Fifth Grade

Click on the link below to view a description of a curriculum unit that exemplifies how different core subject areas are enacted within a particular grade. These descriptions provide a glimpse of life inside SCCS.

Botany Middle Ages


Science: Botany in the classroom

Botany is an integral component of the fifth grade science curriculum. In addition to learning about the classification, structure, and function of plants, students conduct various botanical experiments and observations. These include:

seed dissection

examination of root types

investigation of stems and leaves

classroom plant growth

Students use this knowledge to deepen their understanding of life cycles, ecosystems, and food chains.

The importance of photosynthesis as a foundation of the food chain receives special emphasis. In our study of photosynthesis, students chose a model that serves as a metaphor to represent what happens during this process. Examples of models include a factory, a kitchen, a flow chart, and natural models (realistic portrayals). The study of photosynthesis challenges studentsí assumptions about how plants are nourished and how they grow, including that water is food and that this food is passed through the roots of plants. Students are often aware of the ingredients but not the process. Consequently one of the most profound discoveries students make is that photosynthesis exists; that plants can make their own food. Another important discovery is that all life is to some degree dependent on this process. This study further challenges students as they are being asked to make sense of something that they cannot see but have to imagine.  


Social Studies: The Middle Ages
Middle Ages
Middle Ages

The fifth grade begins the fall semester with a study of the Middle Ages. We explore the origins of the period by studying the effects of the fall of Rome. We then investigate the feudal and manorial systems, the institution of knighthood, the role of Christianity, and the monastery. Objectives include an understanding of the culture and history of the medieval period, an awareness of the powerful ideas that shaped the era, and an understanding of how the institutions and ideas of the Middle Ages have influenced our society.

As part of this study, each student chooses a topic and completes an independent project related to the Middle Ages. We design this activity to take into account the different kinds of intelligences that students bring with them into the classroom. For example, their project can entail singing, playing an instrument, artwork, constructing a model of a cathedral or manor, map making, or creating a manuscript incorporating poetry and art into the text. The goal of these projects is for students to demonstrate their knowledge using their own individual and unique talents. In addition, their projects earn them the right to be knighted, which represents a symbolic reward and right of passage. This knighting takes place during a medieval banquet. For the event, the classroom is transformed into a great hall where historically authentic food is served, students, teachers and guests dress in costume, and the customs of a medieval feast are observed. During the feast students perform and make toasts incorporating medieval dialect. At the end of the feast, each student shares with the community vows they have written focusing on how to better themselves both at home and in school. For students, this is one of the highlights of fifth grade.

One studentís vows:

I vow to take responsibility for my actions.

I vow to not talk back to my parents.

I vow to do my responsibilities before my activities.

I vow to be a good role model to younger kids like my little brother.

I vow to do my responsibilities without anybody asking me to.

Middle Ages

KindergartenFirst GradeSecond GradeThird GradeFourth Grade

Fifth GradeSixth Grade

  Contact Us   |   Smith College Campus School 33 Prospect Street Northampton, MA 01063 T 413.585.3270 F 413.585.3285 ††|†† Directions

News & Notices:

Announcing Chris Marblo- SCCS welcomes our new interim prinicipal, Chris Marblo. Read more here

Admission News- Join us for our Fall K-3 Open House on November 4th! Click here for more information. We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. To request an Admission Packet - click here

SCCS on Facebook -We invite you to visit the SCCS Facebook page. You will find snippets of the art, story, and conversation that unfolds within our school. For a link to our Facebook page - click here


Printable 2017-18
Calendar click here