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Curriculum

Below you will find the subject overviews for each grade in the Lower School, which were revised and approved during Trinity's re-accreditation process.

Transitional Kindergarten

Bible

The Transitional Kindergarten curriculum makes no separation between the secular and the spiritual. A Christian worldview undergirds the curriculum, and Biblical principles are integrated into all content areas. Students listen to and respond to the daily reading of Bible stories and participate in group prayer. They learn to use Biblical principles to solve interpersonal conflict in the classroom. Students sing Christian hymns and songs and memorize selected Scripture verses throughout the year.


Language Arts

The Transitional Kindergarten curriculum is designed to expose children to a broad range of rich, age-appropriate literature. The goal is to prime the pump for reading by modeling a love and enjoyment of books. Children listen to picture books, the Bible, and poetry read aloud daily. Awareness of letters and their sounds is provided through games, finger plays, and songs. Students use their auditory and visual senses along with movement and touch as part of their pre-reading learning. A variety of activities, such as squeezing, cutting, pasting, making shapes with Play-doh, and building with Legos, strengthens and develops their muscle control for handwriting. An appreciation of God’s beauty through words and pictures is enfolded into the everyday activities and prayerfully into the children’s hearts.

Mathematics

The Transitional Kindergarten curriculum provides students with a strong mathematical foundation. The understanding of basic concepts is accomplished through the active use and exploration of a wide range of concrete objects encountered during play and meaningful teacher-directed activities. Students use blocks, manipulatives, paint, sand, water, and other materials to count, sort, compare, and make simple patterns and designs.

History

Science

The Transitional Kindergarten curriculum places a strong emphasis on exposing children to the natural world. It provides structured and spontaneous contact with nature and exposure to scientific concepts in a classroom setting in order to help students understand and appreciate the order, harmony, and beauty in God’s world.


Art

The Art curriculum for Transitional Kindergarten introduces young students to the art in the world around them while also fostering self-confidence in their own abilities. Students develop observation skills, explore their own imagination, develop eye-hand coordination through the manipulation of materials and tools, and discover the art and artists of other times and places. Students build a strong foundation of understanding the vocabulary of art as they are introduced to the elements and principles of design. Fostering integration with the classroom studies, the curriculum allows students to observe how artists featured in their class’s picture studies (as well as selected other artists) utilize these elements and principles. This segment of Trinity’s Lower School Art curriculum builds levels of competency and manual dexterity while introducing students to a wide range of media in a process-driven creation of both 2- and 3-dimensional works of art.

Music

The Transitional Kindergarten curriculum provides the tools for learning to build students’ musical skills in the early elementary grades through a holistic and integrated approach using sensory and motor exploration. In Music, students are introduced to the Western European and American heritage through folk songs and hymns, folk songs in the Spanish language, the music of G. F. Handel, musical games, and living books and stories. They explore this literature through singing, dancing, movement, playing music games, playing instruments, and solfege exercises. Students discover the wonder of God’s creation through sound stories, listening exercises, creative movement, and musical walks. They learn to recognize classical works through gentle listening repetition, building a relationship with the composers and connecting these through games and stories.


Charlotte Mason Studies

Narration: Narration trains the young students’ minds to attend to detail and appreciate the art and the form of what is under study. Transitional Kindergarten students are beginning to develop their ability to express themselves verbally and to focus attention for extended, but defined, periods of time. For oral narrations in the higher grades, the teachers read through a passage or story one time, and the students retell the events in detail and in chronological order; in Transitional Kindergarten, students prepare for this by listening to a story and recalling the main events and characters within it.

Nature Studies: Transitional Kindergarten Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry and observation for the students as they explore God’s world. “Pre-Mason” nature observations are done in the context of the unit studies. For example, during the study of rocks, minerals, and caves, the children collect and examine rocks they find in Trinity’s outdoor play areas. The students talk together about the things they observe, and occasionally the children dictate their observations as a way of understanding that what they observe can be recorded in written form.

Picture Studies: Transitional Kindergarten Picture Studies allow the students to study and observe great works of art. The children have an opportunity to enjoy art by absorbing the details and impression of the work in memorable detail. The Transitional Kindergarten year is a time to be exposed to a variety of artists and artistic styles. The curriculum features a variety of art materials to help recreate the styles of various artists.

Music Studies: In Transitional Kindergarten, students take part in “Pre-Mason” music studies. The children are exposed to music throughout the day in the regular classroom, and also during Music class. The Music teacher plays several pieces by a specific composer. She also shares biographical information about the composer. All of these elements help young children prepare for the more detailed Charlotte Mason music studies in the higher grades.

Kindergarten

Bible

The Kindergarten Bible curriculum has no separation between the secular and the spiritual. A Christian worldview undergirds the curriculum, and Biblical principles are integrated into all content areas. Kindergarten students listen and respond to the daily reading of Bible stories and participate in group prayer. They utilize Biblical principles to solve interpersonal conflict in the classroom, sing Christian hymns and songs, and memorize selected Scripture verses.

Language Arts

The Kindergarten Language Arts curriculum is designed to instill a love for the written word and point children to God, the Master Storyteller. Our thematic approach exposes children to a broad range of rich, living books—from books about natural habitats, to books that explore what it means to be an artist, to fanciful literature. Students will begin to make connections between books, characters, themes, and personal experience. They will expand their vocabulary and develop a love of language. They will also begin to learn about written language through reading-readiness activities, such as attention to sounds for the development of phonemic awareness, the recognition and identification of letters and their sounds, and the decoding of simple words. Fine-motor activities strengthen their hand muscles for beginning writing skills such as writing names and number formation. A multisensory approach is used so that students learn through all their senses. All of this is done in a steady, unhurried manner and from a thoroughly Christian perspective.

Mathematics

The Kindergarten Mathematics curriculum is designed to introduce students to basic mathematical concepts through the use and manipulation of concrete materials, observation, and problem solving within the classroom experience, as well as through the natural extension of literature. Children of this age have a high level of interest in comparing, quantifying, and measuring things as they seek to make sense of the world around them, and Trinity’s hands-on approach makes the most of this natural enthusiasm. The concepts covered include number sense, patterns, sorting/ordering/comparing, shapes, measurement, and the collection and representation of data.

