A heavy emphasis is placed on independent reading, but includes reading skills, mini-lessons, and guided reading. Students respond to literature through the use of journals, daily assignments, and book projects. Novels, mini-lessons, journal assignments, and other activities are used to differentiate instruction to meet individual student learning needs. Students participate in the Accelerated Reader program organized through the library. Students are evaluated through the STAR reading assessment multiple times during the school year to chart growth. The study of Greek and Latin roots develops vocabulary.
Curriculum for these grades helps students develop critical thinking skills while mastering basic math concepts. Problem-based learning actively engages students and they are encouraged to use cooperative groups and manipulatives. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities strengthen students’ real life understanding.
The language arts curriculum is designed to foster an appreciation of language as a gift from God and to encourage clear and effective speaking and writing skills through the use of the writing process and the 6+1 writing traits (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions). Major writing projects introduce the research process and documenting sources with a Living History paper and speech in the fall followed by a Scientific Experiment and presentation in the spring. Cross-curricular work is also tackled throughout the year with journaling and authentic projects to minister to others such as cards written for nursing home residents. In class, poetry and Children’s books are often used to nurture a love of language and to provide challenging skills to model.
Science 4th & 5th:
Instruction focuses on the areas of human anatomy and health, methods of scientific investigation, biology, ecology, physics, geology, environmental science, and stewardship. Strong emphasis is placed on hands-on learning and investigation. Students participate in STEM (Science, Technology, English, Math) projects throughout the year. All 4th – 6th grade students are show-cased using the school’s spring science fair.
This year begins with a look at the classic Scientific Method as well as an introduction to the Engineering Model. Life Science is explored and focuses on Immune and Nervous Systems through a health perspective and a deep study of Biology through a complex look at the diversity of life and God's kingdoms of organisms. The complexity and detail of God's massive creation is examined. Students will be led through hands-on lab experiences with content and STEM projects in correlation with units of study.
Fourth grade history focuses on a study of U.S. History from the years of discovery and early settlement up through present day. Students create a notebook about their state during the study of Tennessee History.
Fifth grade focuses on Old World History, studying the continents of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica. Students create a nation notebook where they research one country and share information with the class.
In the first semester of sixth grade history takes a look at the geographical features of North and South America while studying about our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. Through an interactive journal, students learn to evaluate informational texts and see how geography, mission work, greed, and war shaped the culture of Canada and Mexico. In the second semester, students learn more about Tennessee history and geography. The highlight of the year is a trip to the State Capitol in Nashville, where students get to see state government in action.
Creating a “Living History” Museum is a highlight for the 4th - 6th grades, which is a joint effort between history, technology, and language arts. Students research a famous character from U.S. history; prepare a tri-fold board and speech. Students dress as their historical figure and present their speech to other classes, family, and friends.