Fifth Grade

In fifth grade, our students grow to become critical and sophisticated readers and thinkers, competent persuasive and research writers, and adept mathematicians.

Students participate in a number of cross-curricular projects that bring together concepts in reading, math, history, science, computers, library, and more. In one project, they study organisms and their effect on ecosystems and the environment. In another, they study the Revolutionary War and its effects on individuals and our society as a whole.

In Judaic Studies, fifth graders begin to explore Torah She Be’al Peh, which provides the foundation for their studies of Gemara and other complex texts in middle school, high school, and beyond.

General Studies


Fifth graders grow their analytical reading skills as they delve into a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts. While reading thrilling, immersive fiction like The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, Holes by Louis Sachar, and more, students learn to analyze characters in order to understand their relationships, motivations, and actions. In these texts, our students encounter and decode figurative language and complex vocabulary that aid them in their writing and reading comprehension.

During cross-curricular endeavors such as the ecosystems and bios unit, fifth graders read Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem by Jude Isabelle, and use their nonfiction reading skills to learn about the different roles organisms play in the environment.

Our teachers measure and monitor each student’s reading progress by administering the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment several times a year. This helps us to carefully monitor student growth over time, and make changes to instruction and groupings as needed. Fifth graders continue to benefit from NSHA’s excellent learning lab and reading specialists as well.


Fifth graders become adept, confident mathematicians as they continue to grow their fluency with whole numbers by writing and interpreting numerical expressions.

In fifth grade, students are introduced to decimals and learn to perform operations with decimals to hundredths. They continue to deepen their understanding of fractions by using equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions, and apply their understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions.

Students analyze patterns and relationships between mathematical concepts, and learn to relate concepts of volume to multiplication and addition, and begin to graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.


Our fifth graders become critical thinkers and imaginative writers, looking inward and outward to find the inspiration to write in a variety of genres.

Students begin the year by thinking about their own lives – reflecting on turning points and new discoveries – to craft compelling personal narratives. Following this unit, students learn to craft literary essays by growing ideas and thesis statements about the books they’re reading. Next, our students embark on a research-based argument essay using articles, interviews, and surveys. During this unit, students also learn to debate using strong, coherent arguments and counterarguments to support their thesis.

Additionally, our students participate in a cross-curricular unit between social studies, reading, and writing to learn about early United States history. Lessons cover the colonies and the Revolutionary War through a series of nonfiction and historical fiction texts, and students conduct their own research about a topic and write a research paper.

To guide our writing instruction, our teachers use the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project curriculum as a foundation.

Judaic Studies


With a mastery of multiple tenses and a vast vocabulary, fifth graders are on their way to becoming confident, comprehensive Hebrew speakers.

Fifth graders build on their vocabulary and expand their fluency using the interactive Ulpan Or platform. They watch and create videos, read Israeli newspapers, and interact in real-life situations to hone their Hebrew fluency.

To support a variety of needs, students showing greater Hebrew fluency learn in small groups, while those needing more support and some English translation also learn in small groups. Teachers from our Hebrew Learning Lab work with students who require additional support.


Fifth graders begin their study of Sefer Shemot, studying the story of our people’s escape to freedom and their years in the desert. They continue with their study of Navi, learning much of Sefer Shoftim, further deepening their appreciation of early Jewish history.

Torah She Be’al Peh

Students begin the study of Mishnah, following an intensive introduction to the halakhic process.  They learn a representative cross-section of mishnayot in areas with which they are familiar, including various chagim. This provides the foundation for their studies of Gemara and more complex texts.

Shabbat & Chagim

Students explore a variety of multimedia materials to deepen their appreciation of the various customs and laws associated with Shabbat and the Jewish holidays. Students learn about each chag in advance of the holiday through hands-on activities facilitated by our program department and Bnei Akiva Shlichot. Our students share their own varied minhagim with their classmates, learning from and contributing to the diverse Jewish cultural milieu at NSHA.


Our fifth graders grow their love for and appreciation of Israel, its people, and its customs through the Ulpan Or curriculum. By leading our students in a variety of informal activities throughout the year, our Bnei Akiva Shlichot add to our students’ understanding and appreciation of Medinat Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.  Our love for Israel culminates each year with a full day celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut typically led by our Shlichot and has included events such as visits to different cities in Israel, a NSHA shuk, IDF bootcamp relay races, chagigot, daglanut, special performances, BBQ and more. Our love for Israel culminates each year with a full day celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut typically led by our Shlichot and has included events such as visits to different cities in Israel, a NSHA shuk, IDF bootcamp relay races, chagigot, daglanut, special performances, BBQ and more.

Fifth Grade Celebrations

Chagigat HaMishnah

In the Spring, parents join their children for a joint learning program and festive seudah as they celebrate their entry into the world of Torah She Be’al Peh. Students share divrei Torah regarding the Mishnayot that they have learned and this meaningful event serves as our moving up ceremony as our Fifth grade students finish their years at Cherry Lane and move on to their advanced studies in our middle school.

Who Was? History Bee

Our fourth and fifth graders compete in this annual bee. Our students prepare by reading as many biographies as possible and then participate in a competition that features multiple choice and open-ended questions about historical figures.

Math Fair

Students choose and research a number, and then create a presentation with real-life and mathematical problems related to their number, using concepts they have studied that year. All fifth graders attend the fair, focusing on other students’ problem sets and working together to solve them.