In these "middle" grades, students have advanced beyond learning to read and now they read to learn. Students begin to make connections between ideas, to apply knowledge and exercise problem-solving skills, and to think critically. While 4th and 5th grades are still foundation-building years, students begin to develop a sense of responsibility and self-discipline as they manage a regular homework load and practice independent learning.
In 4th grade, Bible study is centered on Old Testament history and how that history anticipates the coming of Jesus Christ in the 1st century. Following this is a study of the life and teachings of Jesus and a study of the work of the Holy Spirit.
In 5th grade, study focuses on the relationship of God with His creation and the uniqueness and calling of each student, as God has made him/her. A life of prayer is encouraged, and a purposeful life––one that is intended to bring glory to God––is fostered, in part through a study of the lives of historical Biblical figures such as David, Esther, Nehemiah, Moses, and more. In these studies, students learn how God has worked in individuals and throughout the history of humankind. Significant events in the history of the church––the Reformation––and celebrations and commemorations of the Christian year––Advent, Lent, and more––are also areas of study.
In both 4th and 5th grades, Scripture memorization is a key component of students’ devoted Bible study.
Both reading (Literature) and writing (English) receive explicit instruction time in 4th and 5th grades.
- Writing: In English, students in 4th and 5th grades study spelling words each week, with high-frequency words included on spelling lists in 4th grade and an emphasis on prefixes and suffixes in 5th grade. Concepts of grammar and writing--most importantly the construction of good sentences and paragraphs--are emphasized and practiced. In 5th grade, writing instruction culminates in a research paper that requires the use of multiple sources.
- Literature: In 4th grade, literature is the study of a short story each week, with an emphasis on vocabulary development, reading for fluency, comprehension, and literary analysis. In 5th grade, novels are the focus of study while the emphases from 4th grade continue at a more sophisticated level. Students are taught reading strategies and learn to apply those strategies in various genres, and they develop literary analysis skills that include considerations of plot line, character development, and more. As in earlier grades, independent reading is encouraged through the Accelerated Reader program.
The math curriculum continues progressively in 4th and 5th grades. Numeration, computation and problem solving, decimals, fractions and mixed numbers, factors and multiples, data and graphs, and geometry are learned and practiced in class and in regular homework assignments, giving students ample opportunity to develop competence and confidence in math. Students in 5th grade may elect to participate in the extracurricular Math Masters program.
Units in life science, earth science, physical science, and health and nutrition and studied in both 4th and 5th grades. The processes of discovery and observation are experienced in classroom opportunities for scientific investigation, and the scientific process is practiced as students work on lab procedures, learn to measure properly, utilize appropriate units of measurement, and more.
The focus of study in 4th grade is the regions of the U.S. and some current events, while in 5th grade the focus is US History writ large. A “States Fair” research project is completed in 4th grade. Students learn capitals and states. In 5th grade, students study countries around the world with a weekly activity and a culminating research project.
In addition to these core subjects, 4th and 5th grade students receive weekly or biweekly instruction in
and Physical Education.
Beginning in 4th grade, students may elect to participate in RCLS’s Band program, where students receive individual or small group lessons and full band practice.
Read more about these classes at Whole-child Education.