History and Geography

The Kindergarten History curriculum is presented from the Christian perspective of God working through men across time to accomplish His perfect will. To this end, relevant historical ideas and events are introduced and expanded through literature-based unit studies. Geography is presented as one of the wonders of creation. The unit studies include the following categories:

Biblical history: The Old and New Testaments, the life of Christ
American history: The first Thanksgiving, Native Americans, presidents, elections
Biographies: Christopher Columbus, John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), St. Nicholas, Martin Luther King Jr., Wilson Bentley, St. Valentine, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, St. Patrick, Edgar Dégas, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse
Geography: The continents (North America [U.S.]; South America; Europe [France, Germany]; Africa; Asia [China, Japan]; Australia; Antarctica)

Science

The Kindergarten Science curriculum places a strong emphasis on exposing students to the natural world. It provides structured and spontaneous contact with nature and exposure to scientific concepts both inside and outside the classroom. The students develop a sense of the order and beauty in the life cycle of many animals and plants and gain an appreciation for the artful creation of habitats by our awesome God.

Art

The Art curriculum for Kindergarten introduces young students to the art in the world around them while also fostering self-confidence in their own abilities. Students develop observation skills, explore their own imagination, develop eye-hand coordination through the manipulation of materials and tools, and discover the art and artists of other times and places. Students build a strong foundation of understanding the vocabulary of art as they are introduced to the elements and principles of design. Fostering integration with the classroom studies, the curriculum allows students to observe how artists featured in their class’s picture studies (as well as selected other artists) utilize these elements and principles. This segment of Trinity’s Lower School Art curriculum builds levels of competency and manual dexterity while introducing students to a wide range of media in a process-driven creation of both 2- and 3-dimensional works of art.

Music

The Kindergarten Music curriculum provides a pre-grammar-stage continuation of the musical skills learned in Transitional Kindergarten. In Music, students learn to participate in the joy of music as an integral part of the human experience. Through exposure to a rich musical environment, students study in further depth the Western European and American heritage by learning folk songs and hymns, by learning about the life and times of Bach, and by learning folk dances and game songs. Students interact with the wonder of God’s natural world through sound stories, program music, creative movement, and musical walks. They experience the joy of creating sound with Orff rhythm instruments and singing, and they explore instruments from foreign countries. The beauty and order in music theory are introduced through simple exposure during singing, playing, and chanting, in preparation for music studies in later grades.

Charlotte Mason Studies

Nature Studies
Kindergarten Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry, observation, and drawing. Nature Studies are carried out in parallel with unit studies that are part of other Kindergarten curriculum subjects such as science, history, and art. In Nature Studies, students document observed details of objects found in nature, either by reproducing the details in pictures or by describing them in writing. These studies take advantage of seasonal opportunities that lend authenticity and provide richness to the curriculum.

Picture Studies
In Picture Studies students observe and study great works of art. They focus their attention on a particular piece of art, absorbing its details and thereby creating a memorable impression of the work. After a period of examination, the piece of artwork is hidden, and students share their observations and feelings about the piece with the class. When students share their thoughts without the artwork being visible, a picture is recreated in their mind’s eye that reinforces a lasting memory and creates an appreciation of the work being studied. The students then look at the artwork once again and identify the title of the painting and the artist; they may also discuss in even greater detail what they see. Students may be given the opportunity to reproduce the work of art themselves in various media.

Music Studies
Over the course of the school year, students listen repeatedly to works by several composers. The composers chosen for Music Studies differ greatly in style, and students begin to be able to differentiate between their works. In these studies, the students listen to a portion of a work or an entire selection, and they are given a chance to share their observations afterwards. Students are asked to tell what they heard and how the music made them feel. Following this attentive listening activity, they are given additional exposure to the recordings when they are played at snacktime or lunchtime, or during art/craft projects.

First Grade

Bible

The first grade Bible curriculum seeks to help the students answer the question, “Who is God?” Throughout the year, they learn about God’s triune nature, His plan for salvation, and the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. The students are taught that all truth is God’s truth, and they are led to worship Him in class and in assemblies. The Bible curriculum anchors the monthly science and history units with relevant Scriptures, which serve to undergird the curriculum with Biblical principles and a Christian world view.

Language Arts

Language Arts in first grade at Trinity is a dynamic year of discovery, as students are exposed to much of the written code of the English language and individually acquire the skills necessary to decode it. God has given us many wonderful gifts in His creation; as the students acquire the initial foundation for reading and writing, they are given the tools they need to explore, understand, and express their thoughts about these gifts. The reading curriculum Trinity uses is phonemic in nature and helps students connect the sounds they already use in oral language to the written print. The curriculum is integrated with the writing and spelling programs, as students reinforce their reading skills through written activities on the whiteboard, mapping words and writing sentences that have been dictated to them. Trinity's handwriting program is fundamental to the success of the Language Arts program: research is clear that students who learn a consistent way to form letters free up their minds to focus on the content of their written work. Much of the written work in first grade consists of guided writing assignments and copywork, in which the students copy poems and other pieces that model excellent writing.


Mathematics

The first grade Mathematics curriculum seeks to equip students with a solid foundation in the language and basic concepts of all areas of mathematics, including calendar skills, time, fractions, geometry, graphing, measurement, money, number facts, and number sense. Learning is presented in increments, with time provided between increments for practice. Children are taught using a multisensory approach, with numerous opportunities to use manipulatives. Mathematical concepts are presented throughout the year, with new learning building upon prior knowledge. The study of mathematics in first grade conveys and reflects a sense of the orderliness of God’s creation.

History



The first grade History curriculum helps students discover what history is and how people influence history. The first unit begins with personal geography, “Me on the Map,” so that the students understand where they live in the world. Further study includes the lives and time periods of influential people, including Jesus, Leonardo da Vinci, Squanto, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John James Audubon, and Beatrix Potter. Many of these biographies directly integrate with our studies in science. Students compare present-day life to a child’s life at various times in history. Fairy tales and an introduction to the medieval era are studied in order to present the classic tales to children and help them practice distinguishing fact from fiction during historical time periods.

