The overarching theme in fifth grade is “The Changing Face of America.”

Under that umbrella, fifth graders study the Colonists who immigrated to America, the forced migration of Africans to America during slavery, the Industrial Revolution with an emphasis on Lowell, MA, immigration through Ellis Island, and the changes that these migrations made to the “face” of America. This thematic study provides a meaningful and rich experience through which students develop a wide variety of skills, and are able to draw individual conclusions about different time periods in American history.
Language Arts
As fifth graders have transitioned from “learning to read” to “reading to learn,” we work with them to continue to develop their ability to read effectively and to establish a love of reading. Students read and analyze a range of literature from poetry to nonfiction to biography. Through writing, they explore a variety of genres including newspaper articles, journals, poetry, and letters. We emphasize different steps of the writing process, including brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing, supporting each student in their growth as a writer.
In fifth grade mathematics, students are challenged to think about different strategies for approaching real-world situations and new mathematical situations. We also challenge students to become more flexible in their thinking. Students develop skills in numbers and operations, fractions, measurement, graphic and statistics, geometry/spatial relationships, and informal algebra/logic.
Click here to view the entire Grade 5 Curriculum, which includes a comprehensive overview of Science, Technology, World Language, the Arts, and Athletics, as well as information on Language Arts and Mathematics.

An example of a thematic activity during the year:

As Ms. Miller states, “Our Ellis Island Simulation is one of the most interesting projects we do each year. The fifth graders create a character who comes from the “old country” to America, and write their own piece of historical fiction as they tell their character’s life story based on what they learned through the research process. For the simulation, the fifth graders come to school dressed as the character they have created and are processed at Ellis Island.”

Meet the Fifth Grade Teaching Team

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Rachel Miller

    Rachel Miller 

    Grade 5 Teacher
  • Sandra Annisette 

    Grade 5 Co-Teacher

Sports & Activities

Grade 5 has girls' and boys' soccer, co-ed field hockey, and cross country in the fall, After School Adventures (ASA) in the winter, and lacrosse in the spring.


The CRS Chorus (Grades 4-8) repertoire is an eclectic blend of jazz, pop, folk and classical styles. The chorus performs at Winter Festival, on May Day/Grand Persons' Day, as well as at sharing assemblies throughout the school year. The emphasis is on enjoyment of singing and ensemble experience while developing control of pitch, dynamics, diction and harmonization. The chorus meets early Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
Charles River School is a PreKindergarten through Grade 8 independent school that honors the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement. Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.

Charles River School admits students of any race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational or admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.