Reading Project Ideas for 5th Grade

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Assessment is imperative in a learning environment. Reading units provide for a wide variety of assessment opportunities. This lesson describes projects that can be used to assess reading skills.

Reading Projects

Teaching reading in elementary and secondary schools encompasses a multitude of skills. It can be daunting to create summative assessments that will accurately demonstrate all the skills and concepts your students have learned at the end of a reading unit.

With that in mind, projects (which can showcase multiple skillsets) can be the perfect way for students to show all of what they have learned throughout the unit. These projects are appropriate for a 5th grade classroom but can be modified for advanced students or for higher needs students.

Social Media Project

Goal: Students will be able to analyze various aspects of a character.

Objective: Students will create the account for a character on different social media platforms. Each account will showcase the qualities and personality of that character.

Process: Students can work independently or in small groups for this project. Begin by creating a list of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Snapchat. This list can be adjusted according to your students' ability levels.

Each student must choose 2-3 of these websites to create an account on for a character from the reading. Either assign each student a character or have them choose. These accounts should be created on poster boards with sections for each part of the social media site. For example, the Facebook poster can have a section for the profile picture, wall posts, marketplace posts, etc.

Set a requirement for the number of pieces each poster must have. You can also provide a list for each website containing the options for the sections. Here are some examples:

  • Profile picture
  • Personal information
  • Tagged pictures with captions
  • Recent posts
  • Work experience (for LinkedIn)
  • Recent stories

Allow students to add in their own ideas for sections for each site but be sure to approve their ideas beforehand.

  • Materials: Poster boards, markers/crayons

Scrapbook Project

Goal: Students will be able to identify and represent the important story elements from the text.

Objective: Students will create a scrapbook centered on the reading.

Process: Students can work independently or in small groups for this project. They must create a scrapbook of the events and significant features from the reading. Each page should have a different focus. Here are some options for each page:

  • Theme
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Plot (could be separated into the 5 plot diagram parts like exposition, rising action, etc.)
  • Point of View
  • Setting
  • Internal Conflict
  • External Conflict

You can require students to do one page for each option in that list or allow them to choose 3-5. On these pages, students should have 4-6 items representing their chosen focus. Diary entries, newspaper clippings, pieces of clothing, photographs, cards, and passports are all different ideas for the items that can go into the scrapbook.

Each item needs to be labeled and have significance to the text. Students can use whatever materials they want to create these items.

  • Materials: Paper, items for creating scrapbook pages

Newspaper Project

Goal: Students will be able to describe the major plot points from the reading.

Objective: Students will create their own newspaper centered on the events from the text.

Process: Students can work in small groups or independently on this project. They will design a newspaper, write all the articles, and provide images. Depending on the ability level of your class, set a requirement of anywhere from 3-8 pages for this newspaper.

Each page should have at least 3 articles and 3 images. Each article should have a headline, a byline, and several paragraphs describing some event from the novel. Decide whether you want the bylines to be character names from the story, the real names of your students, or made up names.

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