Fifth Grade Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: November, 2013


Fourth and fifth graders have moved on from their investigation of the elements of art and have begun to focus on one of the seven elements, value. They are in the process of learning how to create five different value scales though shading, hatching, cross- hatching, stippling and scribbling. We learned how to use the computer to take screen shots of images to reference and will use these images to create line drawings. Once we complete our drawings we will use the techniques we have studied to fill in value, making the drawings more three dimensional and life like. Because all five ways of creating value will be included in one landscape drawing students will constantly be problem solving, editing, demonstrating understanding of technique and growing personally as artists.


This month Red Group will be finishing their first quarter of Latin with an activity that demonstrates how inflected languages convey meaning through word endings. Then Blue Group will begin their first quarter of Latin! Blue Group will start the quarter with an introduction to Latin pronunciation. We will complete a variety of pronunciation-based activities that will carry us through the end of the month. We will also begin to practice the basics of conversational Latin.


In the library fifth grade will investigate another kind of "seed to story" with a unit on the exquisite corpse form of story writing. This is a story that is started by one person, then passed onto the next person to continue. To continue our discussion of fact vs. fiction, we will read a fiction-based-on-fact graphic novel about the Mayflower voyage.


The fifth graders have been working hard to prepare a two part choral piece for Grandparents Day. In fact, they have been doing such a good job that they will soon begin preparing another two part choral piece for the Holiday MFW! They have contined to be very successful with their vocal sightreading. We will be adding more difficult rhythms and solfege patterns to this as we move forward. While we introduced the handchimes in October, November will be the time for us to really get to play. We will begin by playing various rhythm examples all together and by the end of the month we will be playing songs!


In Lower School PE we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength with a focus on core. The class will learn an activity call Team Handball that involves the skills of throwing, catching, dribbling and shooting. The class will participate in large group cooperative activities like “Ro-Sham-Bo, which is a group version of Rock/Paper/Scissors. Other games include Castle Ball and Power Ball that develop skill, teamwork and cardiovascular endurance.


Fifth graders continue their matter unit. They’ll learn about creating a “fair test” and “variables” while planning their own experiment about evaporation. We’ll learn that conducting a fair test is one of the most important ingredients of doing good, scientifically valuable experiments. To insure that an experiment is a fair test, you must change only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. Students, once understanding this concept and completing their first test/experiment, will design a second experiment based on questions that arose from the first test. This is inquiry at its finest! Through the scientific method, including data collection and analyzing that data, we will hopefully answer the questions they come up with. Students will also start to learn about physical changes and what happens on a molecular level.


November will be a busy month for 5th grade Red Group Spanish students . Our class will meet twice a week and class will begin with warm up exercises. The objective of the exercises will be to review previously learned vocabulary and increase, each time, student’s fluidity. Material covered during warm up work will include, weather, how they are feeling, what they are wearing and other basic vocabulary. Class will consist of formal grammar instruction and fun interactive activities to practice newly learned structures and new vocabulary. The topics / thematic vocabulary students will learn are sports and leisure activities. Grammar work will consist of applying the GUSTAR structure to indicate likes and dislikes, identification / conjugation of ar, er & ir verbs, syntax and subject / adjective agreement work. Written work will consist of applying material we studied.