5th Grade Grammar: Key Skills and Worksheets

, Staff Writer
Updated December 15, 2020
5th grade grammar students studying
    5th grade grammar students studying
    Ariel Skelley / DigitalVision / Getty Images
    Used under Getty Images license

Fifth grade grammar is when kids start dealing with writing more intelligibly and learn some skills that will help them perfect their writing. Learn all the skills covered in 5th grade grammar lessons.

5th Grade Parts of Speech and Grammar Usage

The Common Core Standards for 5th grade set forth the important literacy and language skills needed for a student to pass from 5th grade into 6th grade. The first skills examined are different parts of speech like conjunctions, prepositions and interjections.

What Is a Conjunction?

In 5th grade, students start by learning about what a conjunction is. They then dive into the different types of conjunctions.

sentence combining: the basics worksheet

Basics sentence combining

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Perfecting Prepositions

In addition to the function of conjunctions, students examine the use of prepositions in a sentence. They look at how prepositions function and common prepositions through preposition worksheets or a list of prepositions.

Learning Interjections

Another fun feature of 5th grade grammar is learning about the fun of interjections. Students begin to see how interjections like yikes and wow function in a sentence to convey emotion.

Grasping Shifts in Verb Tense

In this grade, children need to grasp different shifts in sentences and sentence structure. Therefore, 5th graders must:

past simple vs past continuous worksheet

Past simple vs past continuous worksheet

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Conventions of Writing for 5th Grade

Fifth grade grammar is where students will find out how to construct narratives with paragraphs. It’s time for them to shape those blocks into chunks of information for others to decipher. This requires understanding writing conventions like figurative language, idioms and word relationships.

Exploring Figurative Language: Simile and Metaphor

At this grade level, your kids have an idea of what figurative language is but they haven’t had much chance to use it. However, they start to dive more into figurative language techniques like:

  • simile - comparison with like or as
  • metaphor - comparison without like or as

Literary term worksheets are introduced to get students used to these types of literary devices as they see them more in literature.


Introducing Idioms, Adages & Proverbs

In the younger elementary grades, the curriculum is focused on improving reading and understanding, but as students grow, the nuances of the English language become more important. Therefore, 5th graders use examples to understand:

  • idioms - phrases with figurative rather than literal meanings
  • adages - sayings that become truth
  • proverbs - sayings that give advice

Mastering Word Relationships

Since 5th graders are perfecting their writing skills, it’s important for them to revisit the relationships between words like:

  • homonyms - words that sound or look like other words don't share a meaning
  • synonyms - words that share meanings or slightly different meanings with other totally different words
  • antonyms - words with opposite meanings

Understanding Transition Words

As they build their writing skills, transition words and their importance come to the forefront. Students gain an understanding of transition words and how they are accurately used in writing to add clarity and flow to their writing.

worksheet for transition words

Worksheet transition words

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5th Grade Punctuation & Spelling

Rolling on the heels of learning word relationships and nuances in the English language, 5th grade students must also have a firm mastery of comma usage, spelling and roots.

Using Commas for Introductory Elements

The Common Core elements for 5th grade focus specifically on using a comma to separate out introductory elements and to set off tags. For example:

  • No, thank you.
  • It’s true, right?

Practicing 5th Grade Spelling Words

Fifth-graders gain a complex and complicated spelling vocabulary that goes beyond just the Dolch sight words. However, these are still incorporated.

spelling bee quiz for grades 3-5

Spelling bee quiz grades 3 5

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Learning Prefixes, Suffixes & Roots

Additionally, students learn more about Greek prefixes, suffixes and root words to help dissect the meaning of words. Though students are just dipping their toes into this skill in 5th grade, it builds into the middle school grammar skills.

Additional 5th Grade Grammar Skills

Fifth graders start to dive into the English language in not only their grammar but how English grammar can differ. They start to look at how sentence structure and grammar conventions can vary for specific types of writing like poetry, dramas and stories.

Consulting Reference Material

Consulting reference materials like dictionaries and glossaries becomes increasingly important to clarify meanings and pronunciation of words. Students start to look more definitions up in glossaries.


Mastering Context Clues

Cause and effect relationships and examples are examined to help break down the meanings of phrases or words. Students place more emphasis on the context surrounding a word or story to help them find meaning.

Important Fifth Grade Skills

As students enter the 5th grade, they start learning about their world through texts that have been left by great men and women of history. Learning becomes more objective in that it is no longer based on unique experience of the world, but on the digestion of other's experiences through words. Writing is the one human act that has no equivalence in the animal kingdom, and human beings learn from each other irrespective of time and space through that act. Once your kids are ready, you can move on to 6th grade grammar.