The Grade Five student often presents as a balanced picture of physical development and academic ability. Sometimes referred to as the ‘golden year’, grade five is a plateau year preceding the approaching changes that come with adolescence. Most students have developed good learning habits and are able to begin more detailed independent work.
- The study of ancient cultures leverages the students’ expanding academic capacities. Students experience the contributions of India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece to our understanding of the world. This year marks the change from pre-history and mythic representations to formal Western History (classical Greeks).
- Study of Ancient Greece is enhanced by re-enactment of the Greek Olympic Games. A day of competitions in pentathlon, discus, javelin, wrestling, long jump and running are all conducted with a mood of reverence and striving for beauty. This event brings together students from a number of Waldorf schools, and is very significant in the Grade Five calendar. Preparation of a tunic, the traditional Greek dress for competition, is enhanced by each student’s personal design and handwork.
- Grade 5 study of botany includes nature walks and sketching different varieties of plants are part of the lessons.
Main Lesson Subject Blocks
- Language Arts (grammar, spelling, composition writing)
- Mathematics (decimals, fractions and free hand geometry)
- North American Geography
- Ancient History – India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece
Daily practice of singing, recorder playing, recitation, and mental math are incorporated into the main lesson. A curriculum-based play is also produced during this time over a period of several weeks (usually one play per year).
French, German, music (four part recorder), choir, handwork (knitting with four needles), woodwork (carving), art, games/physical education (traditional Greek Pentathlon events, team sports skills, fitness)
Field trips in Grade Five include day trips for seasonal and curriculum-based activities, and typically an overnight camping trip – usually occurring with the Pentathlon.