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Grade 5

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Teacher smiles looking at engaged students in a classroom
Grade 5
George Marshall

From analyzing more complex texts to shaping more complex ideas, grade 5 students (ages 10 – 11) understand that they are part of a larger learning community. They appreciate that the relationships they form and the things they learn are preparing them for success in middle school and beyond. 

Super Units

Understanding Ourselves - Mission Possible: The Pursuit of Excellence
Investigating the difference between pursuing perfection and pursuing excellence, students set a personal goal and spend 20 hours working toward it. Some will take up sewing, others baking a cake, and yet others may choose to learn how to cube or play a musical instrument. The end goal is for students to get to know themselves as learners, as they realize how important reflection is to their learning. As part of this unit, students also learn about their changing bodies and what to expect as they mature and grow.

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Understanding Others - The Essence of Life
During the second unit, the students learn about basic needs and human rights. And how all people should have to access those basic needs. The students research what could limit that access and the consequences of needs that are not met. Reading the novel, Long Walk to Water, the students learn of the challenges that many people face in accessing clean water. After testing local river water for contaminants, the students work to apply their knowledge to develop their own water-cleaning system.

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Understanding Our Environment - Phoenix Forest
Collaborating with the Endangered Asian Species Trust (EAST) from Cát Tiên National Park, students plant and nurture fig tree and gum tree saplings to help reforestation efforts in the rainforest, which are critical to the survival of the gibbon and pygmy slow loris populations. The students learn about ecosystems, food chains, and webs, and how living things depend on one another. As citizen scientists, they spend several days in Cát Tiên National Park studying different primates and ecosystems.

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Understanding Our World - Galaxy 5
During the final Super Unit, the students explore different parts of our solar system and how they interact with each other. The students are excited to learn the unique attributes of the planets and of other objects that orbit the sun. They use this learning to create their own solar systems, complete with habitable and uninhabitable planets, and make an app to share their learnings about our solar system with friends and family. A highlight of this unit is the grade 5 Space Conference, where teachers and guest speakers share their passion for space and lead the students through experiments to expand their knowledge of the universe. 

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