Specialist Curriculum Overview

Six specialist programs in Music, Art, Library & Technology, Spanish, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Physical Education & Health enrich the curriculum and allow our young students to explore the world through different disciplines. Intentional projects and lessons integrate academic subject areas throughout the year, enhancing our thematic curriculum. In addition to Choir, fifth graders are now also eligible to participate in Beginning Band classes.


Fifth-grade students are scheduled for the library on Tuesday mornings. They will be allowed to check out up to 2 books at a time which will need to be returned or renewed each week. In addition to the opportunity to check out books, they will also gain skills with library and databases. Students will begin with a review the Dewey Decimal System and move into learning about search queries, how to use advanced search features and access the online OLG library catalog, as well as, the SPL databases. If you have not done so already, please go to the local library and request a library card for your child so they can take advantage of the online database and research tools available through the Seattle Public Library. If you would like to review more details about the Library & technology curriculum, please visit our Library & Technology Specialist page.


The OLG music curriculum, directed by the talented Ann Sager, builds a foundation for creative thinking, problem solving, and lifelong learning in music and other disciplines. Music is a unique way of knowing the world. It is a vehicle for personal expression, common to all cultures, and a doorway into understanding cultural diversity. The nature of musical learning is such that musical understanding is developed and assessed through listening, creating, and performing. Musical thinking supports and connects to other ways of thinking. It is fundamental to developing the whole learner.

Musical learning provides students with the opportunity to experience the aesthetic value of music. Everyone has the ability, and therefore, the right to learn and understand music. Our fifth graders will sing and play instruments. They will learn solfege, basic music theory and world music with colorful and engaging videos, as well as practice to perform at our Spring Concert, and more!

Physical Education & Health (PE)

In Fifth Grade, kids take part in activities to increase their cardiovascular fitness, strength, and flexibility, while also learning new skills, including cooperative play, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Students also continue being introduced to a variety of team sports through CYO Sports. You can learn more about OLG’s Physical Education program HERE.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Second Step

The Committee for Children‘s research-based Second Step® program offers an easy-to-implement, engaging way to teach social-emotional skills and concepts. Second Step programs are designed to help children thrive and be more successful in school -ultimately setting them up to be thoughtful and productive adults. It is a violence prevention curriculum that is used throughout the year to teach responsible, peaceful behaviors and helps make social-emotional learning (SEL) part of children’s daily lives, in and outside the classroom. At OLG, SEL classes, led by our School Counselor, create -from a very young age- a positive systemic change that builds safe learning environments and addresses the needs of children, educators, and communities. In addition, Talking About Touching, developed by The Committee for Children, is an abuse prevention curriculum designed to develop communication skills that can help protect children from sexual abuse. It focuses on teaching children basic skills designed to help them keep safe from dangerous or abusive situations.


Although, at OLG, we do everything we can to make learning Spanish fun, we take Spanish for children very seriously. Exposing a child to a second language allows him or her to optimize their learning potential. Our Fifth Grade students will further their study of grammar, vocabulary and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Students improve listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students further develop reading comprehension skills through literature, oral presentations and written exercises.


Art is incorporated into the classroom learning on an ongoing basis. However, twice a month we welcome Smart with Art into our classroom for more formal art instruction. Smart with Art is an award-winning, art education company offering high-quality art education programming, which exceeds both National and State Visual Art standards. In art class, children learn to convey ideas, feelings, and emotions by creating their own images. Our classes encourage the creative process of every individual student. They explore the historical and cultural messages wrapped up in works of art, as all lessons incorporate art historical and cultural content. They also reflect on the meaning of what they see in art. Students learn to express their opinions and show respect for their own ideas and creations and for those of others. They also develop critical thinking skills and explore and expand individual creative process. They explore a variety of media techniques, and processes in the broad categories of painting, drawing, mixed media, and sculpture.

Beginning Band

The School Band Program is offered for grades fifth through eight and it is designed in two stages. Fifth graders start with Beginning School Band, while sixth, seventh and eight graders move into the Middle School Band Program. At OLG, our expectation and hope is that all 5th grade students participate in Beginning School Band! Classes are offered on a regular weekly basis under the instruction of Kennedy High School’s faculty member, Frances McKamey. Beginning Band classes are on Mondays and Fridays. The students learn the basics of music, develop the skills to play a traditional band instrument, as well as experience the pride felt in belonging to a school performance group. Music is a great channel to enhance a child’s self-esteem.


Students have the opportunity to participate in 4th & 5th Grade Choir, which is optional for fifth graders and is held on Wednesdays.