Fifth graders work hard on projects and tasks that require them to draw on the skills and strategies they have been learning in previous classes. School work gets more difficult, as students continue to have various teachers. Teachers will challenge students with long-term projects that require planning and organization. Holy Cross Academy recognizes the additional organizational skills needed at this age and offers additional instruction in organizational and study skills for the fourth and fifth grades.

In addition, fifth graders will be preparing to move to middle school. They will experience excitement about what they are learning and able to do, as well as possible anxiety resulting in the prospect of change. Parents and teachers can play a critical role in listening, reassuring and supporting the new individual that is starting to emerge.

Your child's progress will be reported through conferences and Standard-Based report cards. The report cards will indicate progress on the objectives identified in the Fifth Grade curriculum. Please find below a sampling of the Holy Cross Academy Fifth Grade curriculum.  For a complete list of the standards covered in Fifth Grade, please click on the Curriculum Map for Fifth Grade, located on the left side of this page.

  • Character Education

    Character Development The objective of character education at Holy Cross Academy is to shape, nurture, and develop the total child. Character development improves school and classroom climate by focusing on basic principles of character. This objective is achieved through daily actions and integration of the following principles of character education into the curriculum at all levels.

    Good Judgment - To choose worthy goals and set proper priorities; to think through the consequences of your actions; to base decisions on practical wisdom and good sense.

    Responsibility - To be dependable in carrying out obligations and duties; to show reliability and consistency in words and conduct; to be accountable for your own actions; to be committed to active involvement in your community.

    Respect - To show high regard for authority, for other people, for self, for property, and for country; to understand that all people have value as human beings.

    Good Citizenship - Obeying the laws of the nation and this State; abiding by school rules; and understanding the rights and responsibilities of a member of a republic.

    Service to Others / Kindness - To be considerate, courteous, helpful, and understanding of others; to show care, compassion, friendship, and generosity; to treat others as you would like to be treated.

    Courage - To have the determination to do the right thing even when others don't, and to have the strength to follow your conscience rather that the crowd.

    Self-Discipline - To demonstrate hard work and commitment to purpose; to regulate yourself for improvement; to refrain from inappropriate behaviors; to be in proper control of your words, actions, impulses, and desires; and to do your best in all situations.

    Perseverance - To be persistent in the pursuit of worthy objectives in spite of difficulty, opposition, or discouragement; to exhibit patience and be willing to try again when confronted with delays, mistakes, or failures.

    Integrity - To have the inner strength to be truthful, trustworthy, and honest in all things; to act justly and honorably

    Responsibility for School Safety - Helping to create a harmonious school atmosphere that is free from threats, weapons, and violent behavior; cultivate an orderly learning environment in which students and school personnel feel safe and secure; and encourage the resolution of disagreements through peaceful means including peer mediation.

  • Religion

    Religion Holy Cross Academy's religious education is an on-going process to provide spiritual formation and instruction for all children. We believe that we are called to respond to Christian witness throughout our lives. The children will act in accordance with the basic doctrines of the Catholic Church while experiencing the faith community within our school.

    The rosary will be prayed frequently throughout the year, but especially in October and May (the months of Mary). Students will attend Mass weekly, either as a class or with the entire school. Service projects are built into the overall curriculum for each grade level. A specialized focus will be given to Mission and Vocation Awareness.

    • Recognize Jesus as the Son of God
    • Recognize the need for Jesus as Our Savior
    • Identify and explain moral responsibility and respect as members of the family of God.
    • Acknowledge the call to live their lives as disciples of Christ
    • Identify the four parts of the Mass (Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites) and the articles and vestments used during Mass
    • Planning and implementation of the celebration of the Mass
    • Acknowledge the existence of their conscience and the need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the two main parts of the Bible, and how to find a given scripture passage
    • Demonstrate responsibilities to self, as a family member, as a Church member, and as a member of the school community
    • Demonstrate an awareness of God and an appreciation for His creation
    • Demonstrate appreciation for Mary's role in god's plan for Salvation
    • Participation in daily prayer both as a class and an individual
    • Demonstrate an appreciation for the daily 'life of the Saint'
    • Demonstrate knowledge of prayers (Prayer to the Holy Spirit, rosary, meditation, Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, spiritual adoption prayer)
    • Demonstrate respect for others in their classroom
    • Identify the components (Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments of Service, Sacraments of Healing) and significance of the Sacraments and the Beatitudes and demonstrate how to live them
    • Demonstrate respect and proper behavior while at Mass
    • Exhibit behavior that demonstrates chastity, virtue, justice, and respect
    • Discuss and participate in seasonal events of the Church year and Holy days
    • Recognize different Church celebrations
    • Recognize the importance of saints as examples
    • Respond to opportunities for service in and out of school
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of self, as a part of creation and the relationship of one's self in creation, through the Family Life program
    • Apply the Church teachings to their daily lives
    • Active participation in a service project benefiting the Affton Christian Food Pantry. The service project will consist of the students raising funds, purchasing food, and visiting/delivering the food to the pantry.
  • Language Arts