Science



The first grade Science curriculum assists students in discovering scientific principles through exploration of the natural world. Using an inquiry approach, the children explore the life, earth, and physical sciences. Units of study include light, color, the human body, birds, plants, water, and weather. Students experience the scientific process by observing, dissecting, sorting, making predictions, making models, recording data, comparing and contrasting results, and drawing what they see. Through this exploration they discover the wonder and awe of the universe that God created.

Art

The Art curriculum for grades TK–3 introduces young students to the beauty of art in the world created by God while also fostering self-confidence in their own abilities. Students develop observation skills, explore their own imagination, develop eye-hand coordination through the manipulation of materials and tools, and discover the art and artists of other times and places. A strong foundation of understanding art’s vocabulary is built as students are introduced to the elements and principles of design. As a means of fostering integration with classroom curriculum, students observe how artists from their class’s picture studies as well as selected others utilize these elements and principles. This segment of Trinity’s Lower School Art curriculum builds levels of competency and manual dexterity while introducing students to a wide range of media in a process-driven method of creating both 2- and 3-dimensional works of art.


Music

The first grade Music curriculum is a pre-grammar-stage course that continues to build on the foundation of musical skills from transitional kindergarten and kindergarten. Through the rich musical repertoire of American game and folk songs, French folk songs, stories, and great choral literature, the students weave together the elements of music by singing, playing Orff and unpitched percussion instruments, and participating in folk dance and creative movement. Music instruction at Trinity seeks to provide students with the tools to explore and develop that part of their being that resonates with the joyful creativity of God.


Physical Education

PE Photos here

The primary focus of the first grade Physical Education curriculum is on the body. This focus includes helping students to use their minds to learn, as well as to understand how to honor God with their bodies and attitudes. The Bible says that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God clearly designed the human body for movement, making physical education a vital part of the educational experience. The Physical Education department seeks to develop students’ appreciation and enjoyment of physical activity by introducing them to a wide variety of physical activities and games. First grade Physical Education teaches students various ways in which they can use their bodies for both fitness and God’s glory. Students discover the importance of sportsmanship and attitude while also learning how to adjust to new activities.

Spanish

The first grade Spanish curriculum introduces the spoken Spanish language in a classroom setting. Spanish communication and comprehension skills are developed through interactive games, question-and-answer sessions, storytelling, and music. Through an emphasis on basic conversation skills and memorization, the students gain confidence in their ability to learn a foreign language.


Charlotte Mason Studies

Narration
Narration trains the students’ minds to attend to detail and appreciate the art and the form of what is under study. First grade students are still developing their ability to express themselves verbally and to focus their attention for extended but defined periods of time. Thus, narration receives greater emphasis as the year progresses. Oral narrations provide a wonderful opportunity for students to practice skills of attention and self-expression and simultaneously to build confidence. The teacher reads through a passage or story one time, and then the students are asked to retell the events in detail and in chronological order. Oral narrations may include readings from the Bible, The First Thanksgiving, various fairy tales, or written passages abut trees, birds, plants, or the human body.


Nature Studies
First grade Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry, observation, journaling, and painting. They are carried out in parallel with unit studies that are part of the regular curriculum of other subjects, such as science, history, and art. For example, students document the observed details of objects from nature using dry-brush watercolor painting as part of the science curriculum. Nature Studies also take advantage of seasonal opportunities, which provide an authenticity and richness to this part of the curriculum.

Picture Studies
Picture Studies allow children to study and observe great works of art. Students learn to enjoy these pieces by absorbing their details and forming personal impressions. The teacher displays a reproduction of a great work of art and, after a period of observation, the artwork is concealed. The students then share their observations and feelings about it with the rest of the class. By sharing without the artwork being visible, the picture is recreated in the mind’s eye, which reinforces a lasting memory and creates an appreciation for the artwork being studied. In first grade, children study the following artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Renoir, Seurat, and Miró.

Music Studies
A number of different composers are chosen for the first grade Music Studies. These composers differ greatly in style, making it easy for the students to differentiate between their works, and over the course of the school year, students listen repeatedly to several works by each of these composers. The students listen to a piece (either an entire selection or a portion), and they are then given a chance to share their observations. Students are asked to tell what they heard (e.g., tempo, mode, dynamics, instruments) and how the music made them feel. Following the attentive-listening activity, the students are given additional exposure to the recording as it is played during appropriate times (during Nature Study drawing sessions, snacktime, or lunch, or while completing art/craft projects). To add interest and to encourage appreciation, the classroom teacher may present a brief biographical sketch of the composer and information about the time period during which he/she lived.

Second Grade

Bible

The second grade Bible curriculum teaches the history of God’s faithfulness and provision for His people. This goal is accomplished through a variety of resources. The Old Testament study focuses on the history of Abraham, Joseph, Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, and Joshua. The class also does an in-depth study of Psalm 23. The New Testament study focuses on the life of Jesus: His birth, crucifixion, and resurrection.

Language Arts

The primary goal of second grade Language Arts is to build a foundation for communication through reading, grammar, writing, spelling, and handwriting. This is accomplished through word study, reading instruction, and writing practice. Students become equipped to see God’s truth, goodness, and beauty in the written and spoken word as well as to respond to his truth through writing and speaking.

Mathematics

The second grade Mathematics curriculum enables students to develop a solid foundation in the language and basic concepts of second grade mathematics. This enables them to appreciate God’s orderly creation and glimpse His master design. The concepts covered include number facts, numeration, graphing, time, measurement, money, fractions, and the laws of geometry.

History

The second grade History curriculum centers around the founding of our country, with an emphasis on the state of North Carolina. Students learn about state symbols and geography, the Native American tribes who lived here, early colonists, and the lighthouses along the North Carolina coast. Students gain an understanding of the first colonists, the hardships they faced, and what life was like during that time period. They also recognize the faith that led many of these settlers to come to America and how God protected and provided for them.

Science

The second grade Science curriculum fosters an awe for and recognition of the wonder of God's creation. This is accomplished as students observe a variety of life sciences and physical sciences in action. They learn about animal tracking; magnets; the three states of matter; the properties of air and flight; life cycles of frogs, butterflies, and chickens; insects; and bats.


