Grade 5: Close Reading – The Serum Run to Nome


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Reading For Information

RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the 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.5.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in 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.5.5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.

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).


This Grade 5 lesson set “Grade 5: The Serum Run to Nome” created by Amy Stanley for LearnZillion is intended to be completed in 5 sessions of ELA/Literacy instruction. The lessons focus on students furthering their understanding of the organization of an informational text while developing close reading skills and finding text evidence to: gain background information, understand vocabulary in context, and recognize the relationship between two sections of the text. Students also learn to find evidence to support an author’s claim. As a culminating writing task, students are required to use details from across the text to support an implicit idea conveyed by the author.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that the website, as well as the teacher notes and preparation materials, will require familiarity to be used effectively. Writing and language standards are not listed, but should be added since students take notes, answer written questions throughout the lesson set, and the culminating activity is a writing task. While assessment guidelines are included, the use of a Common Core-aligned rubric that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which students can independently demonstrate the targeted standards is suggested.


The lesson set is a good example of how to sequence, scaffold, and support learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. Each lesson addresses targeted CCSS instructional expectations and is easy to understand and implement. The lessons are designed to be used in multiple ways in school and/or at home to provide appropriate supports for all students. The use of technology and media allows flexibility for teachers as they plan and deliver their instruction. Lesson set materials include a close reading overview video, a text complexity and vocabulary analysis for the article, detailed teaching notes with guiding questions and a listing of standards addressed, questions with suggested answers, guidelines for examining student work, as well as suggested prompts and pacing guides. All materials are provided for free downloading.