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TOWER HILL SCHOOL Middle School Curriculum 2012-2013 Middle School Grade 5 Curriculum

English 5

Fifth grade English integrates a variety of language arts skills including mechanics, writing, spelling, and vocabulary with the study of literature. Correct grammar, usage and mechanics serve as the foundation for a program that emphasizes frequent opportunities to write interesting, clear sentences and strong cohesive paragraphs. Computer literacy and proficient word processing skills provide a springboard for a variety of writing modes and student projects.

Reading 5

The primary goal of the fifth grade reading program is to develop and foster a life-long love of reading. Students engage in individual, small group, and whole class reading of both self-selected and teacher-selected material. Students are expected to share their thoughts and interpretations through class discussion and written assignments. Emphasis is placed on developing the writing process through text-based responses to literature.

Math 5

The fifth grade math course is designed to solidify the students’ ability to perform operations with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. Other topics studied include number theory, statistics, the metric system, ratios, proportions and percents. The calculator, provided in class, is introduced as a tool in problem solving activities.

History 5

The fifth grade social studies program examines major themes, concepts, and skills in geography. The course's focus is the web of relationships that exist between people, places, and the environment. Emphasis is placed upon physical, human, and cultural geography.

Science 5

The fifth grade year is full of energetic learning in the fields of life science, health science, and physical science. In the fall and early winter, students spend time monitoring the Brandywine River with the Delaware Stream watch program and learn how to use microscopes. In the winter they study color and light. In the spring they study global warming and return to the river for more monitoring. The students finish the year learning about puberty and new life in a unit about reproduction. Throughout the year, fifth graders will practice and be encouraged: • • • • • • • • •

To look closely at the world as keen, sensitive observers. To discern between a description and an opinion. To listen attentively. To communicate clearly and effectively. To know how to ask comparative questions so they can investigate them. To dig beneath the surface of things. To learn how to use a microscope. To know how to carry out biological and visual surveys, and chemical tests and then, with this data, to track trends over time. To recognize how connected they are to each other and to their environments.

Middle School Curriculum ~ Grade 5 ~ 2012-2013


Language 5

Students explore various languages through the Prima Lingua curriculum, a Latin based, comparative course that serves as a strong foundation for future language study. Prima Lingua has two main goals: to familiarize students with key grammatical concepts that English shares with other languages and to introduce grammatical elements (such as gender of nouns, agreement of adjective and noun, and the importance of inflection, or word endings) that students will encounter when they begin world language study. Prima Lingua also gives students an appreciation of the cultural aspects of language, and exposure to the historical development of language, with examples mostly in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Greek, and English.

Art 5

The fifth grade art curriculum provides students with a variety of experiences in two and threedimensional projects. Combining aspects of woodworking, photography, printmaking, as well as drawing and painting, students will create a variety of unique projects. Highlights of the course include a lamp built on the foundations of the golden mean, photogram images made in the darkroom, design of an amusement park ride, and a modular progression using a broad selection of wood.

Computer 5

The fifth grade computer curriculum includes the utilization of students’ Tower Hill School logins and the continued exploration of Google Documents as well as our online Typing Club program. This typing program is web based and does not require any downloads. The web address to access this site is and the student must enter their Tower Hill username and password. The students must complete each lesson with an average of 20 wpm and 90% accuracy. The student must earn five stars prior to moving onto the next lesson. The typing program may be done at school, and/or at home. In addition to the typing program, the students will learn more about the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and how to safely manage client account information (email). The students will also learn additional programs through Microsoft Office, focusing on PowerPoint, and iMovie. The students will employ all of this technology for vocabulary, word processing, presentation skills, and research. The students will be creating projects from various teacher-specific websites, and will be incorporating their technology skills into a variety of projects across the fifth grade curriculum.

Music 5

In fifth grade music class students review basic musical notation and vocabulary, explore the elements of musical composition, and experience a variety of cultures and styles through singing and listening samples. Emphasis in the fifth grade is placed on understanding how written music functions through the study of more complex musical notation, and composing their own works. The study of periods and styles in music is reinforced through listening games and activities. Orff instruments, keyboards and handbells are used to accompany musical activities. Each class routinely begins with a music vocabulary word and a famous composer’s work as a listening sample, and students are also given the opportunity to perform for their peers. Macmillan's Music and You textbooks series and accompanying CD's are used to reinforce specific units.

Middle School Curriculum ~ Grade 5 ~ 2012-2013


Band 5/6

The fifth and sixth grade band is a part of the middle school performing group requirement where students elect to take band, chorus, or both during the eighth period. The major concepts presented in band are technical skill development, tone quality and control, and music reading. Also emphasized are those qualities needed to be a strong contributing member of a musical organization including blend, balance, listening, and group dynamics. The group performs in two formal concerts in the evening, one in December and one in May. The group also performs for several assembly concerts during the year including Grandparents Day and performances for the Lower School.

Chorus 5/6

The Fifth and Sixth Grade Chorus is based on the understanding that all young people have innate musical potential, and that choral singing is a skill learned through instruction, sustained effort and practice. Chorus students find their singing voice, learn and practice fundamentals of singing, learn basic concepts of musical notation and music reading, acquire the disciplines of choral ensemble and teamwork, and experience the beauty and variety of excellent choral literature from many times and places. The Chorus participates in formal concerts each December and May, and sings for a number of shorter programs and occasions during the school year.

Strings 5/6

The fifth and sixth grade strings ensemble focuses on building basic techniques and begins to emphasize reading and ensemble skills. Others who have more experience assist those new to strings. The group performs at the Middle School instrumental concerts. Instruction is offered on violin, viola, cello, and bass.

Physical Education 5/6 The fifth and sixth grade Physical Education program marks a transition from Elementary School into Middle School. The program is designed to introduce sport specific activities in three-week units; our students learn to combine and apply a variety of movement patterns and skills to different sports. We emphasize participation, improvement, enjoyment and effort, and the goal is to help develop the skills and game tactics the students will need as they move into a competitive athletic program as seventh graders. The importance of physical activity and personal fitness is stressed, and students participate in the President’s Physical Fitness Test. Recognizing that physical activity plays an important role in the social and emotional development of our students, we are committed to providing a positive setting in which our students can learn and practice social and personal responsibility skills.



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