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Elementary Curriculum

Mankato Area Public Schools' elementary experience provides a foundation for learning for all students.  Beginning in kindergarten, students learn a wide variety of skills necessary to give students options for life. We focus on foundational skills in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. In addition, art, music, physical education and health, and media and technology play an important role in our students' ability to think creatively, globally, and in a healthy manner.  Our staff works to ensure that all students learn at high levels and meet their fullest potential. 

K-5 Literacy
K-5 Literacy Plan

Kindergarten

Kindergartners are very curious about how things work and teachers often use this enthusiasm by setting up projects on topics that interest them.  The kindergarten year is one in which kids learn more about the formal classroom setting – learning to focus for segments of time on basic literacy and math, and learning simple science and social studies.  This is the foundation year for getting used to the routine of school, the process of focusing and learning, and the social skills involved in making new friends.  It’s a crucial year for building the foundation of learning.

Art

Students in kindergarten will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas visually.
  • Produce artworks using a variety of art materials.
  • Recognize and use the following art vocabulary: 
    • The elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form.
    • The principles of art: balance, rhythm, proportion, pattern, emphasis, unity, and variety.
  • Recognize functions of art: spiritual, decorative, tells a story, functional, and art for arts sake. Identify artwork from a variety of time periods and cultures.

English Language Arts

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model.  A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas:

Phonological & Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the core resource used to teach Reading and Writing in Kindergarten.  Benchmark Education has a solid research base and is made up of whole group, small group, phonics and writer’s workshop components.  Effective readers use comprehension and metacognitive strategies in conjunction to develop a deeper understanding of a text.  Kindergarten students will learn to develop comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies hand in hand.  These strategies include:

  •  Analyze character, analyze story elements, compare and contrast, distinguish and evaluate fact and opinion, draw conclusions, evaluate author’s purpose, identify cause and effect, identify main idea and supporting details, identify sequence of events, make inferences, make judgments, make predictions, and summarize information.
  • Ask questions, determine text importance, fix-up monitoring, make connections, make inferences, summarize and synthesize, and visualize.

Writing and grammar are taught through a balanced literacy workshop approach. In kindergarten students learn about:

  • The writing process, author’s craft skills, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes.
  • Three Text Types: Narrative, Informational, and Persuasive
  • Three Genres: Journals, Informational Reports, Book Reviews

Health

District 77 uses the Michigan Model for Health curriculum.  Some kindergarten topics include:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Feelings
  • Safety rules and avoiding injury
  • Safety rules for medicines and poisons
  • Avoiding dangerous situations and asking for help
  • Selecting nutritious foods
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Personal health habits

Mathematics

Mathematics concepts are taught using the EveryDay Mathematics curriculum.  Math strands covered are:

  • Numeration
  • Money
  • Measurement
  • Clock and Calendars
  • Geometry
  • Data and Chance
  • Operations
  • Patterns

Media

Students in kindergarten will develop skills that enable them to become technologically literate citizens.

  • Technology Use and Concepts - Uses Technology Vocabulary
  • Inquiry, Research, and Problem Solving – Identifies fiction and nonfiction
  • Expanding Literacies – Knows author and illustrator roles
  • Ethical Participation in a Global Society – Uses Websites Appropriately

Music

GamePlan is an active music curriculum for children. GamePlan sequences musical skills and objectives that support the National Standards for Arts Education. GamePlan is a very diverse curriculum which embraces several philosophies, including the principle of Orff Schulwerk and the Kodaly approach to reading rhythm and melody.  Folk songs, folk rhymes, and traditional children's games and dances form an integral part of the repertoire.  Objectives in the lessons are categorized into five conceptual areas:  rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre.  Students approach objectives through a variety of experiences including moving, speaking, singing, listening, playing and notating.

