Grades 5 and 6 – Year 2013-2014
For year 2013-14, Laura Coleman will be teaching a combined Fifth and Sixth Grades

Grade 5 and 6 Overview

Laura ColemanLaura Coleman

In Fifth Grade we study Ancient Civilizations beginning in ancient India and moving into Egypt and then Greece. These ancient mythologies enrich the students, as they draw connections with other creation stories and hero tales. The balance and harmony of ancient Greece meets the fifth grader, as the Greek ideas of beauty, truth, courage, and social order mirror their own experience. In Sixth Grade we turn our studies to Ancient Rome, as the shrewd rules, precise government and artistic style of the Romans meets the developing Sixth grader. This rich social studies curriculum provides an exciting theme for the yearly class play. The students look forward to this every year, as they come together as a class to put on a theatrical performance drawn from their studies.

In Mathematics the fifth and sixth graders are challenged with fractions and decimals, relating to their own relationship as a part of a whole. We meet their need for truth and beauty in the precision of our geometric drawings with a compass. In addition they learn geometric terms: area, perimeter, and the Pythagorean Theorem. This then leads into Business Math, where the sixth grade mind can apply its concrete, rational thinking. The pinnacle of this block is creating a class business, designed and run by the students themselves. They work with percents, profit and loss, and book-keeping.

Transformation of RockEven the mineral element can transform itself

The fifth and sixth grader is ready for more scientific exploration as we study botany, mineralogy, physics, and astronomy. The fifth grader can now enter the wonder of the plant kingdom to cultivate deductive observation skills. They learn to compare and classify plants according to their characteristics. In sixth grade the students move on to mineralogy and learn about the different kinds of rocks that form the earth and the landscapes that surround us. The students also delight in the physics experiments on sound, heat, light, magnetism, and electricity. They find satisfaction in witnessing cause and effect in these experiments, and discovering how this principle relates to their own life. In astronomy the students learn about the sun, moon, stars, and planets. By studying the phases of the moon, constellations, and seasonal changes the students witness the relationship between the earth and the universe.

In geography the fifth graders move from the study of our state to the study of the whole United States. Students practice map making, identifying land and water forms, political boundaries, capitals, and industry. After completing North America, the sixth graders move on to study South America.

In Language Arts, the students are led to independent composition. The teacher models examples of good writing, introducing note-taking and outline making. The students will practice different forms of writing with story summaries, state reports, recording scientific data, and letters. Students will also practice grammar rules and parts of speech, learning to diagram sentences. The spelling practice will expand to vocabulary and dictionary work. In addition, the students continue to practice recitation and memorization through tongue twisters, poetry, and theater.

Flower in 8 parts