• English Language Arts and Literacy: K-5

    The North Salem Central School District curricula are based on the current New York State Next Generation Learning Standards.

    Pequenakonck Elementary School is committed to using a balanced literacy approach as our instructional model for students to develop skills and strategies in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  

    Students engage in a comprehensive literacy program which includes the following components of effective instruction:

    Reading Instruction 

    Reading Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent reading
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction (guided reading and strategy lessons)
    • Read Aloud

    Shared Reading

    Close Reading 

    Fundations (K-3)/Word Study – phonics, spelling, and vocabulary     

    Writing Instruction

    Writing Workshop

    • Mini-lesson (explicit instruction includes modeling and demonstration)
    • Independent writing
    • Conferring
    • Small group instruction
    • Share

    Shared and Interactive Writing Mechanics, spelling, grammar, and punctuation

    Our reading curriculum includes a balance of literature and nonfiction/informational texts.  Students read daily to improve their fluency, comprehension, and stamina. The level of text complexity increases throughout the K-5 years and assessments are used to match students with appropriate texts.  Additionally, students are taught how to self-select texts for identified reading goals as well as enjoyment. Explicit instruction focuses on foundational skills, fluency, and comprehension.

    The writing curriculum includes three main types of writing:  narrative, informational, and opinion. Students write daily to improve their stamina, volume, and craft.  Writing occurs across the curriculum and for a variety of purposes. Students engage in both the writing process and on-demand experiences.  

    Speaking and listening are also important components of the literacy program.  Students are taught how to effectively communicate with each other, engage in opportunities to think critically, and talk with each other about content, strategies, and original ideas.

    Fifth Grade Overview

    Mission Statement: The goal of language arts instruction is to produce individuals who value reading and writing. These individuals will seek out different forms of literature, informational text, and technological communications to facilitate their ability to expand, analyze, and synthesize knowledge.


    Core Ready Lesson Sets:

    The Shape of a Story

    Journey to Meaning: Comprehension and Critique

    The Power of Persuasion

    New York Ready ELA State Assessment Preparation Student Workbook



    Time for Kids



    Sample Trade Books


    The Honest Truth

    Tiger Rising

    On My Honor

    Bridge to Terabithia


    Scar Island


    Counting 7’s



    The Landry News

    Standards-based Classroom Reading Goals

    Students will:

    • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension of literature and nonfiction text
    • Read and comprehend nonfiction text and information
    • Compare and contrast stories in the same genre
    • Identify the theme in literature supported by two pieces of text evidence
    • Study and identify the structure of literature and nonfiction text
    • Identify the perspective of literature and nonfiction text, and determine how a particular point of view influences the structure of text
    • Make an inference supported by two pieces of text evidence
    • Determine the meaning of words and phrases in literature and nonfiction text using context clues
    • Create and present multiple content area multimedia presentations

    Standards-based Classroom Writing Goals

    Students will:

    • Produce clear and coherent persuasive, informational, and narrative writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
    • Use appropriate tools to plan and write multiple drafts of writing products
    • Use suggestions to strengthen writing
    • Use appropriate technology tools to publish a writing piece
    • Independently edit and revise writing products

    Literacy Units

    Reading Launch: Students discuss habits of good readers and how to choose “just right” books.

    Writing Boot Camp: Students review writing perspectives, tense, organization and structure, capitalization, and punctuation.

    Fantasy: Students study theme, character traits, setting, and conflicts through reading fantasy. Students explore the seven motifs of fantasy. Students write their own fantasy stories using  some of these motifs. They include character traits, realistic and fantastical settings, and a theme. 

    Realistic Fiction: Students make connections to stories, identify which pictures they envision in their head while reading, make inferences, identify character traits, settings, conflicts, plot, and theme. Students support all of their opinions with text evidence. Students use story  maps to organize their own written realistic fiction by identifying introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and story conclusion

    Poetry and Short Text: Students close read poetry and song lyrics about growing up to differentiate between the plot and the theme of a short text. Students respond to poetry in an essay discussing how a particular poem or song reflect their own beliefs about growing up. Students study poetic devices to write their own poetry.

    Biography: Students read biographies for the purpose of identifying character traits and Habits of Mind demonstrated by extraordinary people. Students respond to what they have read by writing an essay discussing how the subject of the biography used their character traits and Habits of Mind to overcome obstacles, creatively problem solve, and achieve greatness.

    Historical Fiction: Students read historical fiction for the purpose of identifying the real life circumstances of the setting, and how they affect the experiences of the characters in the fictional story. Students respond to what they have read by writing a five-entry diary told from the perspective of a 10-11 year old child in the setting of the historical fiction book.  

    Writing about Reading: To prepare for the ELA Assessment, students use ReadyNY to practice answering multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Students also practice using released questions from past state assessments, and practice “unpacking” the language of test questions. 

    Persuasive Writing: Students examine different types of editorials discussing sustainability issues. After brainstorming several issues surrounding sustainability, students choose one that they are interested in researching. They search for three sources, cite them on a reference page, and use them to write an editorial.