Physical Education

Instruction and activities focus on the following:

  • Develop physical and social skills
  • Improve coordination
  • Follow basic rules
  • Develop special awareness
  • Rhythms
  • Low organized games
  • Apparatus
  • Sportsmanship

Science

Science is delivered using the 2005 Macmillan-McGraw Hill Science program. This program combines modular hands-on experiences with a rich text component to support the learning of science concepts. Kindergarten units include:

 Animals:

  • Animals Are Everywhere
  • Bugs and More Bugs
  • Reptiles
  • What Animals Need
  • Up Above and Down Under
  • Staying Safe
  • Grow and Change
  • People and Animals

 Weather and Sky:

  • Exploring Weather
  • Look at Clouds
  • The Seasons
  • Sun and Shadows
  • Moon and Stars

Social Studies

The Harcourt social studies curriculum is used in kindergarten. “Our World, Now and Long Ago” is the focus of the curriculum.  Kindergarten units include: 

  • Famous People and Events in U.S. History
  • Concepts of Time, Freedom and Choice
  • Purpose of Government
  • The Role of Rules.

First Grade

In many ways, 1st grade is a year of important transitions — children leave behind much of the play of preschool and kindergarten and dive into developing deeper academic skills.  First graders progress from having beginner reading and writing skills to becoming beginning readers and writers, as they not only read and write more often, but with greater comprehension and ability, too.  

First grade is a crucial year for building reading skills. In 1st grade, students begin to define themselves with respect to what kind of readers they are. More specifically, research has shown that the most effective and successful 1st grade classrooms are those which are very positive places, encourage reading and writing, and convey the message “You can be a reader” to students. While this is already being done in the classroom, it can certainly be done at home too.

Art

Students in first grade will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas visually.
  • Produce artworks using a variety of art materials.
  • Recognize and use the following art vocabulary: 
    • The elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form.
    • The principles of art: balance, rhythm, proportion, pattern, emphasis, unity, and variety.Recognize functions of art: spiritual, decorative, tells a story, functional, and art for arts sake.
  • Identify artwork from a variety of time periods and cultures.

English Language Arts

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model.  A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas:

Phonological & Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the core resource used to teach Reading and Writing in first grade.  Benchmark Education has a solid research base and is made up of whole group, small group, phonics and writer’s workshop components.  Effective readers use comprehension and metacognitive strategies in conjunction to develop a deeper understanding of a text.  First grade students will learn to develop comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies hand in hand.  These strategies include:

  • Analyze character, analyze story elements, compare and contrast, distinguish and evaluate fact and opinion, draw conclusions, evaluate author’s purpose, identify cause and effect, identify main idea and supporting details, identify sequence of events, make inferences, make judgments, make predictions, and summarize information.
  • Ask questions, determine text importance, fix-up monitoring, make connections, make inferences, summarize and synthesize, and visualize.

Writing and grammar are taught through a balanced literacy workshop approach. In first grade students learn about:

  • The writing process, author’s craft skills, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes.
  • Three Text Types: Narrative, Informational, and Persuasive  
  • Four Genres: Journals, Personal Narratives, Informational Reports, Book Reviews

Health

District 77 uses the Michigan Model for Health curriculum.  Some first grade topics include:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Feelings
  • Decisions and problem solving
  • Safety rules and ways to avoid injury
  • Safety rules for medicines and poisons
  • The harmful effects of tobacco
  • Avoiding dangerous situations and asking for help
  • Selecting nutritious foods
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Personal health habits

Mathematics

Mathematics concepts are taught using the EveryDay Mathematics curriculum.  Assessed outcomes focus on:

  • Finding sums and addends
  • Calculating sums of coins
  • Addition algorithms
  • Subtraction algorithms
  • Equivalent Fractions

Media

Students in grade one will develop skills that enable them to become technologically literate citizens:

  • Technology Use and Concepts - Uses Technology Independently
  • Inquiry, Research, and Problem Solving - Generates Story Questions
  • Expanding Literacies - Communicates Story Sequence
  • Ethical Participation in a Global Society - Recognizes Appropriate Technology Use

Music

GamePlan is an active music curriculum for children. GamePlan sequences musical skills and objectives that support the National Standards for Arts Education. GamePlan is a very diverse curriculum which embraces several philosophies, including the principle of Orff Schulwerk and the Kodaly approach to reading rhythm and melody.  Folk songs, folk rhymes, and traditional children's games and dances form an integral part of the repertoire.  Objectives in the lessons are categorized into five conceptual areas:  rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre.  Students approach objectives through a variety of experiences including moving, speaking, singing, listening, playing and notating.

