In Grade Five, children are enthusiastic about learning, eager for new challenges and capable of hard work and creativity. They have achieved a skill level in basic academic work that allows them to meet new challenges with enthusiasm and energy. They stand perfectly balanced at a point in their development that places them at ease in the world, harmonious in themselves and in their environment.
Ancient Greece is a primary focus in this grade and the children experience a longer overnight trip to participate in a five-event Greek Pentathlon with students from other Waldorf schools. Working with early forms of writing, geometry, and architecture, students experience some of the roots of modern culture.
The curriculum for Grade Five focuses on:
- Speech Formation/Dramatics
- Composition/Creative Writing
- Novel Study
The Language Arts unites with the History curriculum and is based upon the ancient civilizations of India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. Students hear creation stories, explore the human being's relationship to the earth, and discuss ancient perspectives on death and spiritual life. With the study of civilizations in this order, children can experience through story, an evolution of human consciousness that meets their growing interest in the deeper questions of life.
- Geometric Movement
- Long Division
In arithmetic, calculations with fractions continue and decimals and ratios are introduced. Long division and multiplication are also studied in greater depth.
The study of botany at this age can nurture the fifth grader's dawning appreciation of the beauty of the world. The unfolding of the plant corresponds to the children's openness to the natural world around them. An emphasis is made on the balance between scientific observation and the appreciation for the poetic qualities of the plant world's beauty.
The ways in which geography and landscape influenced a culture's world-view is explored. Geography leads the child into ever-wider spaces, from familiar to the unfamiliar, bringing the child into the world.
- Greek Mythology and History
- Cultural Stories and History from Ancient: Egypt, India and Persia
History tells of human deeds and strivings, stirring in children a more intense experience of their own humanity. The year culminates with the study of ancient Greece, the perfect representative of an appreciation for the balance between physical skill and beauty, art and science, earthly life and spirituality. Through studying the ancient Greek city-states, the class develops an understanding of how the people lived out their ideals in various ways.
- Watercolour Painting
- Form and Freehand Geometric Drawing
- Cross Stitch
- Four-needle Knitting for mittens and hats
The children's newly strengthened individuality provides them the ability to hold their own in part singing; canons and rounds form a natural bridge to this exciting new skills.
- Cooperative Games
- Greek Pentathlon
At this age, children's bodies move with balance, grace, agility and confidence. In preparation for the Greek Pentathlon, the students practice discus, javelin, wrestling, long jump, and running.