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5th Grade Language Arts (Independent Study)

5th Grade Language Arts (Independent Study)

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Quick Overview

This 5th Grade Language Arts course provides structured lessons on reading comprehension, analysis, composition, vocabulary, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Through emphasis on spelling, students learn relationships between sounds and spellings in words and affixes. Lessons are designed to develop comprehension, build vocabulary, and help students become more independent and thoughtful readers. Students practice writing, learn about parts of speech, and study literature.

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Course Overview

This 5th Grade Language Arts course provides structured lessons on reading comprehension, analysis, composition, vocabulary, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Through emphasis on spelling, students learn relationships between sounds and spellings in words and affixes. Lessons are designed to develop comprehension, build vocabulary, and help students become more independent and thoughtful readers. Students practice writing as they write a memoir, an editorial, a research paper, a business letter, and more. Students learn about parts of speech, punctuation, and research skills. Students study literature in a variety of genres including fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, and novels.

  • Composition Students practice writing, from planning to proofreading, as they write a memoir, an editorial, a research paper, a business letter, and more
  • Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics Students learn about parts of speech, punctuation, and research skills. They continue sentence analysis and diagramming
  • Vocabulary The Vocabulary Workshop helps students enrich their vocabulary, develop word analysis skills, and prepare for standardized tests
  • Spelling Students learn sound-symbol relationships and spelling patterns, identify affixes and how they affect the meaning of words, and recognize base words and roots in related words
  • LiteratureStudents analyze, compare, and creatively respond to a variety of works. The emphasis is on classic works, including tales of Robin Hood and St. George; selections from Don Quixote and Shakespeare's The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream; Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; and Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Students read works of nonfiction, as well as novels (selected from a long list of such classics as Pippi Longstocking, Call It Courage, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe).

Course Outline


Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics

  • Identify and form four kinds of sentences: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory
  • Rewrite sentences to change their kind (for example, interrogative to declarative) and use the appropriate end punctuation mark for each kind of sentence
  • Identify the subject and predicate of a sentence
  • Distinguish complete subjects and predicates from simple subjects and predicates
  • Distinguish between complete sentences and fragments
  • Identify subject complements and direct objects
  • Analyze and diagram sentences
Punctuation and Capitalization
  • Use periods to end most abbreviations and after initials
  • Form abbreviations for units of measure and two-letter postal abbreviations for states without periods
  • Use commas to separate words in a series
  • Use commas with yes and no, and in direct address
  • Use commas in dates and in geographic place names (e.g., between the name of a city and state)
  • Use commas and quotation marks to set off direct quotations in sentences
  • Use commas before and, but, and or in compound sentences
  • Use quotation marks, underlining, or italics as appropriate for titles of stories, poems, books, movies, plays, and works of art
  • Review capitalization rules (e.g., capitalize the first word of a sentence, proper nouns and adjectives, names, important words in titles, etc.)
  • Identify proper and common nouns
  • Identify singular and plural nouns, regular and irregular
  • Form singular and plural possessive nouns
  • Identify nouns used as subjects, subject complements, and direct objects
  • Identify and understand usage of personal pronouns
  • Identify and use singular and plural pronouns
  • Complete sentences with pronouns as subject complements and direct objects
  • Complete sentences with pronouns as objects of prepositions
  • Use the personal pronouns me, us, him, her, and them as subject complements or direct objects
  • Identify the person of a pronoun: first, second, or third person
  • Identify the gender of a pronoun: masculine, feminine, or neuter
  • Distinguish subject pronouns I, you, he, she, it, we, and they from object pronouns me, you, him, her, it, us, and them
  • Identify and form possessive pronouns
  • Identify and use reflexive and intensive pronouns
  • Identify adjectives and their functions
  • Form proper adjectives from proper nouns (e.g.,Swedish from Sweden)
  • Identify definite and indefinite articles
  • Identify and use the correct forms of demonstrative adjectives
  • Identify and use possessive adjectives
  • Form positive, comparative, and superlative adjectives
  • Identify and use action verbs, being verbs, linking verbs, and auxiliary verbs
  • Write questions and negative statements using main and helping verbs
  • Identify and form principal parts of verbs (present, present participle, past, past participle)
  • Identify and use regular and irregular verbs
  • Identify and use simple tenses: present, past, future
  • Identify and form the present and past progressive tense
  • Identify transitive verbs and direct objects in sentences
  • Identify intransitive verbs and distinguish from transitive verbs
  • Use singular verbs with singular subjects, and plural verbs with plural subjects
  • Form and correctly use principal parts of break, see, go, choose, and take
  • Correctly use:
    • is, am, are, was, were
    • do and does
    • there is andthere are
  • Correctly use forms of:
    • let and leave
    • teach a nd learn
    • lie and lay
    • sit and set
  • Identify and use adverbs of time, place, and manner
  • Form comparative and superlative adverbs
  • Identify adverbs as positive, comparative, or superlative
  • Use good and well; their and there; real and very; to, too, and two; and no, not, and never correctly in sentences

Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections

  • Identify prepositions and prepositional phrases in sentences
  • Select the correct preposition to complete a sentence
  • Correctly use between and among, and from and off
  • Identify prepositional phrases as adjectival or adverbial
  • Identify objects of prepositions
  • Identify and use conjunctions
  • Use conjunctions to connect two sentences
  • Use appropriate interjections to introduce sentences

Vocabulary and Word Study

  • Understand and apply the definitions of given words
  • Write sentences to answer questions on a reading selection that uses the words in context
  • Write original sentences that use words correctly in context
  • Make connections between words and ideas
  • Identify synonyms and antonyms of given words


  • Recite a poem from memory, read an original composition, and read a brief passage from a favorite book
  • Use techniques for effective oral presentations (e.g., stand straight and tall, keep your hands at your sides, speak with expression in a loud, clear voice, use complete sentences and proper grammar)
  • Maintain purposeful discussion (agree and disagree constructively, state ideas clearly and fully using complete sentences and proper grammar, synthesize and build on others' ideas, explain and defend ideas)


Writing as a Process

  • Understand and practice writing as a process (prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, publishing)

Writing a Memoir (A Personal Recollection)

  • Understand the elements of the memoir: plot, characters, setting, and theme
  • Plan and organize events to be related in the memoir
  • Distinguish between first person and third person point of view
  • Use imagery and simile to describe a place or scene
  • Write realistic dialogue
  • Write, revise, and proofread a memoir

Writing a Research Paper

  • Choose and narrow a topic for a research paper
  • Find sources for a research paper
  • Gather information using library and Internet sources
  • Prepare bibliography cards
  • Paraphrase sources and understand how to avoid plagiarism
  • Write a thesis statement
  • Prepare a formal outline for the research paper
  • Compile a bibliography
  • Write an effective introduction and conclusion
  • Develop paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting details that relate to the topic
  • Revise the research paper to improve content, organization, clarity, and word choices, and proofread to correct errors

Writing to a Prompt

  • Identify four types of prompts: narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive
  • Decide what type of writing a prompt requires
  • Identify elements of a paragraph: topic sentence, body (supporting details), and closing sentence
  • Plan the beginning, middle, and end of a response to a prompt
  • Practice writing in response to writing prompts under timed conditions

Writing an Editorial

  • Analyze an editorial
  • Distinguish fact from opinion
  • Locate facts and other information to support opinions in an editorial
  • Anticipate and respond to opposing arguments
  • Revise with special attention to controlling tone and eliminating unnecessary attacks, unsupported judgments, and overstatements

Writing a Speech

  • Identify different purposes for a speech (e.g., to inform, persuade, or entertain)
  • Write a thesis statement for an informative speech
  • Use the writing process to write a speech
  • Deliver the speech to an audience

Writing Business Letters

  • Identify the parts of a business letter
  • Understand the audience and purpose of the business letter
  • Write and revise a business letter of complaint or a request for information

Writing a Compare-and-Contrast Essay

  • Analyze an essay written to compare and contrast
  • Use graphic organizers to plan topics to compare and contrast
  • Prepare an outline for a compare-and-contrast essay
  • Write, revise, and proofread a compare-and-contrast essay

Writing a Character Sketch

  • Gather information through observation or recall for a character sketch
  • Write dialogue to include in a character sketch
  • Use specific details and examples to illustrate the subject's characteristics
  • Write, revise, and proofread a character sketch

Writing a Short Story (Optional)

  • Analyze a short story
  • Describe the setting for a story
  • Select and describe characters for a story
  • Plan a conflict and the plot of a story
  • Write, revise, and proofread a short story

Writing a Book Review (Optional)

  • Summarize the book to be reviewed
  • Gather information about the author
  • Evaluate the plot, characters, and setting
  • Prepare an outline for the book review
  • Write, revise, and proofread the review


Comprehension Strategies

  • Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with information found in, and inferred from, the text
  • Make connections to personal experiences
  • Recall major points in the text and make and modify predictions
  • Summarize readings

Comprehension Skills

  • Recognize the author's purpose
  • Identify the speaker or narrator in a selection
  • Identify and explain cause and effect in literary selections
  • Compare and contrast across selections and genres
  • Make inferences and draw conclusions about characters, supported by evidence from the text
  • Identify the main problem or conflict of the plot and how it is resolved
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion
  • Identify and sequence steps in a process
  • Identify the main idea and supporting details of a paragraph or selection
  • Recognize story elements: character, setting, plot (conflict and resolution), theme