Physical Education

Instruction and activities focus on the following:

  • Motor skills
  • Lifetime fitness
  • Movement education
  • Rhythms
  • Cooperative activities
  • Low organized games
  • Apparatus
  • Sportsmanship

Science

Science is delivered using the 2005 Macmillan-McGraw Hill Science program. This program combines modular hands-on experiences with a rich text component to support the learning of science concepts.  Grade one units include:

Animals Are Living Things:

  • Animals Are Living Things
  • Mammals
  • More Animal Groups
  • Grow and Change
  • Getting Food
  • Where Animals Live
  • Staying Safe

The Sky and Weather:

  • The Sun
  • The Moon and Stars
  • The Planets
  • Weather
  • Weather Changes
  • Spring and Summer
  • Fall and Winter

On the Move:

  • Things Move
  • Measure Movement
  • The Ways Things Move
  • Things Magnet Move
  • A Magnet’s Poles
  • Things Magnets Pull Through
  • Moving Things Make Sound
  • Explore Different Sounds

Social Studies

The Harcourt social studies curriculum is used in grade one. “A Child’s View” is the focus of the curriculum.  Grade one units include: 

  • Family Life Today and In The Past
  • Famous People and Events in U.S. History
  • Chronological Thinking
  • Physical Features of the U.S.
  • Civic Responsibilities
  • Rules and Laws in Government
  • Basic Functions of Government.

Second Grade

In 2nd grade, students have adjusted to the more rigorous learning environment they initially encountered in 1st grade and are able to further deepen and expand their skills and knowledge. In 2nd grade, they become more experienced writers, readers, and mathematicians as they practice these skills more and in more complex and comprehensive ways. They read longer and more complicated books, they write longer and more complex pieces, and they learn more of the concepts underlying the math they do. In addition, 2nd graders begin to develop their research and critical thinking projects as they create individual and group work to share and present what they learn through different forms, including writing, speaking, and art.

Art

Students in second grade will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas visually.
  • Produce artworks using a variety of art materials.
  • Recognize and use the following art vocabulary: 
  • The elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form.
  • The principles of art: balance, rhythm, proportion, pattern, emphasis, unity, and variety.
  • Recognize functions of art: spiritual, decorative, tells a story, functional, and art for arts sake.
  • Identify artwork from a variety of time periods and cultures.

English Language Arts

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model.  A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas:

Phonological & Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the core resource used to teach Reading and Writing in second grade.  Benchmark Education has a solid research base and is made up of whole group, small group, phonics and writer’s workshop components.  Effective readers use comprehension and metacognitive strategies in conjunction to develop a deeper understanding of a text.  Second grade students will learn to develop comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies hand in hand.  These strategies include:

  • Analyze character, analyze story elements, compare and contrast, distinguish and evaluate fact and opinion, draw conclusions, evaluate author’s purpose, identify cause and effect, identify main idea and supporting details, identify sequence of events, make inferences, make judgments, make predictions, and summarize information.
  • Ask questions, determine text importance, fix-up monitoring, make connections, make inferences, summarize and synthesize, and visualize.

Writing and grammar are taught through a balanced literacy workshop approach. In second grade students learn about:

  • The writing process, author’s craft skills, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes
  • Three Text Types: Narrative, Informational, and Opinion/Argument
  • Five Genres: Personal Narratives, Realistic Fiction, Informational Reports, Persuasive Letters, Procedural Texts

Health

District 77 uses the Michigan Model for Health curriculum.  Some second grade topics include:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Decisions and problem solving
  • Safety rules and ways to avoid injury
  • The dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Refusing to participate in risky behaviors
  • Selecting nutritious foods
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Personal health habits

Mathematics

Mathematics concepts are taught using the EveryDay Mathematics curriculum.  Assessed outcomes focus on:

  • Calculating values of coins and bills
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Identifying and comparing fractional parts
  • Concepts of multiplication and division

Media

Students in grade two will develop skills that enable them to become technologically literate citizens.

  • Technology Use and Concepts - Prints and Saves Independently
  • Inquiry, Research, and Problem Solving - Generates a Graphic Organizer
  • Expanding Literacies - Uses Online Catalog
  • Ethical Participation in a Global Society - Gives Credit to Original Creator

Music

GamePlan is an active music curriculum for children. GamePlan sequences musical skills and objectives that support the National Standards for Arts Education. GamePlan is a very diverse curriculum which embraces several philosophies, including the principle of Orff Schulwerk and the Kodaly approach to reading rhythm and melody. Folk songs, folk rhymes, and traditional children's games and dances form an integral part of the repertoire. Objectives in the lessons are categorized into five conceptual areas:  rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre. Students approach objectives through a variety of experiences including moving, speaking, singing, listening, playing and notating.

