Moving into a fully-illustrated, hard-cover textbook, the fifth grade Bible curriculum focuses on God’s covenant promises. The Old Testament units demonstrate that God did not abandon his people during their exile from the Promised Land, but cared for them during the exile by raising up leaders such as Daniel and Esther. Students then connect the Old Testament promises to their New Testament fulfillment when they learn lessons from Jesus’ earthly life and ministry. Combined with devotions and morning prayer time, students are continuously pointed to the Lord throughout their day, not just in Bible study but in other subjects, too, as teachers pause and give notice to God as Creator in science or even Brilliant Author in math.
In fifth grade, a Humanities approach to learning begins to take place. We combine history with literature, and then layer in exercises in grammar, vocabulary, and writing, so that students are learning in a layered approach that has proven to make deeper connections to content long-term. Students read stories from the Junior Great Books series as well as novels linked to the historical eras. Using a classical writing curriculum, fifth graders rewrite creative fables, practice dictation and imitation, and employ oral recall as a memory exercise. Four-paragraph essays and complex sentence diagramming help to round out the curriculum and provide a solid foundation in the Language Arts as they prepare for middle school.
Clearly, math is core to any successful educational program. In Trinity’s lower school, foundations in math are taught using a curriculum that encompasses a spiral approach to learning. Many math programs use a compartmentalized approach; this approach means that students learn things in subject-focused units. For example, a unit on measurement is introduced; students practice, get tested, and then move on to the next unit, rarely practicing measurement skills again. A spiral approach, however, ensures that students continue to see strands of previously taught information all year long. This gives the learner more opportunities for mastery as they practice those skills over and over again. Students in fourth grade are given class time to master fact families, multiplication and division facts, and necessary terminology surrounding basic math functions such as prime and composite numbers, greatest common factors, and least common multiples. Our math curriculum also allows time to study problem solving strategies and exploration of foundational geometry principles. Artistic fun with coordinate planes, multiplication games the whole class can compete in, and time spent in paired learning make math a dynamic subject taught in an atmosphere of challenge and fun.
Students begin the year by studying the Renaissance and the Reformation. A highlight of the year occurs when family, friends, and school community visit the students’ “Living Wax Museum” presentation. This project embodies the heart of a classical approach. Students research a notable historical figure, then edit, rewrite, and refine their research. This is followed by memorizing key points and contributions of their Renaissance or Reformation leader, and then presenting this information with poise and confidence to the visiting crowd while dressed in full costume with props. Later in the year, students study Westward Expansion and the Civil War. Whether it’s a pioneer breakfast served up by volunteers, or a day-long field trip to Petersburg, Virginia, history is a hands-on, action-packed subject enjoyed by students and teacher all year long.
Fifth grade is all about Physical Science. Students explore matter and its properties, sound and light energy, electricity and magnetism, and more. At the core of the fifth grade philosophy is that science ought to be filled with hands-on fun. Whether they are building electrical circuits or blowing up balloons for demonstrations in electron activity, science lessons are anything but boring. While a science text is utilized, students further their understanding of the text by watching videos, playing games, and taking part in experiments. It’s no wonder that science tops the list of “favorite subject” for many of the fifth grade students.
Formal instruction in Art takes place once a week under the direction of an experienced, vibrant instructor. Focusing on the best of Art history, our knowledgeable teacher creates lessons that are both relevant and entertaining to her students. Fifth graders are learning how to discern what is visually “true, good and beautiful” while learning about the overarching concepts of: symmetry and balance, neutral colors, one point perspective and proportion. Completed projects include batik and water color painting, relief block printing, and the use of clay in three dimensional structures.
Formal music instruction is offered twice a week. Lessons are filled with games, songs, dancing, and laughter as students learn about rhythm and melody, major and minor scales, and the reading and writing of music. Students are also exposed to composers and hymns that solidify their understanding of the “true, good and beautiful” as it pertains to music. Directed by our dynamic Music instructor, fifth graders are invited to try out for the award-winning Trinity Academy of Raleigh Children’s Chorus. See distinctives below for more information about this one-of-a-kind enrichment opportunity.
A perennial favorite among the students, Physical Education classes are offered twice a week under the guidance of a loving and enthusiastic PE teacher. PE is a grace-filled environment that integrates character education and physical fitness. Intentional conversations take place frequently around the themes of peer acceptance, good sportsmanship, and Christ-like attitudes in the midst of conflict. Fitness concepts covered include: kickball, soccer, handball, flag football, floor hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and more. In addition, students are invited to take part in an after-school running club that fosters lifetime fitness habits and culminates in participation in our annual 5K charity run that takes place on our beautiful campus.