    Pequenakonck Elementary School has adopted the hands-on and minds-on K-5 Math Curriculum, enVisionmath2.0, as the instructional resource to use within our math workshop model. Students explore grade level concepts with engaging materials, manipulatives, videos, online access and interdisciplinary activities that support student learning. The program is organized to promote focus and coherence each day. Assessments provide meaningful feedback to support student learning. The comprehensive program focuses on Common Core Clusters, develops understanding, and most importantly, connects mathematical content and processes. Learning is also supported through small group and collaborative activities.  

    Mission Statement: The goal of mathematics instruction is to produce individuals who understand mathematics and becomes mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics to everyday settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study listed below.


    Pearson Envision Math 2.O, Grade 5

    New York Ready Math State Assessment Preparation Student Workbook

    The Common Core Learning Standards focus on eight Mathematical Practices. These practices are the habits of mind, dispositions and processes that help students understand mathematics. 

    • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them 
    • Reason abstractly and quantitatively
    • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
    • Model with mathematics
    • Use appropriate tools strategically
    • Attend to precision
    • Look for and make use of structure
    • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning 

    Standards-based Classroom Mathematics Goals

    Students will:

    • Efficiently apply strategies to solve problems
    • Clearly communicate mathematical thinking using a variety of mathematical practices
    • Understand the place value system
    • Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers
    • Perform operations with decimals to hundredths
    • Use equivalent fractions as a strategy to add and subtract fractions
    • Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to multiply and divide fractions
    • Understand concepts of volume and relate volume to multiplication and addition
    • Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system
    • Represent and interpret data
    • Write and interpret numerical expressions
    • Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems
    • Analyze patterns and relationships
    • Classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties

    Mathematics Units

    Understanding Place Value

    Adding and Subtracting Decimals to Hundredths

    Fluently Multiplying Multi-Digit Whole Numbers

    Using Models and Strategies to Multiply Decimals

    Using Models and Strategies to Divide Whole Numbers

    Using Models and Strategies to Divide Decimals

    Using Equivalent Fractions to Add and Subtract Fractions

    Applying Understanding of Multiplication to Multiply Fractions

    Applying Understanding of Division to Divide Fractions

    Understanding Volume Concepts

    Converting Measurements

    Representing and Interpreting Data

    Algebra: Writing and Interpreting Numerical Expressions

    Graphing Points on the Coordinate Plane

    Algebra: Analyzing Patterns and Relationships

    Geometric Measurement: Classifying Two-Dimensional Figures

    Social Studies

    Mission Statement: The goal of social studies instruction is for students to develop an awareness and understanding of the Western Hemisphere and the interdependence of others in the community, state, country, and world. Their knowledge of social studies and technology will enable the to become better problem solvers and critical thinkers. Students will understand the rights, responsibilities, and roles of good citizens in a democratic nation, and how they develop personal character and respect for others. 


    Trueflix videos on the continents, government systems, ancient civilizations, and cultures of the Western Hemisphere.

    Teacher created materials

    PQ Library research websites

    Field trip to the New York State Capitol Building in Albany, including the New York State Museum

    Standards-based Classroom Social Studies Goals

    Students will:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of social studies vocabulary
    • Demonstrate an understanding of social studies concepts
    • Reads and interprets a variety of documents, including various types of maps
    • Use PQ research websites as well as Google Slides to create multimedia presentations on the geography, governments, economics, ancient civilizations, and cultures of the Western Hemisphere

    Social Studies Units

    Geography of the Western Hemisphere

    Students learn to identify locations on a map based on longitude, latitude, the four hemispheres, and the seven continents. 

    Students explore the landforms, water forms, vegetation, and climates  of the Western Hemisphere.

    Students study the regions of the United States.

    Students choose a biome that can be found in the Western Hemisphere to research and present in the form of a teaching poster.

    Using Google slides and PQ research websites, students create a “We’re Moving Where?” presentation exploring how living in a particular biome affects the home, career, and lifestyle choices of an individual.

    Governments of the Western Hemisphere

    Students will explore the Democracy, Parliamentary, and Dictatorship forms of government found throughout the Western Hemisphere.

    Students will study the three branches of the United States Government.

    Students will study the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the United States Government.

    Students will work in groups to create and present teaching posters that compare and contrast the three branches of the United States Government.

    Students will work in groups to create and present teaching posters that compare and contrast the Democracy, Parliamentary, and Dictatorship forms of government found throughout the Western Hemisphere.

    Economic Systems of the Western Hemisphere

    Students will explore economic concepts such as wants and needs, bartering, goods and services, and natural, human, and capital resources necessary for a successful business venture, 

    Students will compare and contrast the mixed market/capitalism, traditional, and command economic systems found throughout the Western Hemisphere.

    Using the popular television show Shark Tank as a model, students will work in groups to create a business proposal that will satisfy a need in the North Salem community. 

    Students will identify their business proposal as a service or a good, and identify the natural, human, and capital resources necessary to get their business up and running. 