Physical Education

Instruction and activities focus on the following:

  • Motor skills
  • Lifetime fitness
  • Rhythms
  • Cooperative activities
  • Lead-up games
  • Apparatus
  • Sportsmanship

Science

Science is delivered using the 2012 Pearson Interactive Science program. This program combines modular hands-on experiences with a rich text component to support the learning of science concepts. Grade two units include:

The Nature of Science:

  • What questions do scientists ask?
  • What kinds of skills do scientists use?
  • How do scientists use tools and stay safe?
  • How do scientists find answers?
  • How do scientists collect and share data?

Technology and Tools:

  • What is technology?
  • How do people design new things?
  • How do we use tools and machines?

Plants:  

  • What are the parts of plants?
  • Where do plants live?
  • What do plants need to grow?
  • What is the life cycle of a plant?

Weather:

  • What is the water cycle?
  • How can you describe weather?
  • How can you measure weather?
  • How does weather change?
  • How can you stay safe in severe weather?

Matter:

  • What are the properties of matter?
  • What are solids, liquids, and gases?
  • What are some ways matter can change?
  • How can water change?

Energy, Motion, and Force:  

  • What are motion and force?
  • What are magnets?
  • What is gravity?

Social Studies

The Harcourt social studies curriculum is used in grade two. “People We Know” is the focus of the curriculum.  Grade two students will learn: 

  • Family Life Today and in the Past
  • Famous People and Events in U.S. History
  • Chronological Thinking
  • Concepts of Location
  • Maps and Globes
  • Economic Choices
  • Producers and Consumers
  • Civics

Third Grade

Third grade marks an important time in children’s education as they transition from what is often known as the “lower grades” to the “upper grades.” It is a crucial period in students’ learning as they become more independent and mature learners. In 3rd grade, students progress from practicing basic skills to mastering them and moving on to further developing more complex skills. Third graders become more advanced readers, writers, mathematicians, and thinkers, digging deeper into topics and beginning to analyze what they learn.

Art

Students in third grade will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas visually.
  • Produce artworks using a variety of art materials.
  • Recognize and use the following art vocabulary: 
    • The elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form.
    • The principles of art: balance, rhythm, proportion, pattern, emphasis, unity, and variety.
  • Recognize functions of art: spiritual, decorative, tells a story, functional, and art for arts sake.
  • Identify artwork from a variety of time periods and cultures.

English Language Arts

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model.  A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas:

Phonological & Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the core resource used to teach Reading and Writing in third grade.  Benchmark Education has a solid research base and is made up of whole group, small group, word study, and writer’s workshop components.  Effective readers use comprehension and metacognitive strategies in conjunction to develop a deeper understanding of a text.  Third grade students will learn to develop comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies hand in hand.  These strategies include:

  • Analyze character, analyze story elements, compare and contrast, distinguish and evaluate fact and opinion, draw conclusions, evaluate author’s purpose, identify cause and effect, identify main idea and supporting details, identify sequence of events, make inferences, make judgments, make predictions, and summarize information.
  • Ask questions, determine text importance, fix-up monitoring, make connections, make inferences, summarize and synthesize, and visualize.

Writing and grammar are taught through a balanced literacy workshop approach. In third grade students learn about:

  • The writing process, author’s craft skills, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes.
  • Three Text Types: Narrative, Informational, and Opinion/Argument

Five Genres: Personal Narratives, Realistic Fiction, Informational Reports, Procedural Texts, and Persuasive Letters

Health

District 77 uses the Michigan Model for Health curriculum.  Some third grade topics include:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Decisions and problem solving
  • Safety rules and ways to avoid injury
  • The dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Refusing to participate in risky behaviors
  • Selecting nutritious foods
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Personal health habits

Mathematics

Mathematics concepts are taught using the EveryDay Mathematics curriculum.  Assessed outcomes focus on:

  • Calculating values of bills and coin combinations
  • Addition and subtraction facts
  • Multiplication facts
  • Equivalent fractions
  • Measurement to centimeter and inch

Media

Students in grade three will develop skills that enable them to become technologically literate citizens.

