The fifth grade had an introduction to perspective drawing with their lesson on ziggurats. These are ancient temples from Mesopotamia. They will spend time working on these and then making their own out of clay—which is what the ancient Mesopotamians used to make them.
Studying ancient Mesopotamia.
The fifth grade transitioned from studies of ancient Persia to Mesopotamia this week. They explored ancient forms of writing and created their own tablets out of clay.
The fifth graders have been working throughout the year on their Rangoli skills. This type of form drawing requires great attention to detail and organization. As you can see, they are getting more and more beautiful!
The fifth grade finished up their first geography block of the year! Moving forward from our studies in fourth grade (which focused on Illinois and the Great Lakes), we spent this block looking at the different regions that make up the United States. From legends and historical events to habitats and animals we explored that many aspects of these regions.
A lovely tradition of Waldorf schools across the world is for the fifth graders to guide the first graders in their pursuit of knitting. On Tuesday, November 7th, Mrs. Griffith’s first grade handwork class celebrated this milestone knitting lesson when they were introduced to their knitting buddies from Miss DuRocher’s class. The fifth grade buddies instructed the fledgling knitters and guided them through their very first stitches. The passing on of knowledge is a moving, magical moment!
The children watched Mrs. Griffith over dye yarn with indigo that had already been dyed with goldenrod- yielding green yarn! They helped dye the yarn for their sock knitting projects. The fifth grade dye session yielded 2 skeins of green yarn and one of sky blue.
The Fifth Grade has just begun their third block of the year- North American Geography. This block will be a survey of the different regions of North America, starting with the Great Lakes. Students were asked to create an illustration of our region and all it has to offer.
Fifth Grade has been working on forms called Rangoli—an intricate style of form drawing that requires attention to detail and organization.
The fifth grade has some new pen-pals from Ecuador! One of Ms. DuRocher’s dearest friends is teaching English in a school in southern Ecuador. Her students sent the first batch of letters to the class—in Spanish. With the help of Señora Julian they translated the letters and learned a little bit about what it is like to live in Ecuador. They’ve started writing their letters in return and will send them very soon. This is a photo that the students will send to their new pen-pals.
The fifth grade began their first ancient cultures block this week! Their first exploration is focused on ancient India and the majestic stories that make up an incredible culture. We started the week with an introduction to India and with a story about the creation of the world.
Our class parents AND students are staffing the Roots & Shoots Cafe during the Fall Festival on Saturday. The children spent some time this week preparing the menu and cafe signs for the big day. Children learn service, helping, and develop a sense of seeing beyond themselves throughout their curriculum and through such events.
On Friday, September 8th, the students and teachers of Da Vinci’s grade school enjoyed Beach and Nature Exploration Day! They ventured to Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park in Zion for a day filled with exploration and fun.
We are extremely grateful for the transportation by bus, which was made possible by a $1,000 biodiversity grant received from Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Independence Tube Corporation, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation, the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation and the Illinois Conservation Foundation.
Students took time to explore the local terrain and learn about the land and wildlife of northern Illinois. They enjoyed a hike through forests and along the beach, observing their surroundings as they went. There was a scavenger hunt and a group lunch. The very cool weather prevented the planned swimming treat, but students were able to wade and splash in the water and had a great time in the natural surroundings.
Many thanks to our teachers for enabling such a special outing for our students, and thanks to Mrs. Kristine Fiskum for the excellent snapshots of the day!
This week concluded fifth grade’s first block of the year—Botany! It was an exciting week filled with new ideas and some beautiful drawings. Through our explorations, we have discovered how intricate the world of plants is. Our block culminated in the introduction to the flowering plants- the monocotyledons and dicotyledons.
Fifth Grade harvested Indigo leaves in order to prepare dye vats to color wool. The school has a dye garden next to the greenhouse where specific plants are grown to produce natural pigments for dyeing. Third grade students are preparing to dye yarn for their own use in crochet later this year, as well as for early childhood. The fifth graders lent a hand, and will later help harvest plants and dye yarn for their projects as well.
The fifth grade’s first block of the year is botany. They will be exploring the plant kingdoms and how different plants grow and flourish.
Below you will see various drawings of what students imagined when they were asked to picture a scene in nature.
In the Classroom
Follow each class through the school year. Visit often to enjoy photos and information about curriculum, field trips, exciting happenings, special moments, celebrations and more.