During the thematic exploration of “The Land,” fifth graders climb a mountain, visit a granite quarry, look for signs of the ice age in the local landscape, and build earthquake resistant buildings. The school’s nature trail is a site for more exploration as students investigate the local ecology of Beverly Farms using student created guide books. Not only do fifth graders learn about trash and recycling, they actively recycle everyday! The fifth grade is the school’s paper recyclers, and they empty daily the paper recycling bins for the lower school.
More complex skills are developed through the research projects that are organized in written form, presented visually, and explained orally. Topics have included recycling, the Serengeti Plains, John Adams, the Olympic Games, and candy! Students develop sub-topics, create outlines, take notes, write first and second drafts, insert illustrations, and create displays.
Pride is evident on Research Night when the students share their new expertise with friends and family. Presenting their research orally is part of the public speaking aspect of the curriculum. Rather than shake and quake in front of an audience, fifth graders learn to write and present speeches. Impromptu topics? Demonstrations? Persuasions? No problem! Public speaking helps fifth graders express themselves with confidence and style.