Fifth Grade Architects

It is the end of the year and the fifth graders in Mrs. Dougherty’s class have finished the last chapter in their Singapore math books. What is a teacher to do? In classical fashion, she tells her students that it is now the time to apply what they’ve learned about three dimensional shapes, perimeter, area, and basic measurement. Mrs. Dougherty gave her students the task of building a scale model of their “dream treehouse.” The students created blueprints as guides to building a three dimensional model. Some students chose to create a poster. The students presented their projects last Friday.

These “hands on” math projects are inherently “classical.” The quadrivium consists of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These follow the preparatory work of the trivium made up of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In turn, the quadrivium is considered preparatory work for the serious study of philosophy and theology. Medicine and architecture were considered “the practical arts.”