Upper Elementary

At Genesis Elementary, we take our responsibility to prepare our older students for the next step very seriously. In third, fourth, and fifth grade, the stakes for students are high. We build upon the knowledge they’ve gained in early elementary, giving them the tools and solidifying the academic foundation that will allow them to pursue future success in middle and high school.

But we also know that developing the whole child is essential, which is why Genesis Elementary makes a point to offer both an accelerated curriculum with traditional learning and enrichment classes and opportunities to develop physical, social, and emotional skills as well.

Reading and Writing

Third graders at Genesis Elementary work on the building blocks of language arts, including reading, spelling, handwriting, grammar, and writing. Accelerated Reader programs, as well as classroom discussion and quizzes, allow students to develop their comprehension and reference skills. Students master cursive in third grade, practicing it in their class work throughout the second half of the year. As students are developing these skills, they are also improving their vocabulary and spelling skills, with a weekly spelling curriculum and practice in mastering the grammatical foundation for writing. In third grade, Genesis Elementary students also focus on writing, stressing the steps in the writing process. Students in grades 3 through 5 are required to complete a research project, which offers them invaluable experience in navigating the research and writing process simultaneously.


Third grade at Genesis Elementary uses the Saxon Math program, which builds on the concepts they’ve learned while encouraging them to extend their knowledge. Math concepts taught in third grade include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with one-digit divisors, fractions, decimals, reading and constructing graphs, and word/story problems.

Geography, History, and Science

Third grade moves to geography and history, studying both physical and human geography. Reading & interpreting a map, including legends, political/elevation/route maps, and calculating distance, are a core component of third grade geography. In history, third graders explore a number of topics, including ancient human migration, early European exploration, and the formation of the 13 original colonies.

In science, third grade students learn the scientific method through the completion of a Science Fair project. Areas of study for third grade science include plants and animal life cycles, earth science, conservation, the water cycle, and simple machines.

Reading and Writing

The Language Arts curriculum in fourth grade is expansive, building upon the skills that students have built in earlier grades. Spelling and handwriting instruction continues, as does grammatical instruction. Reading instruction includes a focus on vocabulary, inferences, figures of speech, and differentiating between fact and opinion through units on poetry, multicultural literature, and stories of world events.  Fourth grade students explore creative writing, including description, character, and setting. They write personal responses, folk tales, biographies, and poetry as well as refine their skills in non-fiction writing by focusing on the mechanics of paragraph construction.


New concepts in fourth grade math include fractions, double-digit multiplication, double-digit division, geometry, word problems, decimals, measurement, and place value.

Geography, History, and Science

Fourth graders focus on both Florida and U.S. history. These units combine an exploration of the history of Florida’s origins and modern government with an exploration of the early American colonies through the American Revolution and the early stages of the United States.

In science, fourth graders pursue in-depth units on plant and animal structures and functions, ecosystems, matter, electricity and magnetism, weather, oceans, and human body systems among others. As in third grade, fourth graders follow the scientific method to complete a science project for the annual Science Fair.

Reading and Writing

Fifth grade language arts instruction builds upon what Genesis Elementary students have been learning throughout elementary school: spelling, vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing. Spelling skills focus not only on spelling but on dictionary skills, word structures, and affixes. Vocabulary is a key component of both reading and writing instruction, as it helps reading comprehension and writing skills. Fifth graders read to practice essential reading skills, critical thinking, and comprehension. Texts will challenge students to develop their higher-level thinking, writing, speaking, and listening skills while introducing them to a study of different genres.


Fifth grade math focuses on fractions, decimals, percentages, metric and standard measurement, ratios, and geometry. To be prepared for middle school and more advanced math, students also practice estimation, number theory, and problem solving, as well as mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

History and Science

In fifth grade, history focuses on an in-depth and exciting opportunity for students to learn about the United States and American History. Topics will include the origins of the nation, the Revolutionary War Part II (building on 4th grade instruction), and the development of the United States to the Civil War. In addition to these historical topics, map and globe reading skills and a study of regions, states, and capitals will also be a part of the curriculum.

Fifth grade science includes topics in life science, physical science, and earth science. Project-based learning will include group collaboration and one individual Science Fair project.

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