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Upper Elementary

Our Elementary School focuses on academic excellence, as we seek to instill a sense of curiosity in our students and teach them how to think independently and solve problems in creative ways. We are committed to small class sizes, which means all children receive a great deal of individualized attention, both in their academic work and in their social-emotional development.  Through the grades, we focus on a multi-disciplinary approach - connecting literature with history and science, and bringing concepts to life though art, discussion and debate, field trips, performances and research projects.

In the Upper Elementary grades (3rd-5th), we transition our learning style to fit a more traditional environment. While our small class size allows us to continue providing individualized guidance, we use these upper grades to prepare our students for a typical middle school experience in which core subjects are presented to the group as a whole. 

Below. you will find more information on our core subjects. For information on our specialty classes, including Spanish, Art, Technology, Music, Physical Education, and Makerspace, please see our Elementary Specialty Classes page. For more details on optional after-school enrichment classes, please see our Enrichment page.

student writing pieces

Language Arts

The main goals of our Upper Elementary Language Arts program is to develop a love of reading and literature in our students, and graduate young learners who will be highly proficient in reading and writing once they enter Middle School. Students will feel comfortable reading and writing research papers, oral arguments, poetry, narrative and expository pieces.

We bring words to life by connecting them to the other areas of study in the classroom, creating a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. For example, many books that the students read are connected to a science or social studies topic, and reinforced with hands-on projects, performances and debates or field trips, which deepens the understanding of the concepts.

Our Elementary Language Arts curriculum is complemented by our Reading Buddies program and Literacy Club, both of which bring together students from multiple grades.


As we transition away from Montessori materials and prepare our students for Middle School, we use the Eureka Math curriculum to guide our program. Students still receive the individualized attention that is a hallmark of Manhattan Academy, but are also learning how to follow complex group lessons. This program seeks to teach students the "why" behind the math facts and encourage critical thinking. Students in Upper Elementary will dive deep into multiplication, division, fractions, geometry, math and logic games, beginning algebra, word problems and logic.  Math is often brought to life through projects focusing on building, 3D printing and measurement.

student learning math from cubes
student with science fair project


Science in the Upper Elementary grades seeks to teach our students to be curious, understand the way concepts are linked and affect each other, think through multiple solutions to a problem, bring rigorous testing to what they observe, and develop clear ways of presenting their findings. Our curriculum covers the following topics:


Microscopic Study

Health Sciences





Concepts are brought to life through field trips, interactive computer models, experiments, 3D projects and our annual Science Fair.

Students gain comfort in using the scientific method  -  developing a testable question, devising a hypothesis, planning and experimenting with independent, dependent, and controlled variables, observing and cataloging results, and presenting their findings.

Social Studies

Our Social Studies curriculum in these grades aims to instill in our students an understanding of community, how to be a good citizen, and that they are a part of a greater world. We cover the following topics:

3rd Grade: Local government & Los Angeles History

4th Grade: California History

5th Grade: US History

Our lessons are taught in a dynamic fashion - encouraging students to ask questions, form connections between cause and effect, understand their own ancestry, think critically about characters in history, and fashion their own opinions and recommendations. As with all of our subjects, social studies is brought to life through literature, art, presentations and oral arguments, historical reenactments, research projects, group negotiations, and field trips, including our annual 5th Grade trip to either Boston or Washington, D.C.

student at field trip monument
student art work


All Elementary School students attend the following enrichment classes, taught by specialists in their field:






Physical Education


Read more about our Elementary Enrichment here.

Students also have the option of enrolling in a plethora of after-school enrichment activities. Click here to find out more about after-school enrichment classes.

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