  • Technology Use and Concepts – Shares ideas using word processing
  • Inquiry, Research, and Problem Solving – Uses information resources
  • Expanding Literacies – Recognizes quality literature

Ethical Participation in a Global Society - Recognizes Appropriate Technology Use

Music

GamePlan is an active music curriculum for children. GamePlan sequences musical skills and objectives that support the National Standards for Arts Education. GamePlan is a very diverse curriculum which embraces several philosophies, including the principle of Orff Schulwerk and the Kodaly approach to reading rhythm and melody. Folk songs, folk rhymes, and traditional children's games and dances form an integral part of the repertoire. Objectives in the lessons are categorized into five conceptual areas:  rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre. Students approach objectives through a variety of experiences including moving, speaking, singing, listening, playing and notating.

Physical Education

Instruction and activities focus on the following:

  • Motor Skills
  • Lifetime fitness
  • Rhythms
  • Cooperative activities
  • Lead-up games
  • Apparatus
  • Sportsmanship
  • Introduce personal fitness plan

Science

Science is delivered using the 2012 Pearson Education Interactive Science program. This program provides inquiry-based learning, investigative hands-on experiences, and a rich, consumable text to support the learning of science concepts. Grade three units include:

The Nature of Science:  

  • How do scientists ask and answer questions?  
  • What skills do scientists use?
  • How do scientists communicate?
  • How do scientists use tools and stay safe? (Science, Engineering, and Technology)

Plants and Living Things:  

  • How do plants use leaves and stems?
  • How do plants grow and change?
  • How do plants use flowers or cones to reproduce?
  • What are the life cycles of some plants?
  • How can you classify animals?
  • What are the life cycles of some animals?  
  • How are offspring like their parents? (Life Science)

The Earth and Our Universe:

  • What is known about the solar system?
  • What are Earth’s patterns?
  • What is known about the moon? (Earth Science)

Energy and Its Forms:

  • What are some forms of energy?
  • How does energy change?
  • What is Sound Energy?
  • How do light and matter interact? (Physical Science)

Social Studies

The Harcourt social studies curriculum is used in grade three. “Our Communities/World Communities” is the focus of the curriculum.  Grade three students will learn: 

  • Family Life Today and in the Past
  • Famous People and Events in U.S. History
  • Civilizations in World History
  • Concepts of Historical Time
  • Cardinal Directions
  • Interpret Maps
  • Features of the Earth
  • Producers and Consumers
  • Civic Values and Responsibilities

Fourth Grade

As members of the “upper” grades of elementary school, 4th graders deepen their learning and skills, preparing them for middle school. Fourth graders are still viewed as and learn as elementary school students do. Developmentally, most 4th graders are very much still children; they enjoy and learn from play and thrive in nurturing and warm environments. However, the content of most 4th grade curricula pushes students to think, analyze, and learn in more sophisticated and structured ways. Students are taught to deeply think about and make connections in what they read and learn; write with clarity, flow, and structure similar to that of traditional essays; and learn more complex concepts across all subjects. In addition, 4th graders are encouraged to be more independent in their learning, depending less on the teacher‘s guidance and researching, planning, and revising their work more by themselves.

Art

Students in fourth grade will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas visually.
  • Produce artworks using a variety of art materials.
  • Understand and use the following art vocabulary:
    • The elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form.
    • The principles of art: balance, rhythm, proportion, pattern, emphasis, unity, and variety.
  • Recognize functions of art: spiritual, decorative, tells a story, functional, and art for arts sake.
  • Analyze and interpret artwork from a variety of time periods and cultures.
  • Compare visual arts to other art forms.

English Language Arts

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model.  A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas:

Phonological & Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the core resource used to teach Reading and Writing in fourth grade.  Benchmark Education has a solid research base and is made up of whole group, small group, word study, and writer’s workshop components.  Effective readers use comprehension and metacognitive strategies in conjunction to develop a deeper understanding of a text.  Fourth grade students will learn to develop comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies hand in hand.  These strategies include:

  • Analyze character, analyze story elements, compare and contrast, distinguish and evaluate fact and opinion, draw conclusions, evaluate author’s purpose, identify cause and effect, identify main idea and supporting details, identify sequence of events, make inferences, make judgments, make predictions, and summarize information.
  • Ask questions, determine text importance, fix-up monitoring, make connections, make inferences, summarize and synthesize, and visualize.

