Grade 5 ELA is a high school preparatory course designed to increase student proficiency in language arts skills. Students will develop an appreciation of literature through in-depth study of a variety of literary works, styles, genres, points of view, and literary devices successfully employed by many distinguished authors, communicating their valuable insights to the world. Students will respond to these studies through reading, discussion, analysis, creative works, analytical essays, and speaking. In addition, the class will emphasize the discovery and use of vocabulary as found in the books we read to increase comprehension and broaden student ability to communicate expressively. The course will work with the Wordly Wise 3000 curriculum to develop vocabulary knowledge and diction skills. The goal of this course is to help each student develop the close reading, analytical writing, critical thinking, and complex speaking skills vital to a highly literate and engaged life in the modern world.
-Book List Options: “The Pearl”, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, “Animal Farm”, “The Outsiders”, “Wonder”Worldly Wise 3000- Daily Lessons for Vocabulary Enrichment
-Book List Options: The Pearl, Wonder, Animal Farm, The Outsiders, Freak the Mighty, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of Greek Mythology
Vocabulary Enrichment Unit
- Connotation vs Denotation
- Greek & Lation Prefixes Suffixes & Roots
Short Stories and Narrative: Plot Structure, Characterization and Setting
- Read & analyze short stories for elements of plot and character
- Identify vocabulary in context
- Write a creative short story
Figurative Language: How to Abstract Literal Language
- Identify and create: Similes, Metaphors, Idioms
- Read & Write Descriptive Imagery & Poetry
- Write a Sun/Shadow Mandala Self-Portrait
- Analyze & Create Characters
- Analyzing literature and film to compare/contrast elements
- Public Speaking & Performance
- Write & perform a puppet show or skit
- “This I Believe” & Public Speaking: Write a 500-word essay on anything you are passionate about and speak it to your peers, utilizing valuable public speaking skills
Non-fiction & the World at our Fingertips
- Look for bias in short grade-level news articles
- Write analytical paragraphs with a thesis and justification
- Write an autobiographical event
Fiction & Literature Analysis – each text will be read in depth, annotated, discussed, and used for expository writing and speaking. Students will study vocabulary from the texts, relevant literary terms & applications. We will find avenues of relevance to students lives and make connections to other subjects, and real-world enrichment.
- The Pearl
- Animal Farm
- The Outsiders
- Freak the Mighty
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
- Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of Greek Mythology
The class begins with questions inspired by situations in the story and their connection to the world around us. Students will be encouraged to use their critical thinking, creativity and personal opinions in order to explore new ideas, and express themselves more clearly.
Reading time will use both group and individual formats to build student proficiency in the English language. Group reading time will allow students to listen to as well as learn from their peers. Individual, one-on-one reading time will enable the instructor to work directly with a student and focus on developing specific skills.
Every day, a group of words will be chosen from either the text or the concepts we are working with, and analyzed using six key skills:
- Part of Speech
- Word Family
- Phonetic Pronunciation
- Sentence Writing
Assessments will be administered as a way to make sure the students are grasping the concepts that are being discussed and analyzed.
The students will write essays about ideas within the text being read, using skills which they have developed in lower grades, as well as adapting new skills that allow them to reach the next level of understanding.
- Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly and inferentially
- Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text. Provide an objective summary of the text
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings
- Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in poems and stories, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and alliteration.
- Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
- Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
- Write arguments to support claims using reasoning and evidence.
- Write informative texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information.
- Students will learn, identify and apply literary terms, describe how various literary elements contribute to mood or tone of a piece.
- Students will study, learn, & practice speaking new vocabulary words encountered in the literature study, understand the connotative forms of words, and recognize roots, prefixes, suffixes to synthesize new words in context.
- Students will practice and improve their writing skills by utilizing a variety of writing strategies and writing types (from short answer to multi-paragraph essays), including pre-writing, peer editing and evaluation, writing portfolios, and in class journal activities.
- Students will utilize speaking and listening skills to participate in the following activities: class discussions, small group discussion, oral reading and oral presentations, learning skills to perform, debate, and persuade.
- Students will improve upon and demonstrate research, study and computer skills, recognizing credible sources, identifying bias, and synthesizing ideas from several sources.
- Students will learn how to analyze an author’s intention, recognize effects on the audience, and synthesize their own perspectives with author’s that we read.
- Students will improve their understanding of figurative language, idiomatic expressions, how it enhances writing, as well as how to use it in their own work, creating engaging descriptive writing.
- Students will be able to write a strong thesis, with relevant justification, and a deep analysis of their points, as well as a strong conclusion that connects ideas from readings to their own lives and the modern world.
About the Teacher
Ms. Lara has taught English for fifteen years in different countries around the world. After getting her BA in Sociology and Photography at the University of California, San Diego, she worked with students with special needs for several years, trying to understand every kind of learner and diverse modalities of helping students to utilize their strengths and access learning from their own points of view. She has taught in Honduras and Hungary, as well as many kinds of schools around the US. After teaching English, Science, Art, and Music to 2nd, 6th, 10th and 11th grade students in the Caribbean, she came back to the US, and got her teaching credential at California State Monterey Bay. Following this, she taught at a small high school in Santa Cruz, CA for twelve years, where she instructed 9-12th grade English, Art, Digital Photography, and History as well as Advanced Placement classes for 5 years. In 2012, she took a hiatus to complete a year as a Fulbright exchange teacher in Budapest, where she taught ESL and was an ambassador for the US. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2015, and received a commendation for her work in 2018. She now tutors students in many subjects, while being a student herself, pursuing another degree. She enjoys working with students and learning from them, and finding new ways to communicate and understand the world around us.