    Language Arts The fifth grade language arts program focuses on the broad areas of oral language, reading, writing, and word study. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction literature which will serve as a basis for instruction and practice in phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and writing.


    • Reads and comprehends different types of stories appropriate for fifth grade (fantasy, realistic fiction, poetry, fable, legend, informational, recipe, play, charts, maps, autobiographies, journals, schedules, newspaper and magazine articles, myths, and biographical)
    • Identifies literary genre
    • Reads fluently using punctuation, appropriate expression, intonation, and an appropriate rate
    • Uses a variety of reading comprehension strategies (i.e. predicting, inferring, making connections, drawing conclusions, reread, read ahead, question, paraphrase, using prior knowledge, skim and scan)
    • Monitors and self corrects errors while reading
    • Uses different strategies before, during, and after reading to set a purpose, make predictions, question, and make connections
    • Determines usefulness of information and ideas
    • Chooses appropriate level books and reads independently for 30 minutes daily to increase vocabulary, concepts, and reading stamina
    • Reads for a variety of purposes (such as information, pleasure, problem-solving)
    • Responds to literature orally and in writing.
    • Identifies elements of fiction and nonfiction to determine author's purpose, plot, conflict, sequence, problem/solution, main idea, supporting details, cause and effect, fact and opinion, mood, author's use of figurative language, and point of view
    • Focuses on detail to locate specific information and clarify meaning
    • Identify and generate antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, idioms, acronyms, metaphors, similes, and multiple meaning words
    • Applies meaning of roots, prefixes and suffixes to read unfamiliar words
    • Uses reference materials for spelling , reading, and decoding (such as dictionary, thesaurus, glossary, online reference tools)
    • Identifies main idea and supporting details of a text
    • Identifies story elements by recalling facts and details from the text
    • Compares and connects information across informational text
    • Describes causes and effects of actions or events
    • Identifies first person and third person points of view
    • Summarizes and records information from the story using characters (including main), setting, sequence of events, problem/solution, plot, and author's purpose, while relating the story to life experiences
    • Compares and contrasts two works (i.e. by different authors, the same author, and/or illustrator, genre, theme)

    Word Study

    • Correctly spells previously studied words and spelling patterns in written work

    Written and Oral Communication

    • Writes for a variety of reasons to various audiences using different formats (stories, reports, friendly letters, business letters, advertisements, interviews, news articles, etc)
    • Plans and organizes ideas before beginning to write
    • Stays on topic when writing
    • Uses writing informally for their own purposes
    • Composes a rough draft that focuses on major ideas and details, revises written work focusing on aspects of writing such as organization, word choice, and clarity, edits written work to use correct grammatical conventions, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation
    • Incorporates strategies and skills by giving explanations and examples to support reasons in writing
    • Responds to text, in writing and verbally by making personal connections, looking at different points of view, making inferences, and reflecting
    • Creates at least 35 pieces throughout the year including narrative, informational, descriptive, explanatory, response to literature, and poetry
    • Correctly spells previously studied words and spelling patterns in written work
    • Uses writing as a tool for thinking, learning, and reflecting
    • Writes to inform, to persuade, and to tell a personal or imaginative narrative
    • Writes a variety of literary, informational, and practical texts (fairy tales, poetry, recipes, news articles, interviews, etc)
    • Generates and answers literal, inferential, interpretive, and evaluative questions based on text
    • Engages reader with the opening paragraph and provides a conclusion
    • Indents paragraphs
    • Creates a setting and introduce characters through precise choice of detail
    • Develops a plot with a sequence of events
    • Describes the actions and emotions of the characters using descriptive details, actions, and dialogue
    • Adds reflective comments in autobiographical narrative
    • Demonstrates effective oral communication (fluency and pace, punctuation skill, projection, enunciation, and expression)
    • Participates in discussions regarding literature selections
    • Experiments using published authors' techniques in their own writing
    • Uses diagrams, charts, and illustrations as appropriate to the text
    • Demonstrates attentive and responsive listening skills
    • Uses media and technology as a tool to create a written product
    • Uses cursive handwriting
    • Creation of a writing portfolio containing at least 4 pieces of independent student writing (one from each quarter of the school year)
  • Mathematics

    Math "Real-life Applications" are integrated throughout the fifth grade and is an essential goal at this grade level. Students have many opportunities to use the skills involved with computation, estimation, time, money, measurement, geometry, graphing, probability, and algebra to solve a wide variety of everyday problems.

