Fifth Grade

Language Arts/Social Studies

In the fifth grade, language arts and social studies are closely linked courses. An integrated program features the cross-curricular skills of reading comprehension, process writing, critical thinking, and overall study skills. The language arts curriculum also integrates the study of vocabulary and grammar. The social studies curriculum guides the students in the study of U.S. history through the Civil War, with selected literary sources in language arts class reinforcing that content.


Students in the fifth grade develop mathematical understanding and competency through a planned a sequential program. They study addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimal numbers and fractions. They conclude the course with a study of geometry. Pre-algebra skills and problem solving are included in all units of study.

Foreign Languages

Students continue the study of Spanish or French chosen in second grade. A switch in language is deferred until seventh grade when a child may elect to begin Latin in lieu of the language previously studied. Fifth grade Spanish and French courses continue the balanced four-skill (speaking, reading, listening and writing) approaches used in the Lower School, with an increased focus on reading and writing. Skits, dialogues, puppets, children’s book, songs and games are also important components of these courses. Students continue to learn Spanish and French through cultural exposure expressed in videos, websites, pictures, maps, books and other resources.


Encouraging students to become working scientists is the overarching goal of the science department at CCDS Middle School. A unique and dynamic thematic curriculum at each grade level provides a springboard to develop scientific thinkers and problem solvers. Our curriculum allows students to make authentic connections to the world around them and to previous scientific knowledge. Technology serves as a platform to explore and research topics generated by both students and faculty. Critical reading strategies and study skills allow our department to reinforce student skills as well as connect to other disciplines within the Middle School.


In the Middle School computer program, students are instructed to use the computer as a tool in the daily production of their work. Students are re-introduced to the Microsoft Office Suite on the PC. Here they begin in-depth study of word processing, spreadsheet, and multi-media presentation skills and techniques. Instruction is integrated into the study of all software applications as students create reports, stories, poems, graphs, charts and presentations in all their subject areas.

Fine Arts

Students are offered opportunities in visual arts, drama and music. All students study art and drama and choose band, orchestra or general music/choir.

Physical Education

All Middle School students take physical education every day. The program concentrates on a student’s physical fitness level, with emphasis placed on improvement. Activities include field hockey, outdoor education, soccer, football, baseball, wrestling (boys), gymnastics (girls), team handball, lacrosse, softball, street hockey, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball (girls), track, and a circus unit, which includes juggling, unicycling, diabolo and other activities.


This course introduces the concept of human growth and development throughout life. Topics discussed are the male reproductive system, female reproductive system and pregnancy/childbirth.