Our Grade 5 Language Arts program is designed to equip students with strong reading, writing, and speaking skills that allow them to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Through exposure to a diverse range of texts, students are guided to become independent critical readers who skillfully use evidence to support their interpretations and understandings. To do this, each unit is centered around a relevant and engaging unit theme. During class, students will participate in a mix of whole-group, small-group, and independent reading and writing, focusing on a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts relevant to the current unit theme. Vocabulary also plays an important role in our Language Arts program as students use unit related vocabulary and morphology in their writing and peer discussions. Students learn how to plan and write narrative, opinion, and informative pieces for a variety of purposes. They use writing as both a vehicle to further their understanding of unit concepts and to develop their writing voice. They are taught a set of flexible writing strategies that foster independence and writing fluency. We regularly use formative assessments to monitor students’ literacy skills and provide targeted support to help students reach their goals.
Grade 5 Mathematics units aim to build confident and competent mathematicians who are able to apply their math knowledge both in and out of the classroom. Students engage in a variety of activities to help foster procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding. Students learn about place value and decimals, multiplication and division of whole numbers, shapes and volume, addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals, multiplication and division of fractions and decimals, and patterns on the coordinate plane. We regularly use formative assessments to monitor students’ understanding of the concepts taught and provide targeted support to help students reach their mathematical goals.
Our Grade 5 Science curriculum is designed to engage students in hands-on learning experiences. Throughout the year, students will explore various scientific phenomena through a series of investigations that encourage authentic inquiry. In each unit, students will be tasked with planning, conducting, and reflecting on their findings. They will use scientific reasoning and models to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts they are studying. Unit 1 focuses on the question of what happens to our garbage, offering students the chance to delve into the world of matter. Unit 2 looks at the disappearance of a tiger salamander from a vernal pool, providing students with the opportunity to learn about ecosystems. In Unit 3, students will compare the importance of tap water and bottled water while exploring Earth’s systems. Finally, in Unit 4, students will inquire into the mysteries of why stars fall.
In Grade 5 Social Studies, students explore the efforts made by groups of people to fight for rights. They learn about the struggles different individuals and countries have faced in their pursuit of these rights. The course is designed to inspire students to understand that even ordinary people can bring about change in the world, despite the challenges they may face. Unit 1 focuses on human rights, with a specific emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan. Students analyze how human rights are met and not met in a range of countries and situations before selecting a famous human rights figure to research and write about. Unit 2 delves into the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and the role that children played in the fight for equality. Students are taught how to compare and contrast primary and secondary sources, and analyze photographs as a source of meaning. In this unit, we aim to help students understand the historical discrimination faced by marginalized groups and develop a deeper comprehension of racial inequality. Our goal is to provide a safe and informative learning environment that encourages students to explore and engage with these important issues. In the final unit, students shift their focus from human and civil rights to culture and identity. They examine Japanese culture and history, and then conduct research on a culture of their choice.
Advanced Japanese focuses on learning the Japanese language within the context of the content areas of science, Japanese social studies, and Japanese literature. During the first semester of the Grade 5 course, students will have a brief introduction to ancient ways of living in Japan, beginning the goal of students understanding how life styles change through time and comparing lifestyles of the past with those present in modern Japan. Students will also gain general knowledge and understanding of astronomy. During the second semester, the focus will change to creating three paragraph essays using appropriate vocabulary, form, and style. Students will read a biography of a Japanese astronaut and other non-fictional stories while sharing their opinions during class discussions. By the end of the course, students will have developed greater ability organizing and expressing their thoughts, in writing and verbally, using the appropriate Japanese, in the content areas mentioned. Students will also work extensively in improving their Kanji ability, learning about 100-150 more Kanji during the year, depending on their current level.
Students will learn about Japan and Japanese culture through a variety of activities. Besides the basic Japanese, they learn the present tense, past tense and the future tense. The goal is to be able to understand simple spoken Japanese, be able to express simple ideas, ask simple questions, and be able to communicate with others in Japanese. Students will learn reading, writing Hiragana, Katakana and 80 basic kanji depending on each student’s level during the course.
The practice of manipulative skills continues to play a much greater role in fifth grade physical education. The emphasis for fifth grade is improving distance and accuracy. Students focus on both when practicing throwing, fielding, punting, striking, serving, dribbling, passing, and volleying as well as refining their performances of trapping and catching. In preparation for game play in sixth grade, students learn about the importance of open space from a strategic perspective. They also continue their nutrition education by learning meal planning, the effects of dehydration and the benefits of maintaining a healthy body composition. Students will also engage in lessons about grade level health and safety.
Students continue to explore the 3 content areas of health: Nutrition and Physical Activity, Growth, Development, and Sexual Health, Personal and Community Health. In grade 5 students are asked to look deeper into the risk factors that compromise our health. They are also asked to practice consumer advocacy and acknowledge the role of community in promoting health and safety. Students will learn how to describe the food groups, including recommended portions to eat from each food groups, to recognize that there are individual differences in growth and development, physical appearance, and gender roles and to practice effective communication skills to seek help for health-related problems or emergencies.
The Lower School Visual Art program engages students in making art, viewing and discussing art, learning about contexts in which art has been created, and pondering fundamental questions about art. Emphasis is placed on familiarizing students with a wide variety of studio materials, processes and a high level of fine motor dexterity. Through a variety of art activities students learn the fundamentals elements and principles of design such as line, texture, color, value, and balance. Students explore the art of many cultures and artistic styles throughout history.
Fifth graders are challenged with singing (melodies and simple harmonies), recorders, rhythm and note reading, listening, small and large ensemble playing using recorders, ukuleles, xylophones, or other instruments. Time will be spent in selecting a musical instrument for the following year (6th grade). Students will get a chance to see and hear the instruments of the band (woodwinds, brass, and percussion) to help make their selection. New concepts will include rhythmic elements (triplets), music hand symbols (ti), major and minor scales, key signatures, and more in depth covering of keyboard instruments.
Students will have the opportunity to look unto their relationship with others and with the world. This course aims to develop the students’ sense of connection to others. Topics such as respect for life, rules of living, service and prayer will be included. Throughout the course, pupils will be brought to understanding that people are endowed with gifts but such gifts must be used for the good of others by serving the less fortunate and taking care of the environment.
Fifth-grade students continue to read a wide variety of grade-level-appropriate text, both in print and online. In fifth grade, students understand how features of both print and digital text make information accessible. They use appropriate reference materials to obtain needed information. Students are able to define the topic of a research investigation and use keyword searches to locate information online. Fifth-grade students are comfortable locating materials in the library. Students evaluate the source and the information for accuracy, credibility and relevance. When necessary, students use more than one resource to verify and determine accuracy. They also record bibliographic information in an acceptable format. Fifth-grade students use basic safety procedures when online. They demonstrate legal and ethical behavior in information use.