The fifth grade student progresses from myth to history learning about a broad and diverse range of human civilization including India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. Through these ancient stories a diverse experience of human existence is told showing the strivings of many cultures. The fifth grade child experiences the roots of modern day culture as they work with freehand geometry, architecture and early forms of writing. Botany provides an opportunity to highlight the beauty of the natural world from both a scientific and artistic approach. From the ancient Greeks the students learn about balance and harmony and they begin to practice the five events of the Greek Pentathlon: wrestling, javelin, discus, running and long jump. In the spring our fifth grade class joins with other fifth grade classes of regional schools using Waldorf methodology to compete in a Pentathlon. The self-determination the students experience in participating in the Pentathlon mirrors the steadfastness of Alexander the Great, an epic biography that is studied at the end of the 5th grade year. Multiple learning modalities are engaged giving all different kinds of learners routes to successful comprehension and daily the children have the opportunity to work both independently and in groups.
Artwork by Tanya Lax, Hartsbrook School