English Language Arts and Social Studies

5th and 6th Grade

Hi 5th and 6th Grade Families,

My name is Sarah Allen, and I am your student’s English-Language Arts and Social Studies teacher! This is my third year as a classroom teacher at Grand Isle School and tenth year overall. Previous to being a classroom teacher, I was a paraeducator, substitute teacher and after-school director/teacher. 

I was born and raised in Southington, CT (about 20 minutes from Hartford) and spent my summers at my family’s summer place on the east shore of Isle La Motte. I worked at Ruthcliffe Lodge and Hero’s Welcome for many summers before working in a summer program here at Grand Isle. My favorite hobbies are collecting Yankee candles, decorating for holidays, reading (especially Harry Potter!), listening to all types of music, watching the Yankees, snorkeling and dancing. I currently live in North Hero with my husband and 9 year old son. 

I attended Castleton State and majored in history and secondary education. Upon graduating, I got my degree/license in ELA and middle grades education. I have worked with many age groups, and grades 5-9 is definitely my favorite! I love how students are coming into their own and challenging the world at this age. I also remember how hard upper-elementary/middle school can be and find that empathy goes a long way. The best part of my day is when I tell a cringy joke and the students actually laugh (it does happen occasionally!). I love building strong relationships with these students and want them to always know they can come to me.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please email or call my classroom! 


Sarah Allen 


802-372-6913 ext. 5117

Dear 5th and 6th Grade Families,

Welcome to the new school year! This year, your student will study an English language arts curriculum called Wit & Wisdom®. Great Minds® created Wit & Wisdom with the belief that every child is capable of greatness. Your child will be challenged, positively and productively. They will build knowledge of the world and develop English language arts skills. Wit & Wisdom students read and study award-winning fiction and nonfiction texts, famous works of art, videos, photographs, and more. These texts awaken and expand students’ curiosity. Wit & Wisdom students also learn about compelling topics such as the five senses, outer space, the Great Depression, and more. Through their work with these topics and texts, students hone their abilities to read challenging texts and to write and speak clearly, logically, and effectively. Wit & Wisdom students build strong knowledge and skills. We provide downloadable Family Tip Sheets for families and caregivers. These tips correspond with each module, or unit of study. Each tip sheet gives an overview of what your student is studying and offers ideas for learning outside of school. Wit & Wisdom prepares students to succeed in English language arts and beyond. If you would like to learn more, please talk to your student’s teacher, and go to greatminds.org.

Sincerely, The Wit & Wisdom team

5th Grade Social Studies Targets

  • Compare and contrast different values in a society using historic context and evidence.

  • Identify the roots of democracy in Ancient Greek civilization.

  • Make a claim about how belief systems influenced civic life in the ancient world with evidence to support the claim.

  • Summarize the central claim in a secondary work of history.

Compelling Questions:  

  • What makes a civilization similar and different from other civilizations that developed around the same time period?

  • What makes certain places better to live in?

  • Why do we study ancient history? 

Supporting questions: 

  • What was life like in ancient Greece and Rome?

  • What are some major mythological and historical events that happened in ancient Greece and Rome?

  • What major contributions did ancient Greece and Rome make for the modern world?

6th Grade Social Studies Targets

  • Classify events during the colonial era as ones of change or continuity in history.

  • Demonstrate how economic decisions influenced colonization and its impact on people.

  • Evaluate a historic document for its origin, purpose and impact

  • Evaluate the influence of colonization on conflict and cooperation in the world.

Compelling Questions:

  • Did colonies make the world better? 

  •   How were colonies during the Age of Exploration the same and different from colonies in recent times? 

  • What major disputes/wars shaped the start of our country?

  Supporting questions:  

  •  What were the positive and negative impacts of colonization? 

  • What was life like in the colonies for the Settlers, enslaved persons and Native Americans?   

  • What started and what was the outcome of the French and Indian War? 

"There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind."

Mister Rogers