Search Mobile Navigation

Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grade 5 w/ Trade Pack

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Alexandra Marron, Katie Clements, Kelly Boland Hohne, M. Colleen Cruz, Mary Ehrenworth, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

These reading units guide fifth graders toward intellectual independence. In Unit 1 students practice close reading, noting how authors develop themes in fictional works. Unit 2 deals with higher-level nonfiction and emphasizes strong foundational skills, such as fluency and word solving. The third unit has kids read complex nonfiction under the umbrella of argument and advocacy. In the final unit students explore fantasy bookclubs.


In Stock

List Price: $387.50

Web/School Price: $310.00

Full Description

About the Grade 5 Units

Fifth grade is a time for children to hone their intellectual independence. In the first unit, Interpretation Book Clubs: Analyzing Themes, students draw on a repertoire of ways for reading closely, noticing how story elements interact, understanding how different authors develop the same theme, and comparing and contrasting texts that develop a similar theme. In the second unit, Tackling Complexity: Moving Up Levels of Nonfiction, children investigate the ways nonfiction texts are becoming more complex, and they learn strategies to tackle these new challenges. This unit emphasizes the strong foundational skills, such as fluency, orienting to texts, and word solving, that are required to read complex nonfiction. In the third unit, Argument and Advocacy: Researching Debatable Issues, students read complex nonfiction texts to conduct research on a debatable topic, consider perspective and craft, evaluate arguments, and formulate their own evidence-based, ethical positions on issues. In the final unit for fifth grade, Fantasy Book Clubs: The Magic of Themes and Symbols, students work in clubs to become deeply immersed in the fantasy genre and further develop higher-level thinking skills to study how authors develop characters and themes over time. They think metaphorically as well as analytically, explore the quests and themes within and across their novels, and consider the implications of conflicts, themes, and lessons learned.

About the Series

Drawing on learning gleaned from decades of research, curriculum development, and working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, and school leaders, Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project have developed the Units of Study for Teaching Reading. Designed to meet ambitious 21st century global standards, this reading series offers grade-by-grade curricula rooted in the Project’s best practices and newest thinking. It includes state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading skills and strategies, grounded in the Project’s learning progressions for narrative and informational reading. 

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)

Purchase Recommendations and Options

Purchase Recommendation: Choose the Grade 5 Units of Study with the Trade Book Pack (as shown in this product bundle) if your library does not already include the mentor texts referenced in the Units. If you do not need the trade book pack, purchase the Grade 5 Units of Study without the Trade Book Pack.

Save when you purchase related cost-saving bundles, with or without trade book packs:

Select the Grade-Level Units you need most, available both with and without the trade book packs

To learn more about the Units of Study for Teaching Reading series, visit


Four Units of Study

  • comprised of 2 units in fiction and 2 units in nonfiction
  • lay out 4-5 weeks of instruction (16-18 sessions) in each unit
  • include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language

A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Intermediate Grades

  • crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective reading workshop instruction (The Guidenow available for separate purchase, can be an essential manual for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and others who are supporting implementation of Units of Study—or for anyone wanting to learn more about reading workshop).

If… Then… Curriculum

  • offers additional units of study
  • presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation

Reading Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions

  • organized around a grades 3-5 learning progression
  • includes performance assessments, student checklists, and rubrics

Large-Format Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

  • Large-format preprinted Anchor-Chart Sticky Notes with illustrated teaching points help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across each unit

Online Resources

  • Video Orientations
  • Spanish translations of important resources—includes Spanish translations of Anchor Chart Sticky Notes and Learning Progressions. Also available are lists of Spanish-language mentor texts and translated Teaching Points.
  • Downloadable and printable files for the anchor charts, figures, student exemplars, homework assignments, and checklists in every session
  • Digital files for resources provided in Reading Pathways, including Learning Progressions, sample student work, and charts 

Mentor Texts

The Grade 5 Trade Pack includes age-appropriate texts that feature heavily in the units. They are teaching texts, meant to be used in read aloud or shared reading to model effective reading strategies and provide background knowledge. 

  • Alien Deep by Bradley Hague
  • Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant
  • Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting
  • Home Of The Brave by Katherine Applegate
  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
  • The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  • The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
  • When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson


Companion Resources

Independent Reading for Students:

The following TCRWP Classroom Libraries shelves were curated to specifically align with the Fifth Grade Units of Study.

Supporting Materials

Also in this series