Writing and grammar are taught through a balanced literacy workshop approach. In fourth grade students learn about:

  • The writing process, author’s craft skills, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes
  • Three Text Types: Narrative, Informational, and Opinion/Argument

Five Genres: Personal Narratives, Science Fiction, Informational Reports, Procedural Texts, and Book Review

Health

District 77 uses the Michigan Model for Health curriculum.  Some fourth grade topics include:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Decisions and problem solving
  • Safety rules and ways to avoid injury
  • The dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Refusing to participate in risky behaviors
  • Selecting nutritious foods
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Personal health habits
  • Human growth and reproduction (using the curriculum Puberty: The Wonder Years)

Mathematics

Mathematics concepts are taught using the EveryDay Mathematics curriculum.  Assessed outcomes focus on:

  • Concepts of multiplication and division
  • Solving number stories
  • Converting fractions to decimals and percents
  • Geometry
  • Decimals
  • Big Numbers; Place Value
  • Fractions
  • Probability

Media

Students in grade four will develop skills that enable them to become technologically literate citizens.

  • Technology Use and Concepts – Communicates ideas in a presentation
  • Inquiry, Research, and Problem Solving – Completes a graphic organizer
  • Expanding Literacies – Uses online literature resources
  • Ethical Participation in a Global Society – Uses technology responsibly

Music

GamePlan is an active music curriculum for children. GamePlan sequences musical skills and objectives that support the National Standards for Arts Education. GamePlan is a very diverse curriculum which embraces several philosophies, including the principle of Orff Schulwerk and the Kodaly approach to reading rhythm and melody. Folk songs, folk rhymes, and traditional children's games and dances form an integral part of the repertoire. Objectives in the lessons are categorized into five conceptual areas: rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre. Students approach objectives through a variety of experiences including moving, speaking, singing, listening, playing and notating.

Physical Education

Instruction and activities focus on the following:

  • Lifetime fitness
  • Sport activities
  • Rhythms
  • Apparatus
  • Cooperative activities
  • Sportsmanship
  • Physical fitness testing
  • Personal fitness plan

Science

Science is delivered using the 2012 Pearson Interactive Science program. This program combines inquiry-- asking questions and thinking like a scientist. This is through hands-on labs and a consumable workbook that allows students to be totally engaged in their learning. Grade four units include:

Science, Engineering and Technology:

  • Inquiry and Technology
  • Design and Function

Earth Science:

  • Earth’s Resources
  • Earth’s Changing Surface

Physical Science:  

  • Matter
  • Energy and Heat
  • Electricity and Magnetism

Social Studies

The Houghton Mifflin social studies curriculum is used in grade four. “States and Regions” is the focus of the curriculum. Grade four students will learn:

  • Maps to Scale
  • Geographic Features of the U.S.
  • Geographic Features of Minnesota
  • Civic Life and Community.

Fifth Grade

As the last year of elementary school, 5th grade is an important time for students to cement the skills they have gained throughout the upper grades and develop them even further in preparation for middle school. Fifth grade is about helping students practice, refine, and grow their skills, taking all that they have learned to the next step. Fifth graders build on what they learn in 4th grade by thinking and analyzing in deeper ways about what they learn and read. They also write structured, clear, and detailed pieces. Additionally, fifth graders are encouraged and expected to be more independent in their learning, requiring less guidance and support from adults and teachers. For example, when a student is asked to research a topic, he should be able to know what to do and how to accomplish this goal. He certainly may need the assistance of a teacher throughout the research, but he also has the basic tools to do so by himself.

Art

Students in fifth grade will be able to:

  • Communicate ideas visually.
  • Produce artworks using a variety of art materials.
  • Understand and use the following art vocabulary:
    • The elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, space, and form.
    • The principles of art: balance, rhythm, proportion, pattern, emphasis, unity, and variety.
  • Recognize functions of art: spiritual, decorative, tells a story, functional, and art for arts sake.
  • Analyze and interpret artwork from a variety of time periods and cultures.
  • Compare visual arts to other art forms.