Art

The Art curriculum for grades TK–3 introduces young students to the beauty of art in the world created by God while also fostering self-confidence in their own abilities. Students develop observation skills, explore their own imagination, develop eye-hand coordination through the manipulation of materials and tools, and discover the art and artists of other times and places. A strong foundation of understanding art’s vocabulary is built as students are introduced to the elements and principles of design. As a means of fostering integration with the classroom curriculum, students observe how artists from their class’s picture studies as well as selected others utilize these elements and principles. This segment of Trinity’s Lower School Art curriculum builds levels of competency and manual dexterity while introducing students to a wide range of media in a process-driven method of creating both 2- and 3-dimensional works of art.

Music

The second grade Music curriculum is a pre-grammar-stage course that continues to build the musical skills whose foundation is laid in transitional kindergarten–grade 1. Through the rich musical repertoire of American play parties and folk songs, Native American songs, French folk songs, stories, and great choral literature, students weave together the elements of music by singing, playing Orff instruments and unpitched percussion, and participating in folk dance and creative movement. Music instruction at Trinity seeks to provide students with the tools to explore and develop that part of their being that resonates with the joyful creativity of God.

Foreign Language

The second grade Spanish curriculum introduces spoken Spanish language in a classroom setting. Spanish communication and comprehension skills are encouraged through interactive games, question-and-answer sessions, storytelling, and music. Spanish-speaking countries, cultures, and traditions are discussed. The students begin to speak Spanish with confidence through emphasis on basic conversation skills and memorization.

Physical Education

Third Grade

Bible

The third grade Bible curriculum uses the Egermeier Bible Story Book to teach the history of God’s faithfulness and provision for his people. Study of the whole Biblical narrative begins with the creation stories and moves through the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and the Israelites. As students learn the stories of Saul, David, Solomon, and the prophets, they learn more about God’s character and His promises to bless and save the world through David’s line. In the New Testament, study focuses on the birth, life, miracles, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, followed by the life of the early church and its apostles.

Language Arts

The third grade Language Arts curriculum introduces students to a rich variety of texts and writing opportunities. Students build upon the foundational skills learned in previous years to read with increasing fluency and expression, to read and comprehend deeply, and to communicate effectively in their own writing. Through reading and response, both oral and written, third graders expand their vocabularies and gain a firmer grasp of grammar, spelling conventions, and handwriting skills. Integration with other areas of the curriculum, including science, history, and Bible, gives students the opportunity to use their language arts skills to delve more deeply into all learning. By reading a variety of well-written literature, children come to appreciate the God-given gift of communication.


Mathematics

The third grade Mathematics curriculum focuses on mastering basic math facts, developing computational skills involving whole numbers, and solving problems using traditional and student-generated methods. Concepts introduced or expanded upon include place value, time and money, multistep word problems, fractions and decimals, geometry, and measurement. Students learn that mathematics is bound with other disciplines, such as art, science, and geography, and gain an appreciation for its order and precision. Mathematics shows God’s consistency of holding things together by His fixed laws.


History

The third grade History curriculum integrates geography in three main units: New World explorers, U.S. states, and countries of the world. Third graders use their increasingly independent reading and writing skills to conduct research in each unit. The History curriculum emphasizes map-making and map-reading, skimming and scanning, and simple report-writing. Individual presentations of each student’s independent research conclude each unit as the class celebrates Explorer Day, State Day, and Country Day. Throughout this study of man’s exploration and expansion from one country to another, students continue to learn how God’s faithfulness remains constant in all things.

Science

The third grade Science curriculum develops students’ observational and research skills in three major units: planets and space, animals, and biomes. In the first semester, third graders study the composition and motion of the earth, the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the wider universe. The second semester focuses on the life and habitats of our own planet. The study of animals builds critical thinking and classification skills, while the study of biomes integrates with our history unit, Countries of the World, to give a well-rounded picture of life on earth. In all science units, students work in teams to conduct research and present their findings. As they study the wonders of God’s creation, students will discuss ways that we humans can appreciate and care for the world we’ve been given.

Art

The Art curriculum for grades TK–3 introduces young students to the beauty of art in the world created by God while also fostering self-confidence in their own abilities. Students develop observation skills, explore their own imagination, develop eye-hand coordination through the manipulation of materials and tools, and discover the art and artists of other times and places. A strong foundation of understanding art’s vocabulary is built as students are introduced to the elements and principles of design. As a means of fostering integration with the classroom curriculum, students observe how artists from their class’s picture studies as well as selected others utilize these elements and principles. This segment of Trinity’s Lower School Art curriculum builds levels of competency and manual dexterity while introducing students to a wide range of media in a process-driven method of creating both 2- and 3-dimensional works of art.

Music

The third grade Music curriculum is a beginning grammar-stage course that continues to build musical skills previously developed in TK–grade 2. Through the rich musical repertoire of American play parties and folk songs, French and German folk songs, folk tales, and great choral literature, the curriculum weaves together the elements of music through singing, the playing of recorders and Orff Instruments, folk dance, and creative movement. Students also explore the life, times, and compositions of well-known composers. Third graders focus on Peter Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Suite. Students are also introduced to classical ballet, focusing on Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Music instruction at Trinity seeks to provide students with the tools to explore and develop that part of their being that resonates with the joyful creativity of God.


Physical Education (PE)

The primary focus of the third grade Physical Education curriculum is on the body. This focus includes helping students to use their minds to learn as well as to understand how to honor God with their bodies and attitudes. The Bible says that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God clearly designed the human body for movement, making physical education a vital part of the educational experience. The Physical Education department seeks to develop students’ appreciation and enjoyment of physical activity by introducing them to a wide variety of physical activities and games. Third grade PE introduces and develops various ways in which students can use their bodies for both fitness and God’s glory. During this year, students learn how to be part of a team and how to act towards classmates that are on their own or an opposing team. They are taught sportsmanship and teamwork while learning physical and social skills.

