Elementary School Course Catalog (2023-2024)
All core subject courses are aligned to the national standards. For math and English Language Arts, they are aligned to the Common Core. For science, Next Generation Science Standards, and for social studies, the C3 Framework from the National Council for Social Studies.
All elementary school projects integrate math, ELA, and science and/or social studies into each project. There are twelve projects to complete in a year to cover all grade level content. Projects are all four modules and include a culminating Final Product for students to demonstrate their understanding of the project’s driving question. Project sequences are driven by the mathematics skills taught and used in them, with meaningful, rigorous ELA, science, and social studies connections woven in as they are relevant.
Below is a list of third grade projects in the recommended sequence:
Students will take on the role of an archaeologist and get to explore the fossil record. They will consider the purposes of rounding numbers in conjunction with estimating the age of a fossil, and they will get to read a novel dealing with a favorite childhood fossil - dinosaurs.
Students will explore some of the problems that humans may have caused on Earth, as well as ingenious, creative solutions that people have come up with to help save the planet, in particular using super cool magnets.
Students will consider the meaning of family in a much broader sense than the traditional definition, and they will connect this idea to “families” in the animal kingdom. Students will also focus on learning new vocabulary, an important reading skill and crucial for other other subjects, too.
Students will continue their exploration of the animal kingdom as they read about another fictional animal’s story and apply their new learning about division to design enclosures for a zoo. Students will also explore the intersection of climates in both science and social studies.
Students will take on the role of a magician as they make connections between math, patterns and the concept of force to create their own magic trick.
In combining information about area, life cycles and change over time, students will work as a botanist to logically plan out a garden. The students will use integration of ideas from informational texts to help support their planning.
Students will act as a city planner as they create a new city. They will learn and apply information about shapes and perimeter and will develop an understanding of creating and using maps.
While working through a novel study to focus on key ideas and details, students will incorporate information about fractions to design a restaurant. They will learn about the engineering required to create an oven and a cooler. They will learn how to understand and convey their opinions while developing questionnaires.
In the role of an agricultural farmer, students work on using the measurement of length and knowledge about traits to develop a farm. They will dive into word study and learn about the importance of idea integration using different texts.
As students zoom through this project while assuming the role of a race car driver, students will learn about the transportation of goods and ideas. They will learn about telling time, developing and sharing an opinion and identifying key ideas.
Students will act as marine biologists to learn about habitats and how they change. They will apply that information while learning about volume and mass. Narrative and figurative language will be explored as students gain a new understanding of the craft and structure of literature.
While working through understanding the craft and structure of an engaging informational series, students will learn about catastrophic events and severe weather. They will act as meteorologists to develop bar graphs and incorporate technology and notetaking to convey their information.
Below is a list of fourth grade projects in the recommended sequence:
Students are introduced to geometry concepts and they apply this knowledge to designing a bridge. After working through the engineering process, they create and present a slideshow proposal of their work.
Students learn about “difference makers” by studying a biography, in addition to learning about how the US government works. They consider how they can make a difference in their own communities and by participating in civic duties.
Students explore data and ways to represent and work with large numbers as they consider their carbon footprints. They also consider the instruction of science and civics as they explore environmental policy making.
Students consider what it means to be a hero, both by reflecting on their own lives and heroes, as well as through a novel study. Further, they connect their learning about animal and plant adaptations to the animal characters they read about.
Students are introduced to the long division algorithm and make the connection between mathematical algorithms and coding algorithms. They have the opportunity to code their own video game, as well as engage in research and persuasive writing about their own screen time limits.
Students put their learning about adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing together to solve word problems associated with planning a vacation. They learn about countries around the world from a variety of perspectives, including that of an economist considering international trade implications.
Students zero in on their own community and connect science, social studies, ELA, and art through photography. Students will learn about light and their community in order to create a photo essay.
Students will explore how to live efficiently and effectively, while also learning about area, perimeter, and the mathematics of interior design. They will understand how energy is transferred and converted to power a home, and they will get to design their own energy transforming device.
Students will get to learn a lot about geology in this project as they explore rock layers, fossils, erosion, and maps of Earth’s features. They will connect the idea of timelines and models to mathematical number lines.
Students will look at music as poetry and fractions in this unique project. They will understand examples of figurative language and consider how fractions, though sometimes difficult, are part of their everyday lives in ways they may never have considered.
Students will read about a fictional “lemonade war” while considering the very real economics concepts associated with running a lemonade stand. In addition to the social studies skills, they will see how mathematics is crucial in business, too.
Below is a list of fifth grade projects in the recommended sequence:
Students will start off the year with a deep review, as well as adding to their knowledge of place value concepts. They will connect their mathematical learning with an understanding of just how vast the water system on Earth is, and how access to clean water is an important humanitarian consideration.
Students will imagine life on other planets! They will explore the distance of the sun and stars, model seasonal changes, multiply large numbers, and compare literary themes. They will get to apply their learning to opinion writing.
Students will learn about the rich Native American history and present-day culture in the US, while also understanding the devastating effects that the US government and colonists had on Native American populations.
Students engage in ecological studies related to the role that plants and animals play in food chains and food webs. Students will get to study an ecosystem in Florida to make literary connections to their new biology knowledge.
Students will learn about many diverse, inspirational people, particularly one refugee from Vietnam and her move to the US as they read her memoir. They will also get the chance to research and write their own biography about someone who inspires them, and then turn it into a mini documentary.
Students will learn all about automobiles, what powers them, and the engineers who work on them. They will practice informational text skills while also learning about how important measurement and conversion is in engineering and design. Students will have many opportunities to actually build, test, and refine their own designs, too.
Students will learn about volume and the properties of matter. Through a novel studyl, they will discover that “believing is seeing” as many of the properties of matter are not visible characteristics. They will graph points on a coordinate plane and create a board game based on the novel.
Students will focus on gravity and the benefits to humans of that force. They will read informational texts and engage in mini-experiments that show gravitational force at work. Using patterns of numbers, students will create ordered pairs and practice graphing on a coordinate plane. Finally students will learn programming through Scratch and create an animation teaching others about gravity.
Students will add and subject fractions while they learn about the development of the United States of America. Through informational articles, they will explore the ways the USA has been shaped by events. They will create an opinion essay related to the History of the country.
Students will discover the Science and Math within cooking as they don their chef’s hats! They will practice multiplying and dividing fractions as they learn about recipes and ingredient measurements. Students will create an informational essay related to creating a favorite meal.
Students will explore their responsibilities to nature and the environment as they learn about environmental concepts such as deforestation and pollution. They will plot on a line graph within Mathematics and learn how to be stewards of nature as they create a children’s book to share with others.
Last Updated September 2023