Grade 5 Reading

Discover Grade 5 reading standards

Our Program

Now that your children are at Grade 5 level, they will begin refining the reading skills that they’ve picked up in earlier grades. They’ll already have a great foundation in reading and they’ll begin to practice higher-level reading and thinking skills. Children at fifth-grade level will be expected to improve their comprehension and critical thinking ability. They will also combine the reading and writing process a lot more by this level. Predominantly, this will involve writing critical responses to text they have read.

The following skills and practice tips will all be helpful in guiding your children to success at the fifth-grade level.

Word Reading

By Grade 5, children are expected to apply their combined phonic knowledge to decode unfamiliar words while reading grade-level texts with fluency and understanding. Below are a few typical vocabulary examples of words fifth graders will learn:

equivalent, accommodate, pedestrian, accurate, population, extinct,

fascinate, boisterous, guardian, hilarious, carnivore, illuminate

The majority of word level work that children do at Grade 5 level will be discovery whilst reading a longer text. As children read more at fifth-grade level, they will inevitably come across unfamiliar vocabulary. This is where dictionary and thesaurus skills will be very useful.

Practice Tip: Ask your children to pick out three words in their next story or article and replace them with alternatives that they find using an online thesaurus.

Reading Literature

Quoting accurately from a text is a key skill to be learned and developed during fifth grade. Children will be asked to use this technique to back up their theories about the literature they are reading. A typical question they may be asked at this age is:

  • Can you use a direct quote to support your answer?

You can practice this skill with your children by asking them to find specific evidence in the text to support a claim that you make about a core character or setting. You might try questions such as:

  • How do you know the weather is cold?
  • How do you know that the main character is feeling happy?

Figurative Language

Figurative language is a common feature of Grade 5 texts. Understanding what an author means through their use of figurative language and how it contributes to meaning is a skill children learn at this level. They will specifically focus on metaphors during fifth grade. This is a higher-level skill, as being able to spot and interpret a metaphor can sometimes be very difficult. It requires a lot of practice.

You could start by showing your child the following common metaphors and asking them to explain the word play involved:

  • She is the shining star of our school.
  • A blanket of snow covered the streets.
  • He got a glowing review for his performance.
  • She has the heart of a lion.

Reading Informational Text

Your child will spend more time reading non-fiction books in fifth and sixth grade. This will prepare them for higher education and teach them valuable research and essay writing skills. Children will be specifically looking to identify key details in the text and then using them in answers to specific questions or more generally in articles they are writing.

Practice Tip: Create a template for your child to use each time they finish reading a piece of non-fiction text. It should include the following:






At fifth-grade level, children will also be expected to use information from two or more texts and incorporate this into one article on a given topic. They’ll also be required to fact check the authenticity of texts by reading a range of books and articles about an event or topic. This is an important skill to develop as they begin to learn about fact checking and ensuring their information is from an accurate and unbiased source.

Five Fifth-Grade Skills to Master!

  1. I can cross-reference two or more texts to check if my information is accurate!
  2. I can quote a character from a story.
  3. I can decode figurative language and understand the hidden meaning within a story or poem.
  4. I can summarize the main points in a text I have read.
  5. I can understand the meaning of a word by reading it in the context of a text.

How Nightzookeeper can help challenges fifth-grade readers to read short passages of text and answer questions, whilst helping them to discover and use new vocabulary. Working through these activities on the program, your child will sharpen their reading skills and enhance their literacy level.

Related articles

Grade 5 Writing

Grade 5 Grammar

Grade 5 Spelling

Grade 5 Punctuation

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