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2801 E. 16th St. | Muncie, IN 47302 | PH 765-216-7980
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Fifth Grade

Each Expedition is approximately 6 - 8 weeks in length and challenges students to learn new skills and apply them in a way that makes learning fun.  When learing is fun, students absorb and retain more.


Expedition #1: Stories of Human Rights

What are human rights, and how do real people and fictional characters respond when those rights are challenged? Students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider this question. Students will begin to build knowledge about human rights through a close read of the introduction and selected articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), paired with short firsthand accounts of people around the world who currently face human rights challenges.


Students will compare novels and Readers Theater as two forms of narrative writing. They will then select specific articles of the UDHR that relate thematically to the novel and reread key passages of the novel with that theme in mind. They will write individual and small group scripts based on these key passages and on phrases from the UDHR. Students will revise, rehearse, and ultimately perform their group Readers Theater scripts for their class and/or school or community members. 

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Expedition #2: Biodiversity in the Rainforest

This Expedition features a close read of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World by Kathryn Lasky. This beautifully illustrated informational text describes the work of scientists documenting the biodiversity of rainforests. The specific literacy focus is on reading scientific and technical text as well as writing to inform and explain.

Students will analyze the structure and function of scientific field guides and field journals, determining what quality field guides and journals look and sound like. Students research a living thing that a scientist may encounter in the rainforest and write with clear and effective word choice about their chosen insect. As the final performance task, students produce an informational report and then a field journal—style page intended for younger readers.


Expedition #3: Athlete Leaders of Social Change

This Expedition begins with a brief study of the importance of sports in American culture over time. The heart of this Expedition is a whole class study of the short but challenging biography Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by his daughter, Sharon Robinson. (Students will read selected segments; some of these will be read aloud.) Students will analyze Jackie Robinson as a specific example of an athlete who served as a leader who broke barriers in society.


For the final performance task, each student will write a letter to a publishing company explaining the need for a biography about their selected athlete, in which they discuss the athlete, evaluate the barriers that he/she broke during the era in which he/she lived, and give an opinion about the importance of that athlete’s impact on American society. They must support their opinions with evidence from their research.


Expedition #4: The Impact of Natural Disasters

Students engage in a high-interest topic—natural disasters—with a literacy focus on point of view in literature, research, opinion writing, and public speaking. The Expedition integrates science content (about extreme natural events) with a Social Studies focus on the Western Hemisphere and the role of multinational organizations.


Students will work in research teams to investigate natural disasters that have affected countries in the Western Hemisphere. As a connection to Social Studies, students also will read primary source documents to learn about how the United States and multinational organizations, such as the Red Cross, respond to disasters in the Western Hemisphere. Based on this research, students then will draft and revise an opinion speech in which they take a stand on what role U.S. humanitarian organizations should take when neighboring countries are struck by natural disasters. They will then deliver this speech to the class.


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