Language Arts

Reading and Writing skills are emphasized in Fifth Grade Language Arts, in addition to the mandatory grammar and vocabulary skills. Reading fluency and expression, as well as the ability to compare fiction to non-fiction are central tenants. The goal is to challenge each student to become independent, responsible and prepared for class. Students are encouraged to achieve their potential in a positive environment through classwork, homework, assessments and projects. Teaching methods are designed to appeal to multiple intelligences: Kenesthetic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Visual, Musical, Logical, Verbal and Naturalist. With a universal design for learning, the class utilizes: -Reader's Theater -Small Group Work -Literature Circles -Individual Writing Conferences -Use of Technology Aids and Programs in a cross curricular method with our Computer Lab Texts used include: -Wonder (a text integrated with social skills and religion) - Blood on the River (integrated with Social Studies and Reading) - The Thing About Jellyfish -Sophia's War (historical fiction integrated with Social Studies and Reading) -Exercises in English: Level E -Wordly Wise Book 5 -Wednesday Wars Reading skills that are worked on include:

- Text features

- Analyzing sequence

- Understanding the main idea/detail

- Inference

- Being able to spot problem/resolution

- Being able to compare/contrast characters related to plot/theme

- Understanding that theme is the central idea or message

- Recognizing speaker/narrator and how they are connected to the story

- Recognizing common literary devices

- Literary forms/why chosen by author

- Finding meanings of patterns found in myths

- Understanding an author’s use of persuasive techniques

- Learning to summarize

- Knowing the different characteristics of different genres

Writing skills worked on include: - Discuss ideas and plan writing with graphic organizers - Write stories with multiple paragraphs with certain requirements - Write informational pieces with certain requirements - Use citations to locate important information - Use note-taking skills - Create electronic documents using available features - Use a thesaurus - Revise for meaning and clarity - Proofread writing, use a checklist - Use organizational structures in writing - Write narratives that include elements of writing - Write responses to literature with important elements - Write research reports with essential parts - Write persuasive letters - Use varied word choice - Adjust tone and style for different writing purposes


On a typical day, students learn mathematical concepts by analyzing patterns and writing mathematical rules. Instruction frequently includes work at the board, the use of hands on materials, and working with partners or in small groups. Students in the Upper School go to a designated math room with our math instructor for math instruction. This room is equipped with a Mimeo Interactive Board to facilitate up to date teaching methods and create interactive modules for various concepts.


In the Fifth grade program of the “Christ Our Life” series, students are taught that the Church is God’s people. Every member has an important role to play within the Church and all members are called to serve. It is through the actions of its members, that the Church serves the needs of the people of God.
Additionally, students are taught the meaning of worshiping God in community. The worship of God includes prayer and service. We give worship to God through the celebration of the Eucharist and all the sacraments. Through a study of liturgy, the children become aware of Christ’s work of salvation. They learn to participate more fully in order to give thanks and praise to God.
Complementing this, students will get a sense of the Third World by studying missionary work in developing countries. Fifth Grade students begin to model leadership and social responsibility as they serve as Mass buddies for the Pre-Kindergarten students.


The main focus of our science curriculum is to study not only specific subject matter, but to also understand the history of science, to gain and increase general knowledge and learning how science a valuable tool in understanding our world. Science is a field of study that helps us interconnect systems of knowledge and is greatly helpful in promoting problem solving in the curriculum. In science, we focus on how and why things work. Students engage in multiple types of learning, including: -Discovery -Demonstration -Student-created reviews -Science projects -Group projects -Interactive modules including, videos, games, powerpoints, and Chromebook use and daily Mimeo Board use. Science in the 5th grade is focused on General Science. The course is designed around 3 specific areas: (1) Life Science; (2) Earth Science; and (3) Physical Science.
We will be covering such varied topics as -Simple living things -Weather -Forces and motion -The solar system -Body systems. The course is an excellent introduction to the more in-depth courses of the next three years. There will be numerous demonstrations, experiments, hands-on activities, and videos.

Social Studies

Social Studies curriculum in the Fifth Grade continues to focus on developing the student ability to understand history and how to apply lessons learned from that history to their understanding of present day. Topics begun in lower school are examined in more depth and with greater attention to application and understanding. Topics covered during this year include: -Native American Life -Early European Exploration -Original Colonies -The American Revolution -Development of the U.S. Government -Early U.S. political parties Texts used in this year include: -Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Grade 5 -Sophia's War (historical fiction novel) Learning methods include: -Significant cross curricular learning with Language Arts,Technology, and Art. -Large projects including projects on Early Explorers, The American Revolution, and an Artist Biography Project -Book based projects -Numerous field trips in the area, including one to The Museum of the American Indian, to Jamestown & Williamsburg, The National Gallery of Art, and a Movie Theater Field trip for a film based on a work of literature. -Small group work, literature circles, and use of various interactive technology modules. Skills and Strategies used: -Organization - Study Skills - Cooperative Teamwork - Public Speaking - Listening Skills - Listening Comprehension - Timeline & Map skills - Note-taking practice with Foldables and Interactive notebooks


The middle school Spanish program at St Bartholomew is intended to build student's confidence in communicating in Spanish. The curriculum presents grammar concepts verbally, visually, through interactive exercises, and through reading in order to improve comprehension, retention, and confidence. We engage students in activities that enable them to apply the concepts taught in an environment where the student feels safe to participate actively. Participation in class, which is conducted in Spanish, reinforces concepts, enhances vocabulary, improves pronunciation, and builds confidence. There is discussion of the different customs of Spanish-speaking countries, with a focus on specific places, local foods, holidays, and other traditions. Students are assigned projects throughout the year which reinforce reading and writing skills. Listening skills are taught through activities that include games, songs, and dramatization. During these four years students attend two hours of class weekly. Teaching materials include textbooks, videos, CDs, presentations, and the internet. Their textbook includes a workbook which the student should use for practice at home, and an interactive website with various activities. Fifth Grade Spanish focuses particularly on: -Participating in brief conversations that emphasize previously learned material and vocabulary -Reciting rhymes and poetry -Writing in complete, grammatically correct, sentences.


Students will continue to learn and build skills in the following areas: -Microsoft Word 2010 -History of Computers, -Power Point -Internet Safety and Surfing -Excel -Computer Languages -Multimedia -Graphics -Publisher -Robotics -Windows 7 -Typing Drills Students continue to work with their secure school email accounts so that they can work on Google Docs and Google Slides at home and in the classroom with Chromebooks. Students in Fifth Grade come to the computer lab once a week.

STEM Class

STEM class is currently offered once a week for students in grade 5-8, in addition to an after school club offered for all ages. Each week, STEM class works to address science, technology, engineering, and math skills in a highly engaging environment. Students develop communication and collaborative skills by working in groups to solve real-world problems and develop robotics skills. Throughout their projects, students will use the engineering design process to

  1. Ask what the problem is
  2. Imagine possible solutions
  3. Plan to create a prototype
  4. Create and test a prototype
  5. And improve that design

The St. Bartholomew curriculum complies with the Archdiocese of Washington's accredited curriculum standards.  

To find out more about our specific program at each grade level, select subjects to the left.