Grade 5
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Grade 5... Read 20 minutes per evening

Summer Reading Comprehension Questions Incoming 5th:
Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan

Answer the following questions while reading Esperanza Rising. Your answers must be in complete sentences with the following expectations as well.

  • You must use text evidence to support your answers with page numbers.  (Meaning on what page of the novel did you find that evidence.)
  • Create a “Google” document to answer the questions.

  1.  Why does the author open with a scene of Esperanza and her father lying down to hear the heartbeat of the earth?  How does this shared experience seem to affect Esperanza’s relationship with her father?
  2. Explain Mama’s reasons for leaving Mexico.  Would you have been able to make the same decision if you were in her situation?  Why or why not?
  3. What does Esperanza mean when she says to Miguel that there is a “deep river” that runs between them?  Does this change in California? If so, how?
  4. Describe the cabin where Esperanza must live in America.  How does this compare to her home in Mexico?  When Esperanza points out these differences, why does Mama become angry with her?  Is Mama right to be angry with her?  Why or why not?
  5. A poor woman on the train to Los Angeles explains that although she is poor, she is rich.  How can a poor person be rich?  How can a rich person be poor?
  6. Why does Esperanza dislike Marta when they first meet?  What makes Esperanza change her mind about Marta?
  7. After the dust storm, Mama is the only one of the workers in the cabin to become ill.  Why is this so?  How does her illness affect Esperanza?
  8. Why does Esperanza agree to cut the eyes out of the potatoes?
  9. When Esperanza is told she cannot visit her mother for several weeks, she describes her life as going through “the motions of living.”  Have you ever felt this way?  If so, how?  What does Esperanza do to increase the amount of joy in her life?
  10. Why does Miguel drive out of his way to shop at the Japanese store? What does Alfonso mean when he tells Miguel that Mr. Yakota is “getting rich on other people’s bad manners”?
  11. Alfonso and Miguel keep telling Esperanza that if she does good work the farmers will keep employing her.  What does that mean?  Do you think that philosophy applies in today’s world? Why or why not?

 One other novel is required.  Here is a list of suggestions.  

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Holes by Louis Sachar

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Frindle by Andrew Clemens

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Roller Girl by Victoria James

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Flora Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

IXL Summer Assignments:

Incoming 5th Grade Students

  • Throughout the course of the summer you are expected to complete 15 hours of IXL.  

  • 15 hours is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes each week.  

  • You will be required to work on and complete certain sections (see below).

  • This will count as a grade for the first marking period.

  • Additionally, all students MUST know basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts and be able to solve them QUICKLY.  Students will be tested on this knowledge the first week in school! 

Incoming 5th grade students will be reviewing the material from 4th grade to prepare for the upcoming school year. They will do this by working on the following 4th grade  Math sections:

  • Section A (Number Sense) A.3, A.10, A.11, A.12
  • Section D (Multiplication) ALL
  • Section E (Division) ALL
  • Section F (Mixed Operations) ALL
  • Section J (Data and Graphs) J.1, J.2, J.4, J.6, J.11
  • Section S (Multiply Fractions) s.1, S.2, S.5 
  • Section T (Decimals) T.1-T.5
  • Section P (Fractions) P.1-P.11, P.14
  • Section Q (Add and Subtract Fractions) Q.4-Q.10
  • Section BB (Geometric Measurement) BB.1, BB.2, BB.6, BB.9
  • Section N (Units of Measurement) N.1-N.7, N.11
  • Throughout the course of the summer you are to complete approximately 10 hours of IXL for ELA (this does NOT include Math IXL)
  • 10 hours is approximately 1 hour a week.
  • You will be required to work on and complete certain sections (see below)
  • This will count as a grade for the first marking period
  • In addition, you MUST complete the required reading and answer all comprehension questions.  

ELA Sections:

Reading Strategies

  • Section A (Main Idea) ALL
  • Section D (Text Structure) All
  • Section E (Sensory Details) E.2
  • Section F (Literary Devices) ALL
  • Section G (Point of View) G.1
  • Section H (Inference) H.1 and H.5
  • Section J (Visual Elements) ALL
  • Section N (AnaylzingInformational Text) New! Read passages about famous places

Writing Strategies

  • Section O (Organizing Writing) ALL
  • Section P (Introductions and Conclusions) ALL
  • Section R (Linking Words) R.1 and R.3


  • Section W (Prefixes and Suffixes) W.1-W.3
  • Section CC (Multiple-Meaning Words) ALL
  • Section FF (Context Clues) ALL
  • Section GG (Reference Skills) ALL

Grammar and Mechanics

  • Section HH (Sentences, Fragments, and Run-Ons) HH.1-HH.1-5 and HH.9
  • Section KK (Verb Types) KK.1-KK.3
  • Section SS (Commas) SS.1 and SS.2

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St. James of the Marches
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Totowa, NJ, 07512




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The Academy of St. James
400 Totowa Road, Totowa, New Jersey 07512
Phone: 973.956.8824
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