Grades 4-5 Curriculum

Science EXPO: Active Research Project
This 8-12 week project teaches the scientific method which includes research from scientific literature and journals, scientific interviews and the internet. Students use this time to learn and investigate a scientific topic of personal curiosity, and create a scientific solution. Presentations are polished in a PowerPoint presentation and scientific paper.

Earth Science
Earth Science is the study of our earth from the inner core to space. The units of study include topography, geography, plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, history of life, fresh and ocean waters, atmosphere, climate, mineral and energy resources, human environmental impact, and astronomy. The study of local ecosystems includes the Clinton River Watershed Project. Students conduct water tests and a macro-invertebrate census in our campus watershed. The data is analyzed and presented at a bi-county student congress.

Life Science
Plant and animal reproduction, life cycles, cell structures, meiosis and mitosis are the foundation of all life sciences. Application of this study results in dissections of an earthworm, perch, and frog.

Two mathematic programs are integrated to achieve accelerated computation and problem solving skills.

Everyday Mathematics®
Everyday Mathematics® engages students in problem-solving and critical thinking using real-world applications. Students are encouraged to explain and discuss their mathematical thinking throughout the curriculum. Skills are acquired using various algorithms and mathematical games. Every instructional concept is revisited to ensure mastery. The program fosters the development of algorithms of mathematics, as well as mathematical intuition, and theory.

EXCEL® math computation yields a procedure for concepts, as a foundation for accuracy. EXCEL® is an individually paced program. The EXCEL® math curriculum begins in kindergarten and may continue through grade six.

Literature / Reading
Students read novels, essays, plays, poems, expository and informational literature. Daily reading assignments are in-class activity, as well as homework assignments. Activities include study of vocabulary meaning, character development, and the structure of literature. In silent and oral reading, plus robust discussion, students study interpretation, tone, and point-of-view of fiction and non-fiction literature.

Written Language
Process writing is learned in stages. Reading topics are often the prompts for writing assignments. The five-paragraph composition is mastered during fourth and fifth grades. Students learn to write with clarity using correct structure, grammar, mechanics and punctuation. Impromptu writing offers freedom of expression and personal creativity. It is an opportunity for students to focus on content and purpose, as they respond to quotations, arguments, ideas, current events, and emotions.

Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar
Spelling textbooks master phonic skills, develop visual idiomatic patterns, build vocabulary and teach proofreading. The instructional spelling level is individualized. Graded word lists, words from literature and content subject vocabulary are learned. Grammar textbooks are used for student practice of quality sentence structure, grammar, mechanics, and punctuation.

Social Studies
States, Regions and Michigan Studies: A study of the United States and geographical regions teaches the rich stories of American history and geography. Students link the past and present, as they learn about the many varied landscapes and resources of the United States.

A study of Michigan introduces the history, geography, government and economy. Students learn about people and events that have influenced this state. They study Michigan’s geography, including physical and cultural characteristics. Students explore how Michigan supports the global economy with the production, consumption and distribution of goods and services. State government is introduced. Students examine current issues facing Michigan residents for deciding and expressing themselves, as citizens.

American History: A chronological study of the first Americans to World War II. Students learn to place major events on a timeline and analyze the cause and effect of those events. They compare conflicting accounts of the past and present and analyze, both orally and in writing, the significant events that shaped the nation. Using a variety of media, they research, examine, and present historical data. Students deepen their understanding of major geographical themes and basic economic concepts. They begin to understand the rudiments of American government through an introduction to the United States Constitution.

Spanish & German

  • Language Skills: Listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Topics: Identity, greetings, colors, numbers, body parts, physical actions, directions, animals, food, clothing, family, house, classroom, days, weather, transportation, holidays, culture, shapes, calendar, description, seasons, feelings, time, sports, and geography of Germany
  • Grammar: Gender, subject pronouns, regular and irregular verbs, negation, adjective agreement, question formation, present tense, object pronouns, and past tense.
  • Instruction: Repetition, interaction, songs, paired activities, video clips, listening comprehension activities, and discussion.
  • Text: Discovering German, Level 1 and Level 2
  • Assessment: Observation, oral responses, written activities, presentations, quizzes, and tests.


  • Focus: Pronunciation of basic Chinese words, introduction of the Chinese Pin-Yin system, nursery rhymes, Chinese culture, history, and great inventions, and traditional holiday stories.
  • Vocabulary: Nature, numbers, animals, colors, fruits & vegetables, necessities of study, the body, electrical appliances, food, clothing, and pronunciation of up to 70 vocabulary words.
  • Projects: Chinese paper cuts, vocabulary matching games, traditional Chinese cartoon movies, Chinese paint brush writing including basic strokes and characters.
  • Writing: Students will learn to write their names in Chinese and write numbers 1-10. Basic Chinese strokes and words.


  • Sing confidently.
  • Listen intentionally; Name details of orchestration and musicianship.
  • Play instruments in an ensemble (Orff xylophones, percussion, African drums).
  • Interpret musical pieces with consideration for historical or cultural aspects.
  • Band

Visual Arts
Focus is placed on famous artists throughout history and the movements in art. Students will look at the history and personal stories behind artistic genius from Renaissance artists to modern day marvels. Painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, fiber and printmaking methods are used as students learn techniques used by artists, through the ages.

Physical Education
The 4th-5th grade curriculum reinforces the skills introduced in previous years. These skills are applied to team sport activities. 4th & 5th grade students have the opportunity to participate in the middle school sports program at the junior varsity level.
Core Objectives

  • Demonstrate mastery of fundamental locomotor and sport skills.
  • Participation in team games.
  • Increase muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.

Contact Director, Tracy Moen, at or 248.625.7270 to learn more about grades 4-5 at Cedar Crest Academy.