Lower and Intermediate Schools

Grade Five

Grade 5 is the culmination of the Intermediate School. Students continue in their studies, forging important analytic skills and autonomy in preparation for Middle School. The curriculum takes a sharp focus on engaging students and developing independent thought and confident, eloquent expression.

As part of the preparation for Middle School, students travel to other instructors for science and social studies. This unique feature not only develops independence, but allows the Academy’s instructors to specialize in science or social studies.

Grade 5 Curriculum


Fifth grade students read and analyze literature at increasing levels of complexity and develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of literary genres and techniques, including novels, chapter books, and short stories.

  • The Daily 5 literacy program instills independence and creates highly engaged readers, writers and learners
  • 6+1 Traits of Writing curriculum and WriteSteps to refine basic skills and expand the sophistication and quality of students’ writing
  • Strengthened vocabulary and spelling through the continuation of the Wordly Wise program


In fifth grade math, fundamental computational skills are solidified and emphasis shifts towards abstract concepts that form the basis of future algebraic learning and other advanced study. Students learn through class lectures, small group instruction, peer interaction, student presentation, and individual instruction aided as needed by the Learning Specialist.

An Accelerated Math option offers individual development to students regardless of age or grade.

  • Singapore Math curriculum implemented through concrete, pictorial and abstract steps
  • Spiral program structure in grades one through five allows students to gain a rich connection to process and procedure
  • New challenges in algebraic thinking and concepts


The fifth grade program is full of immersive, hands-on experiences in labs and simulations that teach the scientific method through practice and exploration. Collaboration and cooperation become a part of investigation as students are tasked with solving problem in pairs and small groups.

The biennial Science Fair project is a favorite immersive and empowering experience. Each student begins with a problem based on their individual interests, forms a hypothesis, runs experiments and collects and presents the data, before answering his or her question.

Curriculum includes:

  • Lego Robotics with Mindstorms EV3 robots
  • Force and motion
  • Plate tectonics and volcanoes
  • Nutrition and energy
  • Ecosystems in the Garden Classroom
  • Intermediate School Science Fair
  • Electricity and circuits
  • The solar system


Democracy and governance are closely and critically investigated in fifth grade social studies. Using the We the People text, students thoroughly study the United States Constitution, exploring American democracy through essays, debates, and other imaginative activities.

Curriculum includes:

  • History of United States of America government
  • How the three branches of government work and interact
  • Trips to Lansing and local courts to see government function up close


Technology is used as a powerful tool in all curricula. By engaging students in meaningful ways, instructors empower each young learner to become critical thinkers and innovative authors who can communicate their ideas across media.



  • Old Testament study of Genesis and Exodus
  • Study of Jesus’s life


  • Book selection
  • Characteristics of books
  • Digital safety, citizenship ,and ethics
  • Information and media literacy
  • Research skills


  • Dramatic interpretations
  • Movement and choreography
  • Music history
  • Musical performance
  • Orff instruments and rhythm
  • Vocal music and performance


  • Develop strong cardio, respiratory, muscular endurance, and flexibility
  • Participate in fun games, sport, and lifelong physical activities
  • Tie health to total wellness


  • Artists and art styles
  • Art History
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and textiles


Students choose to continue studying French (which they began in Early School) or study Spanish for the entire year with the intent to continue their studies in Middle School.

General information


Grade 5 uses the ERB comprehensive Testing Program 4, a rigorously designed series of assessments in verbal and quantitative ability, auditory comprehension, reading comprehension, writing mechanics and concepts, and mathematics.


  • Henry Ford Museum and overnight Greenfield Village trip
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Michigan Court of Appeals
  • YMCA Camp Storer overnight trip


  • Buddy program
  • Chapel assembly
  • Christmas chapel giving
  • Community service
  • Extracurricular activities (Catholic Formation, Chess Club, Golf, Gourmet Cooking Class)
  • Field Day
  • Forensics
  • Fifth grade musical
  • Garden Classroom
  • Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day
  • Halloween Parade
  • Multi-age STEAM activities
  • Special assemblies and celebrations
  • JV Sports – Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis, Cross Country


  • Full-time school nurse
  • Learning resource specialist
  • Technology and learning specialist