Grade 5 Layout

Fifth grade is big: Ancient Mythologies, Botany, Greek History, Geometry, Geography. That is a lot to cover in one year, and to accomplish it, I am altering the traditional Waldorf block method of teaching. The first change I am making is to teach Botany over the entire year, rather than in two blocks. Donna Simmons suggests this “theme” approach in her fifth grade audio. I am basing our Botany study on a book Melisa Nielsen suggested: The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holt. (Do a google image search and you can see many, many sample pages online.) I am seeing Botany as an extension of our hyper-local study of geography last year, with my goal being to continue to ground Vincent in this place and on this land where we live. We will be assembling our own Country Diary on Fridays throughout the year. (More to come on that.)

I have also decided to spread Ancient Mythologies (India, Persia, Babylon and Egypt – not Greece) over the first 3 months of school. We will take 2 weeks per culture and then have a week of math in between. This math week can also be used to finish up projects or main lesson work we may need more time for. The idea to expand the block came about because I sat down and read Charles Kovacs’ book Ancient Mythologies over a 3-day period. I love his style, but the stories have similar themes, and they were all running together. I think having a week in between will help to keep the myths distinct, but still preserve the continuity of an overall progression of thought. The remainder of the year looks pretty straightforward, with a return to teaching 1 block per month after the new year.

Below you will find my block layout for the year. You may notice I didn’t schedule any breaks or vacation. I can assure you, we take many! However, they are never planned in advance, as I find it easier to move my blocks around than to try to predict, for example, when we will go to the beach in the fall or when we will need a spring break.


  • Form Drawing (2 weeks)


  • Ancient Myths: India (2 weeks)
  • Math (1 week)
  • Celebrate Michaelmas


  • Ancient Mythologies: Persia (2 weeks)
  • Math (1 week)
  • Ancient Mythologies: Babylon (2 weeks)


  • Math (1 week)
  • Ancient Mythologies: Egypt (2 weeks) *if Egypt becomes a fascination we have after Thanksgiving and all of December to spend some more time there
  • Celebrate Martinmas
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving


  • No Main Lesson
  • Holiday Prep
  • Advent
  • Celebrate Vincent’s Birthday
  • Celebrate Tom’s Birthday
  • Celebrate Christmas


  • Math (3 weeks)
  • Celebrate Sheila’s Birthday


  • Ancient Mythologies: Greece (4 weeks)
  • Celebrate Candlemas


  • Greek History (4 weeks)
  • Celebrate Easter


  • Math/Geometry (4 weeks)


  • North American Geography (4 weeks)


  • Overflow/Wrap Up
  • State-mandated Testing

6 thoughts on “Grade 5 Layout

  1. greetings miss sheila (: i’m kind of back online and am glad that i’m able to stop by because i love your blog so xo
    have you a copy of eduardian lady? i have a copy and bought a copy for dove. it is BEAUTIFUL. i got a very inexpensive copy on
    i know you said “more later”, but will you at least tell those of us with bated breath whether you are planning on making a similar one? what an excellent idea! tell us more!

    • Oh how I have missed you!! Been thinking of you and your grandmother these past few days. Glad you had your own sleepover.

      Yes. I had a copy of the Country Diary from the library, but then bought my own from thrift books. It is so beautiful. Yes, we are planning on making our own. We will copy our monthly verses and poems, draw plants, birds and animals and also press some leaves, seeds and such. I am planning to do this over the course of the year (maybe twice a month), so we will get all 4 seasons. I’m thinking it will be perfect for botany and also Jude’s first grade nature study mini-blocks.

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