    Number and Numeration

    • Read, write, and identify place and value of whole numbers and decimals
    • Use expanded notation to represent whole numbers and decimals
    • Identify prime and composite numbers
    • Factor numbers and find prime factorization with exponents
    • Solve problems involving percents and discounts
    • Use numerical expressions, grouping symbols, and exponents to give equivalent names for whole numbers
    • Convert between base-10, exponential, and repeated-factor notations
    • Use numerical expressions to find and represent equivalent names for fractions, decimals, and percents
    • Find equivalent fractions and fractions in simplest form
    • Convert between fractions and mixed numbers
    • Convert between fractions, decimals, and percents
    • Compare and order fractions and mixed numbers
    • Compare and contrast decimals, percentages, and fractions

    Operations and Computation

    • Recall quickly and accurately multiplication facts and fact extensions and have a strategy to compute related division facts
    • Solve problems involving multiplication and division of whole numbers and decimals using mental arithmetic, paper and pencil, and calculators
    • Express remainders as decimals or fractions
    • Solve problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with like and unlike denominators using mental arithmetic, and calculators
    • Solve problems involving multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers and division of fractions and mixed numbers and division of fractions using mental arithmetic and calculators
    • Make reasonable estimates for whole number and decimal addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems and explain how the estimates were made
    • Make reasonable estimates for addition and subtraction of fractions and mixed numbers and explain how the estimates were made.
    • Use repeated addition, skip counting, arrays, area, and scaling to model multiplication and division
    • Use ratios expressed as words, fractions, percents, and with colons
    • Solve problems involving ratios
    • Solves word problems

    Data and Chance

    • Collect and organize data to create tally charts, tables, line plots, Venn diagrams, pictographs, and bar graphs with titles, labels, keys, and intervals
    • Use the maximum, minimum, range, mode, median, and graphs of a data set to ask and answer questions, draw conclusions, and make predictions
    • Describe events using certain, very likely, likely, unlikely, possible, impossible, and other basic probability terms and explain the choice
    • Use more likely, equally likely, same chance, 50-50, less likely, and other probability terms to compare events
    • Predict the outcomes of experiments and test the predictions using manipulatives; summarize the results and use them to predict future events
    • Express the probability of an event as a fraction, decimal, or percent

    Measurement and Reference Frames

    • Estimate length
    • Measure length to the nearest 1/8 inch and millimeter
    • Estimate the measure of angles
    • Use tools to draw angles with given measures
    • Describe and use strategies to measure the perimeter of polygons and the area of a circle
    • Use formulas to calculate the areas of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles.
    • Use formulas to calculate the volume of a prism
    • Define pi as the ration of a circle's circumference to its diameter
    • Describe the relationships among U.S. customary units of length and capacity and among metric units of length
    • Use ordered pairs of numbers to name, locate, and plot points in all four quadrants of a coordinate grid
    • Identify and describe the diameter, radius, chord, and circumference of a circle
    • Measure and solve problems involving measurement of length, weight/mass and volume/capacity in metric and U.S. customary units


    • Identify, name, describe, compare, and draw straight, reflex, right, acute, and obtuse angles
    • Determine angles measures in vertical and supplementary angles
    • Describe, compare, classify plane and solid figures using geometric terms
    • Identify, congruent shapes
    • Identify, describe, and sketch examples of reflections, translations, and rotations

    Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

    • Extend, describe, and create numeric patterns
    • Describe rules for patterns and use them to solve problems
    • Read, write, and explain number sentences using the symbols +,-, =, x, /,<, and >
    • Determine whether number sentences are true or false; and explain why
    • Solve open sentences and explain the solutions
    • Use a letter variable to write an open sentence to model a number story
  • Science

    Science The fifth grade science objectives stress the importance of a variety of hands-on investigations to study the life, physical, and earth sciences. Students continue to use science skills to explore the world around them. Science skills from preceding grades, including questioning, using and validating evidence, and systematic experimentation, are reinforced at this level. Students develop an understanding of science concepts by conducting and recording observations. The organization, analysis, and application of data continue to be an important focus of classroom inquiry. Students are introduced to more detailed concepts of sound and light and the tools used for studying them. Key concepts of matter include atoms, molecules, elements and compounds, and the properties of matter are defined in greater detail. The cellular makeup of organisms and the distinguishing characteristics of groups of organisms are stressed. Students learn about the characteristics of the oceans and the earth's changing surface.

