The fifth-grade children journey with their teacher back to the dawn of human civilization in ancient India. Through mythology, music, and art the children are given a taste of how the ancient Indians, Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks viewed the world. The teacher gives the children a sense of each cultural epoch so that they may begin to understand how human consciousness has evolved through time.
The study of geography serves to complement the study of ancient cultures. While history leads the children deeper into themselves, geography takes them to the farthest reaches of the earth. Once again, the teacher strives to give the children a sense for the great contrasts between different geographical regions: the North American continent is studied in terms of north and south, east and west, and the human and economic use of the resources in these contrasting places. Geography awakens in the child a feeling of relatedness with fellow human beings living in all other parts of the world.
Beside the discovery of the physical characteristics of the earth is the study of the plant life that grows upon its surface. The children learn that there is order and structure in all that surround them in the natural world. Just as the children at this age have within them the potential for all that they are to become in their later life, so they see that the seed contains within it the mighty oak tree. The children study monocotyledon and dicotyledon plants, algae, and mosses, and investigate how climate and geography affect plant growth.