Reading Fair

Click on the link below to access a copy of the Reading Fair letter.  If your child chooses to participate in the reading fair, they need to complete the bottom portion of this letter and return it to Mrs. Owens by Wednesday, November 8th. By November 10th, Mrs. Owens will give your child an informational packet that will guide them through the project process. Projects will be due Monday, November 27th, which is the week we return after Thanksgiving. All 5th grade students that participate in the Reading Fair will receive a free 100 in reading for this second marking period.

Reading Fair Letter to Parents



Below is a list of STAAR Terminology.  These are terms we have already covered or are currently studying.  Periodically, the students will be quizzed over a portion of these terms.  Please encourage your child to study these terms regularly.

STAAR Terminology List

Study this list!  You will be tested over all these terms periodically!

  • genre – a type, style, or category of literature
  • fiction – a type of literature that is a made-up story
  • nonfiction – a type of literature that is full of information and facts
  • realistic fiction – a story using made-up characters but the story could happen in real life
  • fantasy fiction – a story including elements that are impossible, such as talking animals or magical powers
  • humorous fiction – a story full of fun and excitement meant to make the reader laugh
  • historical fiction – a fictional story with real and/or made-up characters that takes place during a historical time
  • science fiction – a story that blends futuristic technology with scientific fact and fiction, such as time machines and robots
  • poetry – verse written to create a response through thought and feelings; often uses rhyme and rhythm
  • characters – the people or animals in the story
  • traits – ways of speaking and acting that show what a character is like
  • motive/motivation – a reason for doing something
  • setting – where and when the story takes place
  • plot – what happens or the events of the story
  • problem – the conflict that occurs between the characters or events in the story
  • solution/resolution – how the problem/conflict of the story is solved/resolved
  • theme – the central message or idea found throughout the story
  • mood – the feeling the author wants the reader to feel from the text
  • point of view – how the story is being told
  • 1st person – one of the main characters is telling the story using “I” or “me”
  • 3rd person – a narrator is telling the story using “he/she” or “him/her”
  • 3rd person limited – the narrator limits the reader by only allowing the reader to know the thoughts and feelings of one of the main characters
  • 3rd person omniscient – the narrator is all-knowing and shares the thoughts and feelings of all or most of the characters
  • context clues – clues in the text that help the reader understand what a word means
  • synonym – a word that means the same or almost the same as another word
  • antonym – a word that means the opposite of another word
  • root/base word – the most basic part of a word without any affixes
  • affix – letters added to the root/base word to change its meaning
  • prefix – an affix at the beginning of a word
  • suffix – an affix at the end of a word
  • analogy – a comparison of things that have some things in common or which are different; hot is to cold as happy is to sad
  • simile – a comparison of two things that aren’t normally compared using the words “like” or “as”
  • metaphor – a direct comparison without using the words “like” or “as”
  • onomatopoeia – a word that imitates a sound
  • personification – to describe non-human things using human characteristics, feelings, abilities
  • idiom – a phrase that means something different than what it says
  • alliteration – the repetition of the same sounds or letter at the beginning of each (or most) of the words in a sentence or verse
  • imagery – the use of vivid or descriptive language to reach the reader’s senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • stanza/verse – a group of line forming a unit in a poem or song
  • rhythm – the beat in a poem; such as nursery rhymes
  • meter – the rhythmic structure in poetry composed of stressed and unstressed syllables; a rhythmic pattern or beat
  • rhyme – two or more words which match in the same last sound
  • rhyme scheme – the pattern of rhyme
  • free verse – a flowing poem that does NOT have a particular pattern (meter) or does NOT rhyme
  • repetition – using a key word or phrase several times throughout a poem; used to emphasize or help the reader understand the topic better
  • symbolism – when something stands for or represents something else; such as a dove standing for peace or a heart representing love


The next few weeks we will focus on nonfiction selections, such as, Cougars, with an emphasis on main idea and supporting details, vocabulary, and analogies.  We will also focus on some poetry, in which we will concentrate on poetic elements, such as rhyme scheme and alliteration.  