Informational Materials

  • Use titles, tables of contents, chapter headings, glossaries, and indexes to locate information in text
  • Follow multiple-step written instructions (e.g., how to assemble a product or play a board game)
  • Locate information in charts, diagrams, maps, captions, illustrations, and photos

Literary Response

  • Recognize different genres: biography, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry
  • Determine what characters are like by what they say and do, and how the author or illustrator portrays them


  • Identify line, stanza, and rhyme
  • Identify and use similes
  • Identify and analyze how a poet uses language to appeal to the senses, create imagery, and set tone
  • Recognize literary techniques such as personification, alliteration, and onomatopoeia

Listening and Speaking Strategies

  • Retell, paraphrase, and explain what a speaker has said
  • Read prose and poetry aloud with fluency, rhythm, and expression
  • Connect and relate prior experiences, insights, and ideas to those of a speaker

Analysis of Oral and Media Communications

  • Compare ideas and points of view expressed in broadcast and print media
  • Distinguish between the speaker's opinions and verifiable facts


  • Words with Two Vowels Together, Each Having Its Own Sound; Prefix uni-; and Base Word grace
  • Words with /k/ Sound Spelled ch, Prefix quad-, and Base Word scholar
  • The Schwa Sound Spelled a at the Beginning and End of Words, Prefix oct-, Base Word deficit
  • Words with the Endings tion and sion, Prefix kilo-, Root gradu
  • Word Relationships, Prefix milli-, and Root prehend
  • Words with /j/ Spelled dge, Soft c and g, Prefix a-, and Root tox
  • Word Relationships, Prefix super-, and Root tech
  • Abbreviations, Prefix para-, and Root cour
  • Contractions, Prefix multi-, and Root meter
  • Words with /shun/ Spelled tion and sion, Prefix a- and Root thermo
  • Words with /sh/ Spelled ch, /k/ Spelled que, /s/ Spelled sc, Prefix out-, and Base Word operate
  • Word Relationships, Prefix over-, and Root brev
  • Words Often Confused in Spelling, Prefix -ir, and Root bell
  • Difficult Plurals, Prefix im-, and Root just
  • Adding the /shun/ Ending Spelled tion and sion, Prefix il-, and Root ini
  • Words with tion and sion, Suffix -eer, and Root liber
  • Words with tion and sion, Suffix -ess, and Root cline
  • Adding Vowel Suffixes, Suffix -ical, and Root cert
  • Adding Suffixes, Suffix -ism, and Root grat
  • Adding Vowel Suffixes, Suffix -ify, and Root domus
  • Abbreviations, Suffix -or, and Root mand
  • Word Relationships, Suffix -ary, and Root ques
  • Compound Words, Suffix -ant, and Root min
  • Words with tion, Suffix -worthy, and Root flam
  • Endings tion and sion, Suffix -ward, and Root nov
  • Words Often Confused in Spelling, Suffix -some, and Root mob
  • Words within Words, Suffix -like, and Root term
  • Words with Two Pronunciations and Two Meanings, Suffix -ish, and Base Word present
  • Compound Words, Suffix -ern, and Root turb
  • Endings tion and sion, Suffix -dom, and Root vict

Additional Information

Course Length 12 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials

Many K12 courses utilize physical materials in addition to the online content.  These materials may include the following.

Standard Kits

STANDARD kits contain K12 course materials that are required for completion of the course.  These kits include K12 authored materials and/or difficult to procure materials that a student needs to complete a course. Printed reference guides are not included in Standard kits.


CONSUMABLE kits contain only those materials from the standard kit that are intended for one time use. Families who purchase a Standard kit for Child A could later purchase a Consumable kit for Child B to complete the same course.


Offered for added convenience, ADDITIONAL kits contain easily obtained materials needed for the course which a family may already have in their home. 

Coach and/or Student Reference Guides are available for purchase with some courses.  Electronic versions of these reference guides are also available within digital courses.

Course Start Date

Independent Study Courses

Courses can be started any day for independent study courses without a teacher. Full-year courses last 12 months and semester courses last 6 months.


Courses Taught by a K12 Teacher

Courses with a teacher have designated start dates throughout Fall and Spring. Full-year courses last 10 months and semester courses last 5 months. Courses are taught by teachers in K12 International Academy. For details on start dates, click here.

Teacher Assisted This course is available in two forms: taught by a teacher or designed for independent use. This teacher-supported course is taught through K12 International Academy. It is also available as independent study, where a parent will guide the course.
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To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Using  Mobile Devices with the Online School

Unfortunately, many portable devices do not support the software products required to run the Online School. These devices may include (but not limited to): Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Kindles, eReaders, and Andriod phones.

Internet Connections

It is highly recommended that a broadband connection be used instead of dial up.