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5th Grade

The Golden Age

The fifth grade is often called the “golden age of childhood”, for it is a time when the children experience a special balance between their dawning inner life and their physical nature. Thus, the curriculum and experiences in the fifth grade year transition the students from the warmth and wonder of the early grades into the academic and social dynamics of Middle School. While many subjects continue at a new and more rigorous level, especially Math (introducing decimals) and Language Arts (extending beyond the fundamentals of grammar), the biggest change is from the study of myths into the study of recorded history.

A fifth grader will hear stories and myths from the ancient civilizations of India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and finally ancient Greece. The children often delight in finding common threads in the creation stories and hero tales of these different cultures and peoples. With a focus on the evolution of human consciousness through the millennia and across the globe, the students learn about different views on life, death, and the afterlife. When the students explore the life and culture of ancient Greeks, they first study the Greek myths and then cross the bridge into recorded history beginning with the city states of Athens and Sparta. Their experience culminates in participating in a Waldorf Pentathlon, joining other Waldorf schools in our area.

A new subject for the fifth grader is the Botany blocks, in which students delve into the wonder and mysteries of plant life. With a focus on phenomenological study, the children look at the many aspects of plants, from the smallest algae and lichen to the towering conifers, searching for how to characterize what they observe. Through creative artistic rendering, they delve into their scientific exactness, sketching actual plants, and discovering through direct experience.

Special Subjects

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: German and Spanish

HANDWORK: Four Knitting

MUSIC: Band or Orchestra, Chorus, Major and Minor

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Pentathlon Training (Discus, Javelin, Long Jump, Wrestling, Running), Rhythmic Exercises

EURYTHMY: Balance and Synchronous Movement

5th Grade

Shannon O'Connor

Grade 5 Teacher