Middle School


Fifth grade English focuses on developing interpretive and critical reading skills using a variety of literature. Theme development and the use of figurative language and literary devices are emphasized. Writing assignments include note taking, summarizing and the study of proper sentence and paragraph structure.  Students are guided in the proper construction of multiple paragraph arguments. Grammar is stressed throughout the year including the study of parts of speech and proper punctuation.  Group discussion and oral presentation skills are a focus throughout the year.

History and Social Sciences: Civilization and the Ancient World

Fifth grade Social Studies begins with an examination of the underlying forces that led to the advent of civilization.  With a focus on the basic needs that bind humans into communities and the influence of environment upon culture, the class explores the earliest river valley civilizations: the Sumerian city-states, Ancient Egypt, and the Indus Valley.  The year continues with an exploration of the roots of Western civilization by examining the birth of monotheism with the Hebrew kingdoms and the beginnings of humanistic thought in Classical Greece and its dissemination throughout the Hellenistic Greek world.  The course concludes with an investigation of the rise of Ancient Rome and its transition from Republic to Empire.  Students are taught note-taking skills, reading maps and graphs, and how to interpret drawings and photographs.  Reports, oral presentations, group projects, and field trips are integral components of this course.


The fifth grade mathematics program is designed as preparation for the rigorous math and science programs that students will encounter in sixth grade and beyond.  Students are expected to have mastered basic math facts and the focus is on exposing students to more complex computation, showing work process, and persevering when solving difficult computations.  Some of the sections covered include number and operation sense; graphing and displaying data; order of operations; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions and decimals; and an introduction to algebra and basic geometry concepts.  


Fifth grade science focuses on four topics in physical science; one topic is considered per quarter. In Food Chemistry, students perform learn how to test for molecules in foods as a way to learn basic concepts about food and nutrition.  In Floating and Sinking, the relationship of buoyancy to weight, size and shape are investigated by making and testing objects for floating or sinking.  In Electric Circuits, the basic properties of electricity, conductors, insulators, and semiconductor diodes are developed by building and testing circuits.  In Motion and Design, student design and build vehicles and then test their response to different forces.

Visual Art

In this course, experimentation, individualized approach, and creativity are encouraged in all assignments.  Classes are taught with a variety of teaching methods such as demonstrations, discussions, brainstorming, and hands-on learning.  Students engage in an oral critique at the end of a major unit of study.  Focus is often on the process of creativity. Students build on their skills and knowledge of the basic elements and principles of art through projects using drawing, painting, and sculpture.  Instruction will be through several major studio projects, mini lessons on the elements and principles of art, demonstrations and discussions. Grade 5 art projects may include the following disciplines and media: printmaking; ceramics; textiles; acrylic painting; watercolor painting; still life drawing, and a variety of mixed media projects.

Computers, Coding, and Technology

Fifth graders receive an iPad they may take home during the school year.  Students sign our Acceptable Use Policy, which allows them the privilege of accessing the MFS WI-FI with their personal devices. Students will participate in project-based learning by completing missions that consist of quests.  Badges will be awarded as students complete quests.  Projects blend academic subject content with technology skills.  Students watch short video tutorials, complete assignments and online assessments. In the coding course, students will gain a deeper understanding of programming topics explored in earlier grades. An emphasis will be placed on flexible problem solving skills, teamwork, and a working knowledge of basic coding rules. By the end of this course students will be able to confidently create interactive stories and games made with code.

Intro to Design

During fifth grade Intro to Design, students study the design process through architecture and 3D computer modeling projects.  

Music and Theater

The curriculum connects the study of music with that of theater as related to performing arts.  Both classes combine regularly, through team teaching, to work together on interdisciplinary exercises designed to show the common threads in the two performing arts.  

Performing Arts

Grade 5 students select between a year-long study of Choir, Ensemble or String Ensemble.  Students perform during our Winter and Spring Middle School Concerts

Physical Education & Health

Physical Education consists of a wide variety of activities that focus on physical fitness, furthering sport skills, cognitive development, and lifetime recreational pursuits.  To gain a broad foundation, students are presented with activities that encompass individual sports, traditional team sports, and lifetime recreational activities.  Of equal importance are the development of sportsmanship, cooperation, self-discipline, self-esteem, and a positive attitude towards physical fitness and physical endeavors. The Health curriculum is designed to educate students about a broad range of health topics and issues that are age appropriate and pertinent to their current health interests and needs.  Information presented and discussed enables students to make informed decisions relative to their health, lifestyle, and ultimately to the quality of their life.  A holistic approach to health, viewing the influences and substantial relationships among the physical, mental, and social components of health and their impact on the student’s overall level of well-being, is a primary focus.  Specific topics at this grade level include the following:  Hygiene, body systems, puberty.