In fifth grade, students prepare for the move to Middle School at the Hill Campus. They change classes and teachers in three academic disciplines: history, science, and mathematics. The fifth-grade history curriculum continues the study of the United States begun in the fourth grade. Projects that incorporate writing, art, and drama are assigned, as well as research topics and individual presentations. Students use original artifacts, such as art, music, political cartoons, literature, and primary documents to better comprehend the construction of an American identity over the historical periods studied. In science, laboratory work provides practical application of the scientific method; students also develop academic skills in research, note taking, journal and report writing, reading from scientific texts, and test taking. Instruction and work in mathematics follow from guidelines set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, with emphasis on real-world problem solving. This program provides for individual ability by offering enrichment work, advanced work, and reinforcement. Students continue their work in language arts, reading, and Spanish. Students work with specialized teachers in library, art, music, drama, robotics, health, and physical education.
Inspired by the work of the Adaptive Design Association, which creates custom furniture and other products for people with physical differences, a fifth grade class learned how to understand and meet the needs of others through a cardboard construction project.
Each fifth grade class creates a play based on their social studies curriculum. The students think about how and why events happen, and they delve into the emotional makeups of their characters.