exposes students to the core knowledge, skills, and habits of thinking needed to be successful in science and social studies, while at the same time honing students’ ability to read and write about complex informational texts. In this way the science and social studies curriculum in the elementary grades is a core component of Match’s overall approach to English language arts instruction. Through daily science or social studies instruction centered on reading, discussing, and analyzing nonfiction texts, combined with daily reading and writing instruction focused on literary texts, we help our students build the skills to become strong readers and writers.

Our elementary science and social studies curriculum is also under development. In this first phase of its development we have focused heavily on the skills and standards involved in reading and writing about informational texts. Over the next year it will evolve to include more detailed hands-on projects, labs, and activities in order to more deeply engage students in the content and teach important thinking and problem-solving skills.


For more information, view our full Science and Social Studies Program Overview.