Grade Level Overviews Four-Five Year Olds

Using a developmental approach, children in the 4/5s continue to learn about themselves, others, and the world around them.

Our theme, "We Are All Alike; We Are All Different", encourages the children to express their own personalities, interests, strengths, and backgrounds, and to compare and contrast these characteristics with those of their peers. As the children learn more about one another, they come to realize that others have different family structures, traditions, celebrations, holidays, and religious beliefs. Using their newfound critical thinking skills, students compare and contrast fairy tales, animals, literature, seasons, and a number of other topics.

At this age, four and five year olds are moving out of the “all about me” stage of development, and becoming more aware of others as well as their larger community. They are beginning to develop an appreciation for different perspectives and points of view. Although a major focus is helping students see outside themselves, there is also continued emphasis in helping the students form a strong sense of self. To that end, the children identify their strengths and weaknesses and build upon this self-awareness as they develop their personal intelligences.

An important concept at this level is an introduction to grit, which is the ability to set goals, make a plan and persevere no matter how difficult a task may seem. When a child achieves his/her goal, they are able to experience a real sense of accomplishment.


Four- and Five-Year-Olds...

are imaginative, eager to learn, and talkative! They enjoy telling stories, especially ones about themselves. They also love listening to stories, acting them out, and relating them to their own experiences. Four- and five- year-olds are beginning to move beyond themselves. They listen to, share with, and make personal connections with peers. 

Children this age have a natural curiosity. They are frequently asking “what?” or “why?” questions as they explore the world around them. They are creative beings who typically love music and movement, as well as drawing, building, and manipulating new materials. Just as in the 3/4s and 4s, open-ended play and choice remain integral to a child’s day. Through play -- which is now more cooperative than parallel -- children gain practice with social language and problem solving, begin to understand the concept of real versus imaginary, and continue to build the foundation necessary for later academic success. Play is not just a component of recess; it is evident during choice time, as well as in small and whole group activities.  Play is a young child’s work!

A day in the life of a four or five year old is a true experience in joyful learning!


Top Ten Things to Know about the 4/5s

Person of the Week: Each child’s individuality is celebrated through posters, interviews and special responsibilities.

Show-n-Shares: Students practice expressive and receptive language as they share special events and items.

Animal Presentations: After conducting research, student groups present their newly acquired knowledge to their peers.

Poetry Hour: Poetry is integral to the 4/5s’ day. Students get the opportunity to read, share, memorize and recite their favorite poetry selections to an audience.

A Star is Born!: Students showcase their musical and interpersonal intelligences in the annual preprimary show.

What’s Happening Wednesdays?: These are highly anticipated days with special cooking, science or art activities that require students to follow multi-step directions.

Wacky Days: Pajama Day, Silly Hat Day, Tie-Dye Shirt Day, Field Day…these are all examples of some of the end-of-the-year celebrations.

MI Buddies!: Each student has an older grade buddy with whom they explore the intelligences.

Community Action: Baking dog biscuits for the Humane Society and creating cards for senior citizens are two of the ways students give back to their community.

Entrepreneurship: Students plan, prepare and set up a small lemonade stand and then decide how to share the profits


For more details about the skills and content in the 4/5s curriculum, click here.