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Lower School

5th Grade

Student: Teacher Ratio
Field Experiences Annually
4 to 6
Language Studied (Spanish)
Recesses Daily

5th Grade

As the leaders of the Lower School, fifth grade is a transitional year personally and academically. The intermediate teachers help students navigate this time of rapid physical, mental, and emotional growth. To prepare for the challenges of middle school, fifth graders experience an increase in their academic workload, responsibilities, and organizational demands. Fifth graders also enjoy individual and group projects that utilize and further develop their critical thinking and research skills. They model leadership during Town Meetings and younger buddy activities. Teachers strive to instill independence and responsible decision making through varied activities such as project-based, inquiry-based, and reciprocal learning experiences. There is also an emphasis on team-building, and an acceptance and appreciation of diversity explored through the curriculum as well as exciting field trips to Genesee Valley, the Walters Art Museum, and theater experiences.
Questions? Call 410-838-4848
“HDS has become like family in caring for our student.”
– Fifth Grade Parent

Enriched Course Offerings



Students build on basic art skills such as the use of line quality, perspective, color and value. Additionally, students complete projects that coincide closely with their study of history from prehistoric times to ancient Roman civilization.
Media Studies

Media Studies

Students continue to use the automated library catalog system as a resource for selecting books for informational and recreational reading. Students also gain experience using and evaluating various web sites in their research. An emphasis is placed on creating Slides presentations and introducing Google Sheets. Internet safety activities continue.


Fifth Graders continue to read, write, and compose with new pitches and rhythms. They practice proper mallet technique and playing ensemble pieces on the xylophone. By playing the recorder, they learn tonguing, breath control, and improvisation. Partner songs challenge them to hear how contrasting parts compliment each other. Their performances include the Holiday Program and Fifth Grade Musical.
Physical Education

Physical Education

Team sports that may be taught include: field hockey, soccer, basketball, Newcombe, volleyball, kickball, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee. Teamwork, good sportsmanship, and fitness are stressed.
Questions? Call 410-838-4848

Core Courses


In grade five, English focuses on increasing students’ global awareness and citizenship through the reading and analysis of various genres including realistic fiction, mystery, poetry, mythology, and fantasy. Deeper critical thinking and analytical skills are emphasized through discussion and written assignments. Students engage in more detailed writing in response to texts and use of evidence to support claims and opinions. Writing integrates concepts and skills studied in literature and grammar. Practice is given in various types of writing such as expository, comparisons, and poetry. Emphasis is placed on developing well-written 5-paragraph essays. Grammar skills are emphasized throughout the year in speaking and writing. Topics include: action verbs, direct objects, linking verbs, prepositional phrases, adjective forms; the eight parts of speech; effective word use, run-on sentences, fragments, and dictionary skills. Vocabulary is also an integral part of the curriculum. New words are studied through lessons from a vocabulary text. Focus is on definitions, synonyms, antonyms, context, and analogies. Students also engage in a spring storytelling unit in which they retell a story for an audience of their peers and younger students.


Math in fifth grade stresses proficiency in basic skills and emphasizes problem solving. This includes ratios and rates, fractions/decimals/percents, review of operations with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals, and operations with integers, as well as pre-algebraic concepts - expressions, equations,functions and inequalities. Geometry concepts such as surface area and volume are examined, as well as basic data and statistics.


The major themes in science are studied each year in the lower school including: classification, change over time, energy, engineering design, forces and interactions, measurement, problem solving/process/scientific methods, structure and function, systems, and collaborative discovery through hands-on explorations. Units studied in grade five include, animal classification, botany, electricity, and energy forms, microscopy, and ornithology. In class activities and experiments, along with field trips, support and enhance concepts.

Ancient History

Ancient History includes the study of prehistoric humans and the civilizations of Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, and Rome. Focus is on the geography and contributions of each civilization. Map skills and graphing skills are further developed. Research and study skills including note taking, outlines, oral and written reports are emphasized.


Spanish instruction includes the core elements of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary acquisition and correct grammar are practiced through targeted language conversation, games, songs, and projects. Students engage in more in-depth study of the Spanish language including pronouns, conjugation of verbs, questions and answers, common expressions, and the elements of basic conversation. Learning the geography and culture of Spanish speaking countries is an integral part of the course.

Harford Day is the only PK3 to Grade 8 independent school in Harford County accredited by AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland/DC Schools) and a member of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).
Non-discrimination Statement
Application to Harford Day School is open to all students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin,
 sexual orientation, or disability. Harford Day School does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, financial policies, financial aid programs, and other administered extra-curricular or administrative programs.

The Harford Day Mission
At Harford Day School, learning is a joyful process rooted in respectful relationships, strong traditions, and an innovative program that fosters confidence, imagination, curiosity, and engagement with the world.