Fifth grade is sometimes referred to as the “heart of childhood.” During this year children tend to be balanced in expressing their feeling life, harmonious in their movement, and eager and enthusiastic in their learning. They feel comfortable and competent with their skills and are eager to expand their knowledge. They can move tirelessly and with grace.
Fifth graders study ancient civilizations including India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece; Greek myths and Greek history; geography of North America; cartography; botany; fractions and decimals; free-hand geometric drawing; composition, spelling, reading, arithmetic.
Fifth graders write two- and three-paragraph essays. They become increasingly proficient in using punctuation, which expands to the use of the colon and semi-colon as well as quotation marks. Fifth graders continue practicing identification of all parts of speech, and verb tense study now includes all perfect tenses. The fifth graders continue to apply their research skills to state reports and other reports related to geography.
In math the students begin work involving ratio and proportion, decimal and proper fractions, mixed numbers, and the conversion of values from one system to the other. The students continue to build basic skills and study ancient number systems in the context of their historical studies.
Fifth grade studies the earth as an organism with the plant world expressing the life of each region. The child’s expanding view of the world is supported by the study of North American geography and the making of maps in two and three dimensions with a variety of materials.
Movement and Music
Our students gather with fifth graders from other Waldorf schools for a one-day pentathlon where they participate in Greek games. In music, children choose either to continue to study their stringed instrument, or take up the study of a wind or brass instrument.
And, fifth graders receive instruction in Spanish, German, handwork, eurythmy, games and movement, farming and gardening, and music.