Fifth Grade

Coordinator: Beslinda Pazaj

The fifth grade art curriculum integrates a stimulating age-appropriate study of art history from the Prehistoric era through the Renaissance, along with development and practice of art-making processes and skills.

Study and discussion around artistic and historical styles promote an awareness and understanding of the language of visual art, and the ways in which art has impacted culture, revolutionized thinking and transformed over time. Imaginative assignments utilize a wide range of art media, in which students broaden skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and design. They are introduced to the building blocks of art: line, color, volume, shape, form and texture, through sequenced assignments. Prominence is given to the appreciation and understanding of the role of the artist and art’s significance in history, along with an emphasis on creative process and exploration of different media and methods.

Technology is a project-based course in which emphasis is placed on skills involving online research, creative communication and digital design.

Topics are molded around the skills and expertise students will need to succeed in their other courses at The Hudson School and beyond. Major topics include word processing, 3-D modeling, audio editing, and audio/video presentations. Students put their creative powers and spatial awareness to the test using CAD software to bring their creations to life in the annual "Chess Piece Challenge". Audacity, a powerful and open-source audio editing platform, is used to explore the basic tenets of audio editing and culminates in a major "Summertime Mixtape" project.

Co-ed health classes in the fifth and sixth grade focus on making healthy life decisions. Students learn about healthy eating habits as well as principles of exercise.

This class touches on exercise physiology and what happens in the human body as we perform specific tasks.

The fifth grade history program grounds students in the relationship between geography and history. Students begin the year by learning to read different types of maps, as they gain an understanding of latitude and longitude, and learn the function of a compass rose.

Students explore the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. This curriculum exposes students to ancient lifestyles, writing, languages, religions, migration, scientific inventions and innovations, and philosophy. Educational trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art bring to life all that the students learn in the classroom. In-class activities, such as an interactive group-project and a presentation on the “Three Epochs of Egypt” and the re-enactment of an ancient Greek symposium enable the students to better connect with historical events and figures.

The language arts program is taught in an atmosphere designed to stimulate and satisfy student curiosity, instill a joy for learning, and nurture individual self-confidence. Students are exposed to, and engaged in, all-inclusive, academic and socially conscious activities via the use of innovative technology resources. Through interactive study of engaging and challenging literature, students continually improve reading comprehension and fluency skills.

Together and independently, students build rich and useful vocabularies and learn to construct grammatically and structurally correct sentences and paragraphs. By the end of the year, fifth graders are able to write three to five paragraph essays. Additionally, the lessons, practices, activities and texts assigned and experienced in this course benefit the students, in that they are designed to develop character (compassion, diligence, integrity, and tenacity), organizations skills, study skills and social awareness.

In the fifth grade, THS students endeavor to establish and develop a common foundation of mathematical techniques and terminology while exploring key concepts and structures.

Topics include: whole numbers (place value, approximation and estimation, multiplying and dividing by tens, hundreds, and thousands, order of operations, whole number word problems, multiplication and division of two digit numbers, prime factorization, greatest common factors and least common multiples); fractions (description of partial quantities by fractional notation, renaming equivalent fractions, addition and subtraction of unlike fractions and mixed numbers, cancellation, multiplication and division of fractions and fraction word problems); ratios; angles (descriptive vocabulary, construction and measurement); decimals (approximation and estimation and multiplication and division by tenths, hundredths, thousandths; conversion of measurements); percentage (writing fractions as decimals and percents, and percent of a quantity); average rate, linear graphs; and geometric figures (angle sum, construction and classification of triangles, classification of quadrilaterals, and areas of rectangles and triangles).

The syllabus introduces many different aspects of music. We move from music theory to pop-style song writing as we explore different genres of music together. Students also learn to play the recorder. 

All students also have the opportunity to arrange for private/semi-private instrument lessons (violin, cello, flute, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, piano, bass, percussion, guitar), or voice lessons, and to join Middle School Chorus, and the all-school Jazz Ensemble.

This course provides an overview of a variety of input/output sensors and control mechanisms. The course focuses on projects involving the open-source arduino microcontroller and the arduino programming language. Students will gain experience in collecting data and programming responses based on these criteria. Students will be exposed to all aspects of robotics including, programming, wiring, soldering, and a lot of troubleshooting. Each day, students will learn to program and utilize a new type of sensor and the course will build toward combining this functionality into a useful problem-solving machine. 3-D printing and CAD will also be a key component in designing and creating a unique and beneficial robotic entity. The course culminates in a final project which differs each year depending on student interest.

Science is the discovery through experimentation. This is a hands-on, project and inquiry-based course in physical science. Fifth grade science is about understanding, analyzing and quantifying the physical world around us.

Students learn through interaction with their environment and cleverly designed experiments to prove or disprove the laws of physics. 3-D printing is used to foster a creative mindset and challenge students to demonstrate deep understanding of physical principles such as aerodynamics and structural integrity. During the study of simple machines students are tasked with creating a custom working piece for our epic, 3-D printed "Vertical Marble Run" project. The class follows the upper school physics curriculum, exploring forces and motion, energy and conservation laws, fluid dynamics and electricity and magnetism.

Students are introduced to skills that make theater come alive: character creation, proper breathing, diction, spatial awareness, conflict resolution, and all the behind the scenes aspects of play production including constructing sets, painting scenery, creating light and sound effects, designing posters, and sewing costumes. Students spring imaginatively into theater games, laying the groundwork for two productions: the Greek Skits, which help students to prepare for the National Mythology Exam, and a full-scale production drawn from their history and literature classes.

By developing characters in historical context, pursuing their characters’ dreams, and confronting the obstacles that thwart them, students broaden their own empathy and compassion, becoming an ensemble in a leap of faith, requiring the class members to contribute the best they have, in order to make us believe.

All students study a world language four times a week. In fifth grade, students select a modern foreign language from one of the following: Spanish, French, Japanese, or Mandarin. Students are tested and placed into a multi-grade class with others at the same level of fluency.

All classes are taught by native speakers who conduct classes completely in the language they teach. At THS, we believe that immersion is the most effective method for teaching languages.