Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade
Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 5
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Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 5

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Alexandra Marron, Emily Butler Smith, Annie Taranto, Mary Ehrenworth

If students have grown up with the Writing Units of Study, by grade 5 they are familiar with most (if not all) of the skills required for fifth-grade standards. In the first unit, students write reflective personal narratives. Unit 2 calls on students to write research reports. In the third unit, students choose to write in either the essay, narrative, or memoir genre. Lastly, Unit 4 teaches students to build arguments in research-based essays.


 

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Full Description

About the Grade 5 Units

By the time children enter fifth grade, they will have been introduced to most if not all of the new skills expected of fifth-graders. The sequence of fifth grade units consolidates those skills and introduces the learning objectives called for in the sixth-grade standards: how to conduct research using primary sources, how to write narratives that are reflective and theme-based, and how to write argument essays that use counterargument to clarify a position. Unit 1, Narrative Craft, helps students deliberately use their knowledge of narrative craft to make their stories more thematic. In Unit 2, The Lens of History: Research Reports, students draw inspiration and understanding from mentor texts, historical accounts, primary source documents, maps, and timelines to write focused research reports that engage and teach readers. Building on these new skills, Unit 3, Shaping Texts: From Essay and Narrative to Memoir helps students grasp that form follows content, learning to take insights about their lives and decide whether these are best expressed in narratives, in essays, or in a hybrid genre created especially to convey the writer’s content. In the concluding unit of this series, The Research-Based Argument Essay, fifth-graders learn to build powerful arguments that convincingly balance evidence and analysis to persuade readers to action.

About the Series

Lucy Calkins and her colleagues have drawn on their work from more than three decades to develop a state-of-the-art curriculum in writing to:

  • help you teach argument, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
  • foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
  • develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
  • support greater independence and fluency
  • conduct strategic performance assessments to help monitor students’ progress and differentiate instruction
  • provide a ladder of exemplar texts that model writing progressions across grades.

Purchase Recommendations and Options

Purchase Recommendation: Choose the Grade 5 Units of Study with Trade Book Pack if your library does not already include the 3 mentor texts referenced in the Units. If you do not need the trade book pack, purchase the Grade 5 Units of Study without Trade Book Pack (as shown here).

Save when you purchase related cost-saving bundles, with or without trade book packs:

Select the Grade-Level Units you need most, available both with and without the trade book packs:

With trade book packs: Kindergarten / Grade 1 / Grade 2 / Grade 3 / Grade 4 / Grade 5

Without trade book packs: Kindergarten / Grade 1 / Grade 2 / Grade 3 / Grade 4 / Grade 5 / Grade 6 / Grade 7 / Grade 8

To learn more about the Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing series, visit UnitsofStudy.com

Components

Four Units of Study

  • organized around the three types of writing mandated by the Common Core: opinion, information, and narrative writing
  • lay out 4-5 weeks of instruction (16-18 sessions) in each unit
  • include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language

A Guide to the Writing Workshop, Intermediate Grades

  • crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective writing workshop instruction (The Guide, now available for separate purchase, can be an essential manual for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and others who are supporting implementation of Units of Study—or for anyone wanting to learn more about writing workshop).

If… Then… Curriculum

  • offers additional units of study
  • presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions

  • organized around a grades K-5 learning progression across opinion, information, and narrative writing
  • includes performance assessments, student checklists, rubrics, and leveled writing exemplars
  • also available in a K–8 edition for separate purchase: ideal for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and other who are supporting teachers as they implement Units of Study

Large-Format Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

  • Large-format preprinted Anchor-Chart Sticky Notes with illustrated teaching points help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across each unit

Online Resources

  • Video Orientations
  • Spanish translations of important student and teacher resources—includes Spanish translations of writing samples to use with Writing Pathways, student checklists, Anchor Chart Sticky Notes, and numerous other classroom materials such as daily charts and folders. Also available are lists of Spanish-language mentor texts
  • Downloadable and printable files for the anchor charts, figures, student exemplars, homework assignments, and checklists in every session
  • Digital files for resources provided in Writing Pathways, including Writing Progressions, On-Demand Writing Prompts, Rubrics, and Student Writing Samples 

Samples

Companion Resources

Mentor Texts for Teachers:

The Grade 5 Trade Pack includes three age-appropriate trade books that are used in the units to model effective writing techniques, encourage students to read as writers, and provide background knowledge.

  • When I Was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up, Vol. 1 by Amy Ehrlich, ed.
  • Who Settled the West? (Life in the Old West series) by Bobbie Kalman
  • Eleven and Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark by Sandra Cisneros

Independent Reading for Students:

The following TCRWP Classroom Libraries shelf was curated to specifically align with the Fifth Grade Units of Study.

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions (included with each grade-level bundle) is also available in a K–8 edition for separate purchase: ideal for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and other who are supporting teachers as they implement Units of Study

Supporting Materials