Fifth Grade

The final year of Lower School, an ending and a beginning.

In fifth grade, we seek to empower students to find their unique role within our school community. We build that sense of community by honoring each person’s gifts and encouraging students to lift their voices in their lives and in their work. We challenge students to think critically, pose questions, consider multiple perspectives and advocate for themselves and others.

“As we complete our time in lower school, we finally get it. We understand that all of the little tiny pieces of change add up and together we can serve our community and make a difference in the world.” Fifth grade student


Key Characteristics

  • In Math, students find meaning through numbers, symbols and problem-solving. Students continue to build more complex mathematical models and learn the procedures necessary to solve more complex equations.

  • In writing, students develop a deeper understanding as to how literary and figurative techniques contribute to the structure, meaning and beauty of a text or poem. They learn the importance of celebrating their writing and the writing of others.  

  • In Social Studies, students explore U.S. history through the lens of multiple perspectives and varied sources of information, posing questions to guide their learning. We focus on the voices of protest that advocated for change at key turning points in America’s history.

  • Fifth Grade traditions: Random Acts of Kindness Project, Hiking Hawk Mountain, Math Basketball, Poetry Showcase Performance, Bake-Off & Study of Fractions, What Do You Stand For? Project, Class Trip to Baltimore, Kids Choice Book Awards & Talent Show.

Curricular Highlights

Real-world context. Fifth graders apply concepts learned in Math and Social Studies to gather and analyze survey data about social justice topics of their choosing. In the annual Math Basketball Tournament, they learn to keep spreadsheets and calculate averages.

Fifth Grade camping trip. We kick off the year with a three-day overnight camping trip designed to build class unity through experiences related to teamwork, outdoor education, environmental stewardship and service learning.

Learning through imitation. Students investigate specific techniques that authors use to make great literature, then apply these techniques to create their own fiction, poetry and personal essays.


“This year, our school-wide focus was on the Peace Testimony. Through reflection, conversations, and learning activities we explored the power of peace along with issues of social justice.” Fifth grade student