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Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade

moving forward

At PS, our Fifth Graders are ready to take on new challenges as the leaders of the Lower School.  The Fifth Grade year is the capstone of the PS Lower School program, encouraging students to apply skills, strategies, and core values built and sharpened over the last four years. This year offers time to solidify skills in leadership, responsibility, creativity and problem-solving, helping our students shape an exciting future.

After spending time studying Texas in Fourth Grade, it is their time to zoom out and study the foundations of North American history. They begin by understanding the time-honored techniques of navigating in sailboats with a compass and the stars. Knowing that, Fifth Graders will understand how voyagers in pre-digital times could travel across the oceans. From there, students will learn why people from England and Europe would leave everything they knew for the uncertainties of their New World.  Likewise, students will learn how the citizens of tribal nations in North America responded to the arrival of English and European people. Fifth Graders will then follow the United States from its rebellious colonial period to the establishment of our Constitutional republic.  As they study the Civil War, they will delve into the furious battle over enslaved African Americans, and the abolition of slavery by our Constitution’s 13th Amendment. When Fifth Graders complete this social studies course, they will culminate their experience with a visual timeline and musical program. 



More than just a catchy name, these highly interactive classes develop student ability to plan and manage tasks, organize and discuss ideas, set and achieve goals, identify and solve problems which in turn cultivates passion and develops collaboration and conceptual reasoning skills. The PS Think.Make.Talk paradigm is our authentic and research-based approach to challenge students to THINK deeply about problems, ideas, projects, and research; creatively MAKE real-world applications that flow out of that thinking; and TALK to members of our community about what they’ve made and how to make it even better. 


A Double Dip of Academic Support

While each student at PS has a dedicated master teacher providing support and extension throughout the day, teachers also have access to a team of specialists trained in a diverse array of pedagogies who support and enrich instruction as needed. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) assist with assessments, monitor the development of foundational literacy and math skills, and join with the classroom teachers to further support academic development and foster critical and creative thinking. We lovingly call this extra bonus opportunity the Double Dip!


Kids Need to Move!

When was the last time you had to sit still for a long time? Hard, isn’t it?  At PS we believe students should have many opportunities to move throughout the long school day, so we make PE and recess a part of every day. Brain research tell us that these breaks in the day are necessary for optimizing a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.  Where else can you build on fine and gross motor skills, learn patience waiting for a turn, negotiate rule interpretations, discover a new bug, or get lost in your own thoughts?  PE and recess, it's not just about the fun.


See Specialists Every Day

It's not all just reading, writing and arithmetic. At PS, our team of specialists help our students to grow creatively, spiritually, and physically in Art, Chapel, Learning Commons, Music, and PE.  By reaching their hearts and minds through chapel once a week, our students develop an understanding of what it truly means to reflect God's love into the world. Whether it's molding clay into original sculpture, blending their voices in song, or discovering a new author during the weekly instruction with our specialists, our students are challenged outside of their comfort zones to recognize just how much they can accomplish.   


Navigating Social Well-Being

Young children, big emotions! At PS, we believe that we not only educate the mind but the heart as well. Teaching our students how to treat one another with respect, how to agreeably disagree, and how to show empathy and compassion is as important to us as the ABC’s.  If a child makes a mistake, they are always reminded that tomorrow is a clean slate and another opportunity to make better choices.  Focusing on the PS Core Values of Reflecting God's Love, Respect, Perserverance, Compassion, Courage, Integrity and Gratitude is what guides us as we grow young hearts and minds every day.


It's Not Just About the Test

We know that children learn by doing and that it is in the process where students learn the most.  Going beyond the standard paper/pencil test, students are invited to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.  Students can be found building structures, writing plays, designing obstacle courses, giving a speech, writing lyrics, or debating a point all in an effort to share their learning.  Learning is more than just supplying rote answers, it is about thinking deeply and creatively and then sharing that learning with others. 


Learning in the Museum District

Who doesn’t love a field trip?! Leaving the classroom for a learning experience off-campus is exciting at all grade levels.  Whether it is 5th Grade visiting Main Street Theater or 2nd grade going to a local farm, our faculty are eager to work with community partners to pair student learning with firsthand resources and experiences. The School's location in the heart of the Museum District enables students to easily get on the Metro Rail to head to the Medical Center or Downtown or walk across the street to visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston or the Glassell School of Art. Walking to the Miller Outdoor Theater, Houston Zoo or the Museum of Natural Science is no problem either!


Helping our Community

Fifth Grade will be pillars of the Lower School service by participating in the marketing and advertisement for the all school service drives. In addition, they will be helping the younger PS students with their service projects as Leaders of School Service.



On Exhibit: 5th Grade Human Impact on the Environment

Houston is home to one of the largest museum districts in the nation and PS is located right in the heart of it. Our goal is to one day be featured as an official Museum of Learning in the Houston Museum District but until that happens, we will continue to create our own Presbyterian School Museums. Each year every grade in the School determines a focus, completes research, learns from local experts, and then designs, creates, and installs their own grade level museum on campus. 

Students begin taking science as a daily period in fifth grade, so as such, the focus of their museum is a science related topic. Taking a cue from Presbyterian School's motto, fifth graders dig into how humans have a responsibility as Children of God to "respect the environment". Students select a current issue that has had an effect on the environment to research, then they are asked to think creatively about solutions that could reverse the impact humans have had, and finally they choose a way to present their research and conclusions to their peers at an "Environmental Summit".

5th graders capitalize on the learning of the previous year using the same steps of researching, note taking, outlining, and writing a research paper. They also tap into the agency they've developed throughout their lower school experience to effectively choose from the various methods of presentation they have been exposed to from the previous four years.  Fifth Grade students create a compelling showcase of unique responses to real-world, current events in environmental science. What will you decide to do to help our world?