Photo credit by Journeys



The next two weeks’ literature selection will feature a science fiction story, LAFFF.  We will focus on summarizing, story mapping, comprehension, inferencing, and new vocabulary.  We will also have literacy groups, with a continued focus on the same vocabulary words. Vocabulary quiz will be Friday, November 3rd.


I recently passed out to the students a book challenge to go along with their independent reading book.  It is optional, but highly recommended.  This challenge will help the students with reading skills.  With a focus on vocabulary, it can also help improve their reading level.  I told the students to fold it and use it as a bookmark and complete what they could as they are reading.  If they run out of room on the book challenge page, they can continue writing on a sheet of notebook paper.  They will start another book challenge when they start another book.  Below is a link to the book challenge (which may be formatted differently than the original).  I will have extra copies available in my classroom as well.  Thank you for your continued support in your child’s education!

Book Challenge Sheet

Old Yeller

In our Old Yeller unit, which will cover these next two weeks, we will work with new vocabulary words, complete a character study, and learn about idioms.

romp – an energetic and noisy way to play

strained – stretched to the limit, either physically or mentally

shouldered – balanced something across the shoulders to make it easier to carry; carried the weight

lunging – making a sudden forward movement

wheeled – turned quickly

frantic – wild with excitement or worry

picturing – creating a mental image of something

bounding – leaping

checking – limiting or controlling something

stride – the rhythm of your walking and the length of your steps

image by Journeys

image by FreeFigurativeLanguagePosters.pdf and Pinterest


Weslandia Unit


Click here for a video/audio recording of Weslandia               

outcast – a person cast out from home or friends

civilization – the ways of living of a people or a nation

tormentors – people that annoy or cause pain                                                                  

staple food crop – most important crop grown in a civilization

rind – a firm outer covering of a plant

tubers – thick part of an underground stem; potato

aromatic – pleasant smell; aroma

devise – to invent

innovator – a person who introduces new ideas, methods, or devices

complex – made up of a number of parts; hard to understand

envy – desire to have what another person has

bedlam – a state of disorder

scornful – having an attitude full of reject

grudgingly – unwillingly; not wanting to


Our Weslandia vocabulary terms helped us to better understand this great story by Paul Fleischman.  We reviewed the vocabulary terms all last week. We focused on different genres of literature and predicted the genre of Weslandia based on the cover.  As we read the book we confirmed our prediction.  After reading we used a fictional story formula (who, wanted, but, so, then) to summarize the story.  We also completed a story map and a cause and effect activity based on events that took place in the story.  We will finish our Weslandia unit by completing a flip chart recognizing the author’s usage of figurative language. Before completing our flip charts we will be reading A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, written and illustrated by Fred Gwynne to introduce us to figurative language as well as practice identifying and understanding the meaning of figurative language using other sources. We will also do stations this week with a focus on context clues, figurative language, and our Weslandia vocabulary.  Continue reading

A Package for Mrs. Jewls

This week (9/4) we will continue to focus on the same vocabulary words and skills through literacy groups.  Vocabulary quiz will be Friday.

This week (8/28) we will be reading a humorous fictional selection entitled, A Package for Mrs. Jewls, an excerpt from Wayside School is Falling Down.  We will continue to focus on story elements, such as characters, setting, plot, conflict, and solution, with more practice summarizing the selection, and adding a vocabulary study.  Listed below is the vocabulary we will focus on the next two weeks.

shifted – moved or changed position

struggled – tried but still had difficulty

wobbled – moved unsteadily from side to side

staggered – walked very unsteadily

interrupted – stopped briefly

disturbing – upsetting

specialty – a featured item or attraction

squashing – crushing or flattening

collapsed – fell down

numb – having very little sensation or feeling