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5th Grade

Welcome fifth grade families!
See the 5th grade website to see what this grade is up to! 5th grade website
Your fifth grade teachers are:

Learning, Reflecting, and Taking Action… fifth graders’ learning experience culminates in a unique Primary Years Programme Exhibition, with many interesting adventures along the way.

If you want your child to be an educated, globally-minded citizen, then don’t let him or her miss out on fifth grade at Brown International Academy. In addition to being challenged academically through Brown’s research-based reading, writing and math curricula, your child will learn, reflect and act on a number of world issues and concerns. The result of this thoughtful combination of intellectual inquiry and global awareness is a child who is well prepared to achieve academic excellence in middle school and to lead peers in making our world a better place for all.

IB is guided by “inquiry,” which is defined as a search for knowledge. It moves students from their current level of understanding to a new and deeper level. The IB Primary Years Programme emphasizes the importance of students being inquirers. Through the units of inquiry, teachers are constantly encouraging curiosity. Lessons are developed in ways that allow students to wonder, ask questions and identify problems. Fifth graders are provided with opportunities to make connections between school learning and life outside of school.


When your child reaches fifth grade at Brown, he or she will learn about issues and topics that many children don’t learn about until much higher grade levels. These topics are investigated through six units of inquiry titled:

  • “Something to Believe In”
  • “Into the Great Wide Open”
  • “Think for Yourself”
  • “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”
  • “You Say You Want a Revolution”
  • and the culminating Primary Years Programme Exhibition.

In the unit of inquiry “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” children learn about humans’ responsibility to protect and conserve the Earth for future generations. They learn what role we play both in generating global problems and in solving them. Global warming, the impact of greenhouse gases and other scientific challenges are explored, as well as strategies to address them, such as renewable energy technologies and conservation of finite resources.

In “Something to Believe In,” students learn how belief systems and values define human character and influence life choices. They discover and become aware of human rights and the need to protect them, particularly those of women and children.


Once your child has inquired into these issues, he or she will reflect more deeply on their meaning.

For instance, in “Something to Believe In,” students reflect and talk in-depth about the meaning of human rights. Recently, students met with more than a dozen refugees from around the world. After the refugees explained what human rights means from their own personal experience, the students had the chance to make connections between those experiences and what they had learned in the classroom. It was a very moving and enlightening process for both the students and their guests.

Several students’ reflections demonstrate not only what they learned, but also the kind of action they want to take in the future based on their learning. Thalia said: “Their stories inspired me to look forward to helping kids in other countries. I will tell people that refugees are just like us — they are just from other countries.” Eliseo noted: ” Their stories made me feel like I was in their shoes. I just wanted to do something about it. The thing that shocked me the most was that they could not see their families. Their stories inspired me to take action and help others.”

Taking Action

Most importantly, your child will learn the power that comes with acting on his or her greater understanding of global concerns.

In “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” after reflecting on their own impact on the world, students implement a project that demonstrates their understanding of global warming and communicates the need for action to conserve the Earth for future generations.

Often, the students’ inquiries result in action. Recently, the students researched Brown’s recycling program and discovered that the school’s classrooms lacked a high quality recycling process. They decided to improve it significantly by seeking donated recycling bins, then washing and scrubbing them and setting a regular bin pick-up schedule. The students educated all students in the school about what can and cannot be recycled.

Primary Years Programme Exhibition

As if this level of learning, reflecting and acting isn’t enough, fifth grade students also spend several months preparing for and holding the PYP Exhibition every year. During Exhibition, children use a variety of arts, technology, and information and communication skills to develop a project that educates Exhibition participants on global issues or challenges, and ways in which participants can take action to address them. Projects might, for instance, include educating the public on the disparate resources found throughout the world. Students might compose a song or dance about world hunger. Most importantly, students will problem-solve a path to action and possible solutions to these global issues. All of these projects demonstrate how not only 5th graders, but all of us, can make a difference in the world in many wonderful and significant ways.

Making Our Community and World a Better Place

Our fifth graders are encouraged by their teachers and parents to make their community and world a better place in many other ways, including:

  • Mentoring their PYP buddies. Once a week, students at Brown talk to younger kids about what they are learning, read to them and act as role models. The fifth graders are held in particular esteem as role models to their younger peers.
  • Learning about history and nature conservation. Through their overnight camping trip to Balarat, fifth graders engage in a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about their state’s origins and natural surroundings. Through this experience, they challenge themselves to demonstrate the learner profile by participating in physically challenging activities and working collaboratively to solve problems.

Permanent link to this article: http://brown.dpsk12.org/classrooms/5th-grade/

PYP Exhibition

  As fifth graders at Brown International Academy get ready to graduate from elementary school and enter the next phase of their education, they also prepare to present their final assignment: Exhibition. This is an extended, in-depth, collaborative project. This involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. …

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