5th Grade Literature

Students explore the different factors that can both positively and negatively influence a community (e.g. war, immigration, poverty) as they read and analyze carefully selected, culturally relevant texts.

Course Summary

In fifth-grade literature, students explore the different factors that can both positively and negatively influence a community as they read and analyze a set of carefully selected, culturally relevant texts. Over the course of the year students see how war, immigration, civil rights, and poverty both shape and inspire individuals and the communities in which they live.

Our 5th Grade Literature course is one component of our complete English Language Arts program, paired with our 5th Grade Science and Social Studies course and Independent Reading. To learn more, see the Pacing Guide for this course.




Students explore the theme of community through the book Seedfolks, wrestling with how prejudice and racism impact the way people treat each other and the ways in which that can influence a community.

16 Lessons


The Breadwinner

Students explore the Taliban's influence on the Middle East through the lens of human rights in the book The Breadwinner, and practice narrative writing by rewriting scenes from other point of views.

30 Lessons


Return to Sender

In the novel Return to Sender, students explore the complexity of immigration and stereotypes, and interpret how authors highlight different characters' perspectives.

29 Lessons


Survival Stories

Students explore the attributes necessary for survival and the importance of physical and mental strength by reading excerpts from Julie of the Wolves, Endangered, Hatchet, and a variety of poems.

18 Lessons


One Crazy Summer

Reading the novel One Crazy Summer, set in 1968 Oakland, CA at the height of the Black Panther movement, students explore the meaning of community, identity, and what it means to be part of a revolution.

30 Lessons


A Wrinkle in Time

In this final 5th grade unit, students read about the nuances of good versus evil and how unconditional love can overpower darkness in A Wrinkle in Time, the first science fiction novel in our curriculum.

26 Lessons