Spanish

The third grade Spanish curriculum focuses on speaking and understanding the Spanish language. Spanish communication and comprehension skills are encouraged through interactive games, question-and-answer sessions, storytelling, and music. Spanish-speaking countries, cultures, and traditions are discussed. The students learn to converse with confidence in Spanish and to take classroom direction in Spanish. Students experience the wonder and beauty of other people groups in God’s family through the Spanish language and culture.

Charlotte Mason Studies

Narration: In third grade, both written and oral narrations are incorporated into many of the subject areas of the curriculum. However, since the students are still in the process of developing their writing skills, oftentimes oral narrations are the most productive, informative, and rewarding. One careful reading, either by the student or the teacher, is followed by a recounting of the details of the story. Similarly, descriptions of the details of a picture or nature scene are told or written following a short but focused viewing of the object or art. In this way, as Mason’s approach outlines, students’ minds are trained not only to attend the details but also to appreciate the art and the form of that which is under study.

Nature Studies: Third grade Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry, observation, journaling, and painting at this very important age. Nature Studies are carried out in parallel with unit studies that are part of the regular curriculum of other subjects, such as science, history, and art. For example, the students document observational details using dry-brush watercolor painting as part of the science curriculum. Nature Studies also take advantage of seasonal opportunities that provide authenticity and richness to the curriculum.

Picture Studies: Picture Studies allow students to study and observe great works of art. The students have an opportunity to enjoy a work of art by absorbing the details and impression of the work in memorable detail. After an initial observation time, the artwork is concealed, and students share their observations of and feelings about it with the class. By sharing without the artwork's being visible, the picture is recreated in the mind’s eye, which reinforces a lasting memory and appreciation for the art being studied. Third graders study the artists Monet and Giotto.

Music Studies: Third graders listen to a number of works by the composers Ives, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and Korsakov as part of their Music Studies curriculum. These composers offer a range of styles for students to recognize and appreciate. Throughout the year, classroom teachers play pieces by these composers, either as background music when the students are completing other work, or during times when the children are asked to listen more attentively for identification of interesting musical features. Classroom listening ties in well with the Music curriculum, in which students begin to acquire the ability to distinguish the different instruments of a complex symphonic piece. The teacher may also give background information on the composers so that the students can appreciate the music in the context of the culture or history of the period during which it was composed. Students are often encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings about the music, and in particular, their observations of tempo, mode, and dynamics, as well as the featured instruments.

Fourth Grade

Bible

The fourth grade Bible curriculum focuses on the Old Testament. By reading the Old Testament narratives and memorizing verses from both the Old and New Testaments, students begin to comprehend how God leads, teaches, and disciplines His people. Additionally, fourth graders' study of the book of James equips them with practical knowledge for daily Christlike behavior.

Language Arts

The fourth grade Language Arts curriculum provides students with opportunities to read and write both independently and cooperatively. Selected literature serves as a springboard into discussions about moral and social issues that are discussed during Bible lessons. Class discussions, written work, activities, and projects contribute to the development of independent reading and interest in many genres. Students learn the fundamentals of writing mechanics and acquire the tools to express their ideas in a clear and well-organized manner. The Spelling curriculum allows students to continue their work on the phonetic patterns of words, dictionary skills, and editing. Through literature and their own writings, students learn more fully the purpose for the written word and how to evaluate it through the lens of a Christian worldview.

Mathematics

The fourth grade Mathematics program focuses on the formation and mastery of basic computational math skills through daily skills practice, building upon these skills through the use of complex word problems and inquiry-based investigations. The students begin to develop an awareness of and appreciation for the order that God has created, which is especially evident in mathematics. The curriculum also incorporates enrichment activities that facilitate the development of higher-level problem-solving skills. The lessons are comprehensive, so students constantly review and build on concepts that they have previously encountered.

History

The fourth grade History curriculum is the beginning of a chronological study of history. This historical study enables students to recognize God’s sovereignty through the rise and fall of early civilizations. Starting with an overview of archeology, the students are equipped with the tools for learning about ancient civilizations and cultures. They also delve into thematic units covering the geography, development, and culture of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, building historical and geographical connections with Old Testament narratives. To gain an accurate historical perspective, the students help to create and illustrate a class timeline of the cultures studied.

Science

The focus of the fourth grade Science curriculum is on earth science and astronomy. Key concepts such as weathering, erosion, and the composition of the earth (which form the foundation of earth science) are learned through inquiry, observation, hands-on activities, experimentation, and thematic reading. Through these studies, the students gain insight into the majesty of God’s creation of the heavens and the earth.


Art

The Art curriculum for grades 4–6 allows students to create more complex works of art and give greater attention to their expressive intentions. They use design concepts for specific purposes and use a variety of media inventively and efficiently to create both 2- and 3-dimensional art. This curriculum permits integration of art studies with that of classroom historical unit studies, weaving in God as the author of all. Students contrast and compare the functions, cultural origin, age, and style of various works of art. Building on previous years’ work, students grow in maturity to integrate, connect, and apply their knowledge of artists’ use of the principles of design.

Music

The fourth grade Music curriculum is a grammar-stage course that continues to build on the foundation of musical skills laid in TK–grade 3. Through the rich musical repertoire of American play parties and folk songs, French and German folk songs, children’s opera, and great choral literature, the curriculum weaves together the elements of music through singing, playing the recorder and Orff Instruments, folk dance, and creative movement. Students explore the life, times, and compositions of well-known composers, in particular the composer Engelbert Humperdink and his children’s opera, Hansel and Gretel. Students engage in improvisation and creative movement with imaginative design. Music instruction at Trinity seeks to provide students with the tools to explore and develop that part of their being that resonates with the joyful creativity of God.


Physical Education (PE)

The primary focus of the Physical Education curriculum is on the body. This focus includes helping students to use their minds to learn as well as to understand how to honor God with their bodies and attitudes. The Bible says that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God clearly designed the human body for movement, making physical education a vital part of the educational experience. The Physical Education department seeks to develop students’ appreciation and enjoyment of physical activity by introducing them to a wide variety of physical activities and games. Fourth grade PE introduces and develops various ways in which students can use their bodies for both fitness and God’s glory. During this year, they learn how to be part of a team and how to act towards classmates that are on their own or an opposing team. They are taught sportsmanship and teamwork while learning physical and social skills.

