(9 to 12 years; Grades 4 – 6)
Students of the upper elementary level transition from learning by hands-on-experiences to the abstract understanding of concepts. New thinking brings a growing sense of membership in society. Work on group projects, use of community resources (such as libraries and museums) and an expansion in field study become important new elements in the curriculum. Children go on fossil digs, study lifestyles of ancient peoples in cultural anthropology experiences, and tour early American historical sites. Music and art classes occur weekly with enough time to complete projects and research. The introduction of homework teaches social skills in monitoring work, meeting dead-lines responsibly, and using textbooks efficiently. Mastery learning assumes a new dimension in the upper elementary class with 95% accuracy required in math testing before students can progress. Upper elementary students provide service to others by aiding younger children in their lessons and sharing research results with other classes.