The Fifth Grader enters into the “golden age of childhood” characterized by a balanced physical body, prior to the pre-adolescent changes to come. The Language Arts and History curriculum introduce students to the course of western civilization. They study ancient religions as a foundation stone for understanding the world’s present religious cultures. They hear stories from ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Through the teaching of Greek culture and ideas, the students are trained to plan their work out spatially (map-making, geometric drawing) as well as intellectually (essay writing). Not only do students hear excerpts from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, but they also participate in a daylong recreation of the ancient Greek Pentathlon. Students from regional Waldorf 5th grades are brought together to compete in javelin, discus, wrestling, long jump, and foot races. Students also learn a little of the ancient Greek language in a weekly lesson.
The Science curriculum expands to include Botany. Studies include different types of plants and their vegetation regions.
In Math, the teacher expects the students to master the use of times tables out of order and places emphasis upon the conscious use of these intellectual capacities. The students’ thinking capacities are becoming ever more analytical in nature with stronger memory capacity. Fraction concepts are reinforced and decimals are introduced. The teacher continues to develop the students’ eye-hand coordination skills through lessons in geometric figures, drawing, and map making.
In the Music Curriculum, this is the year students begin to play their instrument with other grades. They learn how to become part of a larger instrumental group and work together. Some students choose to switch at this time to a wind instrument.
Woodworking is introduced and the students continue to learn German, Spanish, Handwork, Form Drawing, Games, Choral & Instrumental Music, and Eurythmy.