    Light and Sound

    • Analyze the relationship between vibration and frequency, pitch, wavelength, and waves
    • Compare and contrast sound travel through various mediums
    • Differentiate between how sound is formed by various musical instruments
    • Describe the relationship between wavelength and colors of the visible spectrum
    • Describe parts of a light wave
    • Compare and contrast reflection and refraction
    • Differentiate between opaque, translucent, and transparent and give examples of each


    • Compare and contrast mixtures and solutions
    • Interpret models of atoms and molecules
    • Identify substance as being an element or a compound
    • Compare and contrast physical changes in matter

    Characteristics of Organisms and Cells

    • Justify all living things are made of cells
    • Compare and contrast the plant and animal cell parts and function
    • Analyze a student-constructed model of the plant and animal cells
    • Utilize a microscope
    • Group organisms into categories using their characteristics and give examples of each

    Ocean Environments and Our Changing Earth

    • Draw and label the rock cycle
    • Identify and describe the three layers of the earth
    • Analyze the relationship between the earthquakes and volcanoes and plate tectonic movement on the earth's surface and the ocean floor
    • Differentiate and analyze the effects of weathering and erosion
    • Create and interpret a model of the ocean floor
    • Develop an understanding of the concerns facing the ocean habitat through the research 
    • Analyze the physical characteristics of the ocean

    Natural Resources of Missouri

    • Compare and contrast natural and man-made resources
    • Describe a variety of soil and land uses
    • Investigate composition and uses of rocks and minerals
    • Create and interpret a model of a watershed to demonstrate the interrelationship between soil, land, rivers, and lakes
    • Participate in a recycling project

    Respect for Self

    • Demonstrate knowledge of personal hygiene
    • Demonstrate basic nutrition and healthy eating habits
    • Identify viruses and bacteria, as well as, our natural body defenses
    • Demonstrate knowledge of methods of safety (fire, earthquake, tornado, strangers)
    • Apply morally responsible scientific knowledge to daily life
  • Social Studies

    Social Studies In fifth grade, students, through fiction and nonfiction literature, continue with their study of the United States history from the American Revolution to the Civil War. The course will also examine the relationships among geography, government, economic, and cultural concepts as they relate to United States history. Students will study Missouri in a more precise manner. Students will examine the geography of Missouri and how this affects the state's economy. An overview of the significance of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the interactions between the early Missouri pioneers, immigrants, Native Americans, and Africans will lead the students to understand the state's contribution to our country.


    • Identify the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.
    • Demonstrates knowledge of the revolutionary War and its outcome
    • Demonstrates knowledge of the causes of the Civil War, as well as its aftermath
    • Compare and contrast the causes and effects of the American Revolution and the Civil War
    • Identify key factors in the Louisiana Purchase and the Westward Expansion
    • Identifies the importance of Missouri within United States history
    • Identify and analyze how Missouri's geography influenced U.S. history


    • Recognize places in time are unique and differ in human characteristics
    • Identify similarities and differences between and among United States regions
    • Identify similarities and differences between and among United States regions


    • Demonstrate knowledge that economic decisions are based on needs and have consequences.
    • Identify the importance of economics factors during the Civil War
    • Explain of the economic situation during the time period leading up to the Civil War
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the terms; productivity, scarcity, supply & demand and how it applies to the time period of the Civil War


    • Identify citizen's rights to petition the government for changes in the law
    • Identify the purpose, functions, and powers of the local, state, and national government during this period in history
    • Use technology (such as websites, electronic encyclopedias, almanacs, and atlases, newspapers, and magazines) to connect past and current events in government
    • Identify several political groups and terms used during the Civil War: Copperheads, Radical Republicans, Scalawag, Carpetbaggers, Southern Unionist, War Democrats, Unionist Party, Turners, National Union Party, Constitutional Union party
    • Identify that laws are made by Congress in a process outlined by the Constitution
    • Demonstrate knowledge the Constitution contains important provisions (majority rule, checks and balances, and separation of power)
    • Demonstrate knowledge the Bill of Rights protects U.S. citizens
    • Compare and contrast the branches of the United States and the Confederate States of America during the time period of the Civil War
    • Demonstrate active planning and participation in a culminating field experience in Jefferson City, Missouri