Students work in the glen


Growing Lifelong Learners Since 1972

Lake Program (Ages 9–11)

Our mixed-age 4th and 5th grade classrooms are called the Lake.

We have separated these disciplines for your understanding, but within the classroom curriculum, they are intricately entwined. See the curriculum guide (.pdf) for more information.

Child Development Ages 9 to 11

  • Able to assume greater responsibility
  • Ready for more academic depth
  • Learn best in a supportive community
  • Increased understanding of who they are as learners
  • Emerging from concrete rule followers to independent thinkers


We use a balanced approach to literacy and individualized and small group instruction to teach

  • Literature groups—students meet in a small group to read, share, and explore a book related to the thematic unit
  • Become self-sufficient readers
  • Study a wide variety of genres
  • Learn strategies to read for information
  • Read every day


We emphasize writing as a means of communication with a program that includes the following:

  • Projects to be published:
    • Written and Illustrated Books
    • Magazines
    • Independent Projects (Research)
  • Different genres of writing
    • Biography
    • Editorial
    • Poetry
    • Plays
    • Short Stories
    • Science Labs
    • Weekly Dialog Journal


  • Money math
    • Creating a Wingra Towne Mall
    • Managing the school store
    • Learning about the stock market
  • Review and solidify basic skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Operations with fractions, percents, decimals, and conversions
  • Geometry—measurement, angles, and spatial relations
  • Problem solving/Pre-algebra concepts
  • Math Investigations and Math in Context curricula

Social Studies

We explore the world we live in. Through literature, discussions, and problem-solving activities students learn about

  • Geography
  • Current events
  • Different communities
  • History
  • Political science
  • Economics
  • Community service
  • How to be a responsive and responsible participant in each community to which they belong


We investigate the world around us through many different scientific lenses as students:

  • Hands-on activities to explore the world around us
  • Biological sciences
  • Physical sciences
  • Ecological sciences
  • Problem solving
  • Use of reference materials
  • Graphing and analyzing data
  • Collecting and evaluating data

All-School Classes

All-school classes emphasize a particular curricular area. When possible, activities are related to themes and projects in the level classrooms.


We include library time in our programming to complement our units of study and enrich our literary program by

  • Learning to navigate the library "neighborhoods" with ease, finding, and borrowing a variety of books each week
  • Having a voice in the selection of new books purchased for the Wingra Library via regular "Lunch in the Library" sessions
  • Spending self-directed time in the library


We have the following goals for Lake students in our Spanish program:

  • Play games to learn Spanish vocabulary
  • Explore themes related to Spanish speaking cultures throughout the world
  • Explore basic grammatical concepts like noun-adjective agreement
  • Learn Spanish through lengthy contextualized units
  • Learn advance writing and reading skills in Spanish

Physical Education

Our physical education program for Lake students includes the following:

  • Students are introduced to a wide variety of lifelong sports such as ice skating and snowshoeing
  • Practice yoga, tai chi, and capoeira
  • Balance traditional sports and developing lifelong physical activities
  • Learn about heart rates for kids their age
  • Learn strategies for resolving conflict during games
  • Learn sequencing through popular dances
  • Practice jumping rope and participate in Jump Rope for Heart


Lake students learn the following during their technology time:

  • Keyboarding practice, ranging from typing games to word processing
  • Digital work with still art and animation art
  • Internet safety and literacy through the Google Suite and other common online tools


We value the arts at Wingra and know how important they are to providing a well-rounded education for children of all ages.


Our visual art program includes the following:

  • Art principles and elements are applied in art experiences using a variety of media
  • Students explore cultural significance of the visual arts around the world
  • Problem solving, collaboration, and self-directed studio time are encouraged as students become more comfortable in each medium


Our music program includes the following:

  • Students learn about the keyboard through playing the instrument and by reading and writing tunes for the piano.
  • Students explore their own musical “voices” within the dynamics of small mixed instrument groups.
  • Student create, develop, and compose original pieces.

Recent Thematic Units

We tie as much learning as possible into our two-to-three-week long thematic units. Here are some recent Lake units:

  • 1900s
  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Electricity
  • Europe
  • Money
  • Religion
  • South America


The Lake has several annual traditions that help create a close community:

  • Cooperative Art Project
  • Kids' Night Out (an evening of plays written, directed, and performed by students)
  • School Store
  • Study of Wisconsin
  • Upham Woods Camping Trip

Banner photo by Marieka Greene