Grade 5 Curriculum
Students will study writings from the ancient mythologies of India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Greece
Compositions. They will work on dictations or copy from the blackboard. Students are introduced to ancient forms of writing i.e. hieroglyphs and cuneiform. Dictionary use is practiced and etymology and spelling is researched. Grammar will be reviewed, with new additions including direct and indirect questions, simple and continuous verb forms in all tenses, colon and the semi-colon, use of paragraphs, subject and predicate. Weekly reading classes will take place, with formal book reports being introduced in this grade. There will be a class reader for group study. Speech work increases in complexity in grade 5. Book reports are assigned to students, with submissions and reflections given back (3-6 reports). Drama continues with scripted plays and blends of individual parts for each student and choral work. Students will learn about the writing of poetry through writing Ode to Apollo for Greek Olympiad and will engage in an independent project (often geography) requiring research, reading and writing.
Students learn mental math in both narrative and written form. They will study math fractions – multiplication, division, proper, improper fractions and mixed numbers with all processes. They will be introduced to decimals and taught to understand decimal notation, decimal fractions, interchange between fractions and decimals. They will also learn how to carry out all four processes with decimals.
Students in grade 5 learn how to apply the rule of three (if and therefore) to practical problems, along with calculation of perimeter and area of squares and rectangles. They will work with metric measurements, including estimation, rounding off to two decimal points. Calculating averages including average speeds, as well as complex mental math involving more than one process, is also taught. Students will study fractions and work to find lowest common denominator and highest common factor.
Botany is introduced in Grade 5. Students learn about plants in context to their environment. The development of the complexities of the plant world is studied through the local and extended flora ranging from the primitive fungi to the vascular plants.
Ancient history and mythology are studied beginning with Ancient India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and Greece. These places are studied mainly through myths, legends, stories, geography and sometimes, cultural experiences.
The students of grade five journey farther afield into the world by studying the North American continent with a specific emphasis on Canada. We look at the configuration of the land and how specific regions are connected to the economics of the area as well as the culture of each place. From the study of Ancient Civilizations, the children draw and paint maps of continents such as India as well as the continent of North America.
French & German
In Grade 5 the children strengthen their awareness of grammatical patterns and participate in, or even develop dialogues and sketches and short plays. Simple questions to a reading text are practiced with the whole group, later individually, and eventually questions and answers are done in writing. Sketches, little plays, word puzzles, guessing games and so on are still an important part of the foreign language lesson.
Every effort is made to give students the opportunity to be immersed in the French and German language, to enjoy their different melody and gesture and to experience their richness through poetry, song and story.
By Grade Five, the students become more proficient in singing parts, rounds, reading music and playing recorder. The students receive their alto recorder during the second half of the year. The minor scale is introduced at this grade as well giving the children more understanding how minor and major create different moods within a given song. In junior choir, the children become more comfortable singing in two-part harmony and work on blending and part-singing
The students participate in one double movement period per week. During September, October, May and June we utilize the school field. In the winter term, Grades 5-8 come together to participate in four afternoons of downhill skiing/snowboarding at a local ski hill. Otherwise the students are transported to a rented Gym facility where conventional sports are taught. The students are now able to appreciate and be guided by rules. As the students become independent more emphasis is placed on skills development, technique and self-discipline.
The peak of the Grade 5 movement classes is the Greek Olympic event in late May. Several regional Waldorf Schools come together for this two-day event. The competition includes javelin, discus, running, long- jump and Greek wrestling. The students perform in each event and strive to do their individual best. Subtle training begins on the first day of class with running, stretching, and spatial dynamics -exercises for strength, form, and grace. Formal event training begins in late March.
Students have access to free drawing with coloured beeswax crayons and the teacher models reverence for the task which the children imitate. The children are given the three primary colours with which to paint, out of which they will also experience the secondary colours. Students have an art class once per week with their class teacher doing wet-on-wet painting and reflecting the subject matter of the main lesson. They will then create main lesson books with beeswax crayons and/or coloured pencil crayons, before form is gradually introduced.
Practical Arts: Handwork
Return to knitting – sock making; long term project requiring patience, perseverance – leads to sense of accomplishment; learn to follow a pattern, new techniques managing 4 and then 5 needles; develops problem solving capacities as well as concentration and observation; requires awareness of balance and beauty and appreciation for what goes into making clothing (something they wear).
Practical Arts: Woodwork
Cheese knife and spinning top; using only hand tools and without outlining with pencil, students form wood into well, proportioned and aesthetically pleasing forms and, in the case of the spinning top, find symmetry and balance; develop keen observation and problem solving skills; main project is long term so it requires patience, perseverance and dedication; introduction to the nature of wood leading to appreciation of trees and objects made from wood
Students gather regionally to participate in a Greek pentathlon. In addition, the class might go on a camping trip at the beginning or end of the year. The class might make a day trip to the Royal Ontario Museum to view the Ancient Greek exhibit.