Latin

The fourth grade Latin curriculum, as part of the Trinity Latin department, desires that students encounter Latin as a living language used by many of our Christian forefathers. It is not only to be a language of set rules and paradigms to be memorized but also a language to experience. Through the experience of the language itself, students derive and master the rules that govern Latin. Fourth graders begin their Latin study with the rudiments of grammar and vocabulary within the context of stories. Students learn some noun/adjective agreement, how to identify adverbs and simple prepositions, and how to conjugate present tense verbs. This is the beginning stage for learning Latin—a language that is deeply rooted in our Christian history.

Charlotte Mason Studies

Narration: In fourth grade both written and oral narrations are integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Students listen to a musical composition, view a work of art, or listen to an oral reading, and then reflect on what they’ve seen or heard. After one viewing or listening session, the class discusses the piece as a group with the goal of remembering as many of the details as possible and in order. Because fourth graders are still developing their writing skills, many narrations are oral. Narrations are employed with pieces of literature, art, and music, as well as with stories and information from the Bible, science, and history. When written narrations are used, they follow an oral group narration, and then students are often asked to draw or paint an accompanying piece to reflect their writing. Following most art studies, which are narrated aloud, the students also write a brief narration of the piece as they remember it. This encourages listening during the oral narrations as well as visual memory and the assembling of details in an orderly manner. These studies allow and encourage students to appreciate the great works under study and to remember the finer details of art, music, and literature.

Nature Studies: Fourth grade Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry, observation, journaling, and painting. These studies are carried out in parallel with unit studies that are part of the regular curriculum of other subjects, such as science, history, and art. For example, as part of the science curriculum the students document the details of particular plants or other items from nature using dry-brush watercolor painting. Nature studies take advantage of seasonal nature opportunities, which provide authenticity and richness to this Charlotte Mason study.

Picture Studies: Picture Studies allow students to study and observe great works of art. The students have an opportunity to enjoy this artwork by absorbing its details and forming an impression of the work in their memory. After a period of time for observation, the artwork is concealed, and students share their observations and feelings about it with the rest of the class. By sharing without the artwork's being visible, students recreate the picture in their mind’s eye, reinforing a lasting memory and creating appreciation for the art being studied. The fourth grade curriculum focuses on the artists Van Gogh and Dolci.

Music Studies: The fourth grade Music Studies curriculum focuses on the composers Claude Débussy and Ralph Vaughan Williams. These composers provide a range of styles for the students to observe. Classroom teachers play pieces by Débussy and Vaughan Williams either as background music when the students are completing other work, or during times when the children are asked to listen more attentively for identification of interesting musical features. Classroom listening ties in well with the fourth grade Music curriculum, in which the students learn to distinguish the different instruments represented in complex symphonic pieces. The teacher also provides background information on the composers so that the children can appreciate their music in the context of the culture and history of the period during which it was composed. The students are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings about the music, in particular their observations of tempo, mode, and dynamics, as well as the instruments that are featured in each piece.

Fifth Grade

Bible

The fifth grade Bible curriculum is designed to open students’ eyes to God’s sovereignty and covenant faithfulness throughout history. By reading Old Testament and New Testament narratives and memorizing verses from both Testaments, children begin to see and understand God’s design for the redemption of His people. The hope is that Trinity students will ultimately commit their lives to Jesus Christ, believing in Him as their Savior and Lord and growing toward full knowledge of Him.

Language Arts

The fifth grade Language Arts curriculum integrates reading, writing, grammar, and spelling for the main purposes of reading to learn and writing to communicate. Using a variety of literature to engage students’ minds, this curriculum provides ample opportunities to strengthen decoding and comprehension skills. Students continue their study of grammar and spelling as a part of communicating ideas well in printed form. Learning how to write effectively by choosing words well is one focus of this year. In accordance with Trinity’s mission, the Language Arts curriculum seeks to enhance each student’s ability to develop a richer communication style and an appreciation for the capacity that humans have to communicate with God and with each other.

Mathematics

The fifth grade Mathematics curriculum reviews and expands upon the mathematical content presented in grade 4. Concepts include computation, measurement, fractions, decimals, geometry, ratios, and averages. The emphasis on mental math and problem-solving continues, as students are challenged to apply mathematical tools and techniques to real-life mathematical situations expressed in word problems. Overall, mathematics helps students develop an awareness of God’s order and design.

History

The fifth grade History curriculum provides students with an in-depth look at the events, characters, and stories of ancient Greece and Rome and aims to awaken students to the contributions of these civilizations in areas such as government, art, science, technology, and philosophy. In the fall semester of fifth grade, students study Greek mythology, Minoan and Mycenaean culture, the Trojan War, archaic and classical Greek history, and the Alexandrian kingdom. In the spring the focus shifts to the development of the Roman world, beginning with the legends of the founding of Rome and moving through the Roman Kingdom, the Republic, and the early Empire. Through interacting with various Greco-Roman civilizations, students are made aware of God’s sovereignty over world events and of His purposes for all people.

Science

The fifth grade Science curriculum provides three basic units that correlate with this grade’s studies of Greek and Roman history. In their study of the scientific method, students reference the early Greek thinkers such as Aristotle, connecting his ancient ideas to modern times. Next, Archimedes’ principles illustrate the contributions of the ancient Greeks to today’s world of science and math. Lastly, the study of the human body is linked to Roman history. As students learn about the major systems of the body, they also gain an appreciation for how wonderfully humans are created and how their lives are meant to reflect the glory of God.


Art

The fifth grade Art curriculum allows students to create more complex works of art and give greater attention to their expressive intentions. They use design concepts for specific purposes and use a variety of media inventively and efficiently to create both 2- and 3-dimensional art. This curriculum permits integration of art studies with that of classroom historical unit studies, weaving in God as the author of all. Students contrast and compare the functions, cultural origin, age, and style of various works of art. Building on previous years’ work, students grow in maturity to integrate, connect, and apply their knowledge of artists’ use of the principles of design.


