Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 5: Storytelling in the Social Studies Classroom

Rating: 3 apple rating

Common Core Standards

Reading Literature

RL.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Reading Foundational Skills

RF.5.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

RF.5.4(a) Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

RF.5.4(c) Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

Reading Informational Text

RI.5.2  Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

RI.5.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

RI.5.7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

RI.5.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).

RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

RI.5.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


W.5.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

W.5.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

W.5.9(a) Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]").

W.5.9(b) Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]").

Speaking and Listening

SL.5.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.5.1(a) Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

SL.5.1(b) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

SL.5.1(c) Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.


L.5.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.5.2(d) Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.

L.5.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

L.5.4(a) Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

L.5.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships (e.g., however, although, nevertheless, similarly, moreover, in addition).

Description of Unit

This Grade 5 unit plan titled “Storytelling in the Social Studies Classroom” is from with an estimated ELA/Literacy instructional time of thirteen 45-90 minute sessions that could fit nicely near the start of the school year. The emphasis of this unit is for students to:  gain knowledge by experiencing and learning about storytelling techniques, defining and studying character traits that promote democratic ideals, and researching a famous American. For the summative assessment, each student independently researches a famous American citizen, describes three of his/her democratic dispositions (character traits), and a memorable moment in that person’s life, in order tell a story through a presentation using effective storytelling techniques.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials will require familiarity to be used effectively. The time allotted for completion of each lesson is vague. Texts needed for the unit are cited, but are not included; however, there is a listing of online resources. It is unclear if there is explicit instruction for all of the standards listed. Teachers using this unit will need to create a more comprehensive assessment with a Common Core-aligned rubric that provides sufficient guidance for interpreting individual student performance in all standards listed. It is not clear if students who are ELL or who have disabilities are provided with the necessary scaffolding to meet the targeted standards. Computers are needed to fully implement the plan as intended.

Rationale for Selection

The unit plan is a useful example of how to integrate social studies content with the application of literacy skills. The use of technology deepens learning and cultivates student interest and engagement in reading, writing, speaking and listening.