The fifth grade Waldorf curriculum includes the study of early civilizations. Ancient Greece, with its appreciation of balance and harmony, its movement toward modern thought, and its worship of fallible Gods, is a beautiful compliment for the fifth grade youth moving into adolescence.
The original Greek Pentathlon, and the virtues formed by training for it, was seen by the Greeks as an oath of good development.
In the mid 1980's, a teacher named Thom Schaefer started the first Pentathlon event at Live Oak Waldorf School with just one class participating. Today the fifth grade Pentathlon has grown to be implemented by many Waldorf schools throughout the nation, and Greenwood participates in our own Bay Area regional games, which this year were hosted by East Bay Waldorf and Marin Waldorf, and held at Kennedy Grove in El Sobrante.
The Pentathlon events include:
1. Running - Representing the virtue of Harmony, running requires a balance between the earthly and heavenly realms. There were two running events at the Pentathlon.
2. Jumping - Representing the virtue of Moderation, the long jump requires one to let go, yet immediately pull in to poise the land with surety.
3. Wrestling - Representing the virtue of Self-Confidence, wrestling requires a balance between the upper and lower part of the body. It also demands an understanding of yourself and your relationship to the other wrestler.
4. Discus - Representing the virtue of Beauty, the discus throw requires a sense of rhythm and uses heart forces.
5. Javelin - Representing the virtue of Justice, the javelin throw requires one to align oneself with the aim of the Gods.
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