Music

The fifth grade Music curriculum is a grammar-stage course that builds upon the foundation of musical skills laid in TK–grade 4. Students focus on working in ensemble to sing, play, move, and create. Via a rich musical repertoire, the curriculum weaves together the elements of music through singing; playing handbells, guitar, Orff instruments, and percussion instruments; and creative movement. Students explore the life, times, and compositions of well-known composers. They also engage in improvisation and creative movement while exploring “found sound” on drums and other percussive objects, including body percussion. Music instruction at Trinity seeks to provide students with the tools to explore and develop that part of their being that resonates with the joyful creativity of God.


Physical Education (PE)

The primary focus of the fifth grade Physical Education curriculum is on the body. This focus helps students use their minds to learn as well as to understand how to honor God with their bodies and attitudes. The Bible says that “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God clearly designed the human body for movement, making physical education a vital part of the educational experience. The Physical Education department seeks to help students develop an appreciation and enjoyment of physical activity by introducing them to a wide variety of physical activities and games. Fifth grade PE helps students to further develop and improve how they use their bodies, for both fitness and God’s glory. By this time, students have learned how to behave appropriately during competition and are working towards being good teammates as well as fit individuals.

Foreign Language

The fifth grade Latin curriculum, as part of the Trinity Latin department, encourages students to encounter Latin as a living language, not merely as a set of rules and paradigms to be memorized. Through the experience of the language itself, students derive and master the rules that govern Latin. The teacher facilitates the process, but the learning happens through direct engagement between student and language. As much as possible, students are immersed in the target language. This natural method provides for a smooth transition from grammar mastery to true enjoyment of original authors. Fifth graders begin their Latin study with elementary grammar and vocabulary. The students learn to decline nouns and adjectives, conjugate verbs, utilize pronouns, and identify prepositional phrases. They demonstrate their understanding through projects in which they construct their own paragraphs, using the grammar concepts they have learned. The Christian worldview is compared to the Roman worldview through the study of the everyday life of a Roman family.


Charlotte Mason Studies

Narration: In fifth grade, both written and oral narrations are incorporated into the regular classroom curriculum. Students listen to a musical composition, view a work of art, or listen to an oral reading, and then reflect on what they’ve seen or heard. After one viewing or listening session, the piece is discussed as a group with the goal of remembering as many of the details as possible. Fifth graders are progressing in the development of their writing skills; thus, there is a shift in emphasis to more written and fewer oral narrations than in previous grades. Narrations are employed with pieces of literature, art, and music, as well as with information related to the students’ Bible, science, and history studies. When written narrations are used, they follow an oral group narration. Students are also often asked to draw or paint an accompanying piece to reflect their writing. Following most art studies, which are narrated aloud, students also write a brief narration of the piece as they remember it. This encourages careful listening during the oral narrations, as well as the development of visual memory and the ability to assemble details in an orderly manner. These studies enable students to appreciate the great works under study, and to learn to remember the details of art, music, and literature.

Nature Studies: Fifth grade Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry, observation, journaling, and painting. These studies are carried out in parallel with unit studies that are part of the regular curriculum of other subjects, such as science, history, and art. For example, as part of the science curriculum the students document the details of particular plants or other items from nature using dry-brush watercolor painting. Nature Studies take advantage of seasonal nature opportunities, which provide authenticity and richness to thispart of the curriculum.

Picture Studies: Picture Studies allow students to observe and study great works of art. The students have an opportunity to enjoy artwork by absorbing its details and forming an impression of the work in their memory. After a period of time for observation, the work is concealed, and students share their observations and feelings about it with the rest of the class. By sharing without the artwork's being visible, students recreate the picture in their mind’s eye, reinforcing a lasting memory and creating appreciation for the art being studied. The fifth grade curriculum focuses on the artist Raphael.

Music Studies: In the fifth grade there is a focus on the music of Beethoven and Handel, whose works represent a variety of musical styles from different cultures. The students are listen to a number of works by these composers, either while they are engaged in other hands-on work, or during times when they are asked to listen attentively. These sessions are often followed by discussion periods in which the students are asked to share their impressions and feelings about the music. Information about the composers and the time period during which their works were composed is also discussed, especially as it relates to studies in other subjects.

Sixth Grade

Bible

The sixth grade Bible curriculum selects readings of the Old Testament from Genesis to Ruth, focusing on the major figures and events, such as God’s covenants and saving acts, in each chronological period. Working directly with the Biblical text, students are encouraged to read for factual observation, interpretation, and application. Oral and written narrations are key approaches to help students retain knowledge of important Biblical events and persons. Using maps of the ancient Near East, students learn the geographical contexts for many of the Bible stories. Basic theological concepts regarding God and humanity’s relation to Him are woven into classroom discussion. Memory work includes selected passages from Genesis, John, Exodus, and Romans.

Language Arts

The sixth grade Language Arts curriculum is designed to expand the students’ skills by strengthening their verbal and written communication. The curriculum focuses on reading, writing, grammar, extended thinking, and study skills. Knowledge acquired in this study is demonstrated by the writing of news accounts; the production of skits, Reader’s Theater, and puppet shows; the making of bulletin boards; and the celebration of Medieval Day. Students gain an appreciation for the progress mankind has made through the ages by reading period literature and reflecting on these stories in their writings. Over the course of the year, students read stories of fantasy, epic poetry, historical fiction of the medieval period, and Arthurian tales. They reflect on the life lessons of the stories' main characters and how the heroes’ goals and actions changed as Christianity became the primary center of their lives and cultural practices. Through their Language Arts studies, students are exposed to Christian role models of the past and learn how these men and women valued faith in God through both difficult and prosperous times.

Mathematics

The sixth grade Mathematics curriculum is developmentally designed for students transitioning at different rates from concrete to abstract thinking. The year begins with the review of operations of whole numbers and moves toward the abstract thinking necessary for pre-algebra. Students review and build upon the concepts of fractions and percentages, decimals and mixed numbers, areas of geometric shapes, and place values of whole numbers and decimals. Students become proficient at and confident in computing multioperational problems and self-correcting through logical examination of solutions. Some of the new concepts introduced at this level are signed numbers, exponents, and ratios. Skills and concepts are taught through the following methods: facts practice, mental math, problem solving, daily lessons, diagrams, drawings, modeling, and cumulative tests. Instructional time is followed by whole-class and individual practice. As students engage in the learning process, they grow in their understanding and appreciation for the beauty of God’s world of order, patterns, and numbers as seen in nature and in our own imitation of His work.