English Language Arts

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model.  A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas:

Phonological & Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the core resource used to teach Reading and Writing in fifth grade.  Benchmark Education has a solid research base and is made up of whole group, small group, word study, and writer’s workshop components.  Effective readers use comprehension and metacognitive strategies in conjunction to develop a deeper understanding of a text.  Fifth grade students will learn to develop comprehension strategies and metacognitive strategies hand in hand.  These strategies include:

  • Analyze character, analyze story elements, compare and contrast, distinguish and evaluate fact and opinion, draw conclusions, evaluate author’s purpose, identify cause and effect, identify main idea and supporting details, identify sequence of events, make inferences, make judgments, make predictions, and summarize information.
  • Ask questions, determine text importance, fix-up monitoring, make connections, make inferences, summarize and synthesize, and visualize.

Writing and grammar are taught through a balanced literacy workshop approach. In fifth grade students learn about:

  • The writing process, author’s craft skills, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes
  • Three Text Types: Narrative, Informational, and Opinion/Argument

Five Genres: Memoirs, Historical Fiction, Informational Reports, Persuasive Letters, and Biographies

Health

District 77 uses the Michigan Model for Health curriculum.  Some fifth grade topics include:

  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Decisions and problem solving
  • Safety rules and ways to avoid injury
  • The dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Refusing to participate in risky behaviors
  • Selecting nutritious foods
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Personal health habits
  • Human growth and reproduction (using the curriculum Puberty: The Wonder Years)

Mathematics

Mathematics concepts are taught using the EveryDay Mathematics curriculum.  Assessed outcomes focus on:

  • Data landmarks
  • Adding and subtracting, comparing and ordering integers
  • Writing algebraic expressions
  • Working with factors
  • Number sentences
  • Use of parentheses in number sentences
  • Free diagrams
  • Distinguishing between circumference and area of a circle

Media

Students in grade five will develop skills that enable them to become technologically literate citizens.

  • Technology Use and Concepts – Communicates ideas using appropriate technology
  • Inquiry, Research, and Problem Solving – Gather, synthesize, and share information
  • Expanding Literacies – Demonstrates literacy interaction
  • Ethical Participation in a Global Society – Demonstrates ethical participation

Music

GamePlan is an active music curriculum for children. GamePlan sequences musical skills and objectives that support the National Standards for Arts Education. GamePlan is a very diverse curriculum which embraces several philosophies, including the principle of Orff Schulwerk and the Kodaly approach to reading rhythm and melody. Folk songs, folk rhymes, and traditional children's games and dances form an integral part of the repertoire. Objectives in the lessons are categorized into five conceptual areas:  rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and timbre. Students approach objectives through a variety of experiences including moving, speaking, singing, listening, playing and notating.

Physical Education

Instruction and activities focus on the following:

  • Lifetime fitness
  • Sport activities
  • Rhythms
  • Apparatus
  • Cooperative activities
  • Sportsmanship
  • Physical fitness testing
  • Personal fitness plan

Science

Science is delivered using the 2012 Pearson Interactive Science program. This program combines inquiry-- asking questions and thinking like a scientist. This is through hands-on labs and a consumable workbook that allows students to be totally engaged in their learning. Grade five units include:

Science, Engineering and Technology:

  • Inquiry and Technology
  • Design and Function


Life Science:

  • Growth and Survival
  • Ecosystems


Earth Science:

  • The Water Cycle and Weather
  • Earth’s Surface


Physical Science:  

  • Forces and Motion

Social Studies

The Houghton Mifflin social studies curriculum is used in grade five. “United States History: Early years” is the focus of the curriculum.  Grade five students will learn: 

  • Pre-history Through 1607
  • Colonization and Conflict (1607-1780s)
  • Political Unrest and the American Revolution (1763 – mid-1791)
  • Growth and Westward Expansion (1801 – 1861)
  • Civil War and Reconstruction (1850s – 1870s)
  • Beliefs and Principles of U.S. Democracy
  • Documents of the American Government
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CONTACT

Department of Teaching & Learning
Curriculum & Instruction
Tracy Corcoran, Coordinator
10 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 3
Mankato, Minnesota 56001
507-387-7353
tcorco1@isd77.org