    Using Google Slides, students will present their business proposals to a fourth grade class. Students will be prepared to answer questions regarding location choice, advertising, and customer incentives to promote business.

    Ancient Civilizations of the Western Hemisphere

    Students will compare and contrast the ancient civilizations of the Ancient Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. 

    Students will study the effects of the Spanish Conquest on each of these civilizations.

    Students will work in groups to create teaching posters that compare the location, social hierarchy, technology, jobs, religion, and language systems of the three civilizations.

    Cultures of the Western Hemisphere

    Students will study the art, language, national celebrations, and cuisine of Canada, the United States, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

    Students will choose to research a national sport, cuisine, or celebration of a country located in the Western Hemisphere. 

    Students will use this research to create a poster explaining the rules and equipment necessary to play a national sport, a restaurant menu representing a national or regional cuisine, or an invitation explaining the history and significance of a national holiday or celebration in the Western Hemisphere.


    Mission Statement: The goal of science instruction is for students to develop explanations of natural phenomena. Using a hands on, multisensory approach, students will use scientific inquiry in order to provide new insights into the environment, chemistry, the human body, and sustainability.

    Enduring Understandings

    • For every action, there is a reaction. 
    • All things are interdependent. There is an order to everything in the universe. 
    • In order to survive, all living things need air, water, nutrients, and a habitat


    Trees of New York Field Guide by Stan Tekiela

    Science 21 kit for Chemistry Unit

    Teacher developed units

    Bill Nye the Science Guy videos

    The Great Body Shop magazine

    Tree Identification Field Trip to Mountain Lakes

    BOCES presentations on Sustainability, Orienteering, and Pollination

    Standards-based Classroom Science Goals

    Students will:

    • Apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment.
    • Describe how plants and animals, including humans, depend upon each other and the nonliving environment
    • Identify ways in which humans have changed their environment and the effects of those changes
    • Demonstrate an understanding of science vocabulary
    • Demonstrate an understanding of science content
    • Make scientific observations
    • Record and analyze scientific data
    • Research and create a science editorial to fulfil the Grade 5 Problem Solving Task

    Science Units

    Think Like A Scientist

    Students use the scientific method to observe, take notes, take measurements, sketch, and gather information about the environment.

    Tree Study

    Students learn about deciduous and coniferous trees, chlorophyll, photosynthesis, and the life cycle of a tree. 

    Students take measurements to determine a tree’s approximate age.  

    Students use a tree identification field guide to study, identify, and collect leaves.

    Students create a tree identification book.

    Students write an essay on the importance of trees.


    Students explain and analyze chemical and physical changes, including changes in states of matter.

    Students study the makeup of atoms, molecules, and compounds.

    Students study the Periodic Table of Elements. 

    Students recognize that one form of energy can be transformed into another form of energy.

    Students study the properties of acid and bases.

    Students choose, conduct, and present their own science experiments.

    Growth and Development of the Human Body

    Students understand and analyze the life processes common to all living things.

    Students study the makeup of cells, tissues, and organs. 

    Students explore the nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, muscular, and skeletal systems of the human body.

    Students evaluate the factors that help promote good health and growth in humans.

    Human Ecology and Environmental Management

    Students will study the effects people have on the environment with the intent of becoming a society of thoughtful consumers who learn to tread lightly on the earth.

    Students will explore how humans can meet the needs of food, energy, and waste disposal while still protecting air, land, and wildlife

    Students will examine the food chain, including producers and consumers.

    Students will understand how plants and animals depend on each other for survival.

    Students will understand that the quantity of materials on earth is fixed.

    Students will study pollution as an environmental disturbance that adversely affects the well being of organisms.

    Grade 5 Problem Solving Task: Sustainability Editorials

    Students examine a variety of sustainability editorials to study the components of persuasive writing. 

    Students brainstorm current sustainability issues for the purpose of choosing a topic on which to write about.

    Using PQ Library Research websites, students search for an encyclopedia article and a periodical article pertaining to their sustainability topic.

    Students choose a PQ library book on their topic for their third reference.

    Using MLA Style, students create a reference page listing their three sources.

    Using note-taking pages, students gather information from their three sources on the human action that is causing an environmental problem, the effect this human action is having on the environment, and solutions to this problem. 

    Using a graphic organizer, students organize the information they have gathered into a five paragraph editorial. 

    Using the “Golden Bricks” organizer, students make sure they have included a hook, a statistic, an anecdote, an expert quote, and a personal opinion supported by text evidence in their editorial. 

    Students participate in writing conferences to revise and edit their writing in order to produce a final draft which meets all the requirements of this assignment.


    The health program, The Great Body Shop, is designed to promote decision-making and behaviors that foster better health. Though students study similar topics at each grade, the depth of content and complexity of ideas builds from grade to grade. All students study injury prevention and personal safety, nutrition, functions of the body, growth and development/cycles of family life, disease and illness prevention, substance abuse prevention, community health and safety/violence prevention, self worth, mental and emotional well-being, environmental and consumer health, physical fitness.