History

Sixth graders at Trinity continue their study of Roman history that was begun in the fifth grade. Following a brief consideration of the fall of the Roman Empire, they learn about the resulting Byzantine Empire, noting the development and expansion of early Islam and the Medieval kingdoms of Western Europe. These studies are followed by an in-depth analysis of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, the Protestant Reformation, and the Italian Renaissance. Students are introduced to new events and historic figures through a historical reader text. The outlining and retelling of selections ensure comprehension and retention by students and further develop narrative writing skills. Students gain an appreciation for the sequence of historical events as well as for the development of parallel cultures by creating a comprehensive timeline that illustrates the relative position and chronology of major events. Drawing upon the fine arts and literature of the various periods, students are exposed to a thoughtful Christian analysis of man and his walk with God, as well as the growth and changes of the church over time. In turn, students are challenged to look closely at their own personal walk with Christ.

Science

The sixth grade Earth Science curriculum centers around four themes. Students learn how patterns of change and cycles are seen in all aspects of the natural world. They study these changes and cycles exhibited in landforms, rocks, plants, weather, and the atmosphere. They also explore unity in the diversity of life as they learn about the geography and chemistry of the earth and other planets. Scale and structure are studied, integrating the sixth grade math curriculum via measurement, scientific notation, and integers. Students also explore weather, temperature, mass, space, time, and distance. Students gain a richer understanding of energy as the central theme, as they follow the movement of the continents, the water cycle, weather and atmospheric pressure, physical and chemical changes, and the rotation and revolutions of the earth and other planets. Throughout the year the class reflects upon God’s sovereignty and wisdom while building a foundation of understanding and appreciation for His creation.


Art

The Art curriculum for grades 4–6 allows students to create more complex works of art and give greater attention to their expressive intentions. They use design concepts for specific purposes and use a variety of media inventively and efficiently to create both 2- and 3-dimensional art. This curriculum permits integration of art studies with that of classroom historical unit studies, weaving in God as the author of all. Students contrast and compare the functions, cultural origin, age, and style of various works of art. Building on previous years’ work, students grow in maturity to integrate, connect, and apply their knowledge of artists’ use of the principles of design.


Music

The sixth Grade Music curriculum is a late grammar-stage course that continues to build musical skills on the foundation laid in grades TK–5. Students weave together the elements of music as they work in ensembles to sing, play, move, and create. Correlating with their History curriculum, students explore the music of the Medieval and early Renaissance periods through singing; playing Orff instruments, percussion instruments and hand bells; and creative movement. Music instruction at Trinity seeks to provide students with the tools to explore and develop that part of their being that resonates with the joyful creativity of God.

Physical Education (PE)

The Physical Education curriculum is designed to provide multiple opportunities for students at various stages of physical development and skill mastery to have a positive experience in physical activities. The purpose is to help students identify activities they enjoy, with the larger goal of encouraging students to be physically active for a lifetime. Through participation in group and individual activities, students develop and improve locomotor skills, cardiovascular endurance, strength, and sport-specific skills. Participation in various sports allows students to develop and apply their knowledge of the skills and tactics of the various games. Physical education activities develop physical, intellectual, decisional, and interpersonal skills in harmony with Christian education.


Foreign Language

The sixth grade Latin curriculum, as part of the Trinity Latin department, encourages students to encounter Latin as a living language, not merely as a set of rules and paradigms to be memorized. Through the experience of the language itself, students derive and master the rules that govern Latin. The teacher facilitates the process, but the learning happens through direct engagement between student and language. As much as possible, students are immersed in the target language. This natural method provides for a smooth transition from grammar mastery to true enjoyment of original authors. Sixth graders begin their Latin study with elementary grammar and vocabulary. They learn to decline nouns and adjectives, conjugate verbs, utilize pronouns, and identify prepositional phrases. The students demonstrate their understanding through projects in which they construct their own paragraphs, using the grammar concepts they have learned. The Christian worldview is compared to the Roman worldview through the study of the everyday life of a Roman family.


Charlotte Mason Studies

Narration: Narration continues to be an important tool for learning in the sixth grade. Comprehension and retention of content are reinforced through narration of readings in history, Bible, and language arts. The writing skills of students at this age are beginning to show signs of consistency in grammar as well as individual style. Incorporation of the practice of narration into many areas of the greater curriculum serves to nurture the development and confidence of these young writers. Together with the objectives of the language arts curriculum, the Charlotte Mason studies give students the opportunity to appreciate the many genres of literature and to learn to identify key information through summarizing a variety of readings. All of this serves to achieve the goals of the Charlotte Mason approach to education, which is to teach children how to learn in an enjoyable and efficient manner.

Nature Studies: Sixth grade Nature Studies emphasize the Charlotte Mason tools of inquiry, observation, journaling, and painting at this very important age. Nature studies are carried out in parallel with the unit studies that are part of the regular curriculum of science, history, and art. For example, the students document observational details using dry-brush watercolor painting as part of the science curriculum. Nature Studies also take advantage of seasonal opportunities that provide authenticity and richness to the curriculum.

Picture Studies: Picture Studies allow students to observe and study great works of art. The students have an opportunity to enjoy a work of art by absorbing its details and forming an impression of it in their memory. After a period of observation, the artwork is concealed, and students share their observations and feelings about it with the class. By sharing without the artwork's being visible, the picture is recreated in the mind’s eye, reinforcing a lasting memory and creating an appreciation for the work being studied. Sixth grade studies the following artists: Rembrandt, Matisse, Bruegel, and Van Eyck.

Music Studies: The sixth grade Music Studies focus on the works of the composers Handel, Strauss, and Bernstein, which span four centuries and represent different cultures. In these studies, students are exposed repeatedly to different works, either while they are engaged in other hands-on activities, or during times when they are asked to listen attentively. These sessions are often followed by discussion periods in which the students are asked to share their impressions and feelings about the music. Information about the composers and the time periods during which the works were composed is also discussed, especially as this relates to studies in other subjects.