The Waldorf Curriculum

Below is a basic overview of the curriculum content typically offered in a Waldorf school. The content may vary depending on the classroom and community.

Each day begins with the main lesson (approx. 2 hours each morning  on a specific subject given over the course of a few weeks), followed by special subject classes, including handwork, movement/games and a foreign language. From Grade 1 through Grade 3, children develop the foundation for work through an artistic approach to all subjects.

Grade 1

  • Language Arts (upper case letters, simple writing, drama)
  • Literature and History (cultural studies: folk tales, fairy tales)
  • Mathematics (the quality of numbers, counting to 100, Roman and Arabic numbers, the four processes)
  • Geography (a sense of place, nature stories)
  • Eurythmy (movements copying human actions, vowels)
  • Form Drawing (straight line and curve, linear forms)
  • Foreign Language (by ear—songs, verses, dances, games)
  • Physical Education (cooperative games, outdoor play, circle games)
  • Handwork (knitting)
  • Artwork (painting, crayon drawing, beeswax modeling)
  • Music (pentatonic recorder, singing, rhythmic activities)

Teaching reading in a Waldorf School

Grade 2

  • Language Arts (lower case letters, drama, grammar)
  • Literature and History (cultural studies: fables, legends of saints and heroes)
  • Mathematics (continuing work with the four processes, column addition)
  • Geography (a sense of place, nature stories)
  • Eurythmy (rhythms, consonants)
  • Form Drawing (linear forms)
  • Foreign Language (by ear—poetry, alphabet, numbers)
  • Physical Education (cooperative games, rhythmic games, outdoor play)
  • Handwork (knitting and purling, crochet)
  • Artwork (painting, drawing, beeswax modeling)
  • Music (pentatonic recorder, singing, rhythmic activities)

Grade 3

  • Language Arts (cursive handwriting, grammar, spellling, drama)
  • Literature and History (cultural studies: stories of the Old Testament, Native American tales, Jewish festivals)
  • Mathematics (time, weight and volume, linear measurement, currency, carrying/borrowing)
  • Geography (practical skills, shelters/housebuilding, farming, gardening)
  • Eurythmy (rod exercises, the octave)
  • Form Drawing (vertical symmetry)
  • Foreign Language (by ear—continued work)
  • Physical Education (cooperative games, outdoor play, line games)
  • Handwork (more complex knitting and crocheting)
  • Artwork (painting, drawing, beeswax modeling)
  • Music (soprano recorder, singing in rounds, music notation)

Grade 4

  • Language Arts (grammar, spelling, drama, poetry, intro to composition)
  • Literature and History (cultural studies: local history, Norse Mythology)
  • Mathematics (continuing with the four processes, intro to fractions, long division, averages, word problems)
  • Geography (local geography, mapping)
  • Eurythmy (concrete and abstract forms)
  • Science (Zoology: comparative study of human beings and other animals)
  • Form Drawing (Celtic knots, braided forms)
  • Foreign Language (grammar begins, simple reading)
  • Physical Education (cooperative games, team skills, square dancing)
  • Handwork (add cross-stitch, embroidery)
  • Artwork (painting, drawing, clay sculpting)
  • Music (recorder, singing—two-part songs, notation, instrumental music – orchestra)

Grade 5

  • Language Arts (grammar, oral and written reports, letter writing, composition)
  • Literature (cultural studies: Greek mythology)
  • Mathematics (decimals, fractions, mixed numbers, reciprocals, metric system, free-hand Geometry)
  • History (ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Egypt, Greece)
  • Geography (North American)
  • Eurythmy (limb control exercises, movment to simple poems)
  • Science (Botany)
  • Foreign Language (continued work, Greek phrases, Sanskrit poems)
  • Physical Education (Greek Olympics)
  • Handwork (knitting with 4 needles – socks and mittens)
  • Artwork (painting, drawning, clay sculpting – Greek vase)
  • Woodworking (egg shape carving, simple toy)
  • Music (recorder ensemble, singing—rounds, harmonies, music notation, orchestra, chorus, Greek music)

Grade 6

  • Language Arts (grammar, composition, descriptive writing, business letters, spelling, drama, poetry)
  • Literature (tales of chivalry, biographies of great men and women)
  • Mathematics (percentage and ratio, business math, problem solving, estimation, precise Geometry)
  • History (the transition from ancient to modern: rise and fall of Rome, The Middle Ages)
  • Geography (Latin America, Earth’s configurations and contrasts)
  • Eurythmy (rod exercises, three fold walking)
  • Science (Astronomy, Physics, Geology & Mineralogy)
  • Foreign Language (continued work, Latin sayings, proverbs)
  • Physical Education (team sports, archery)
  • Handwork (stuffed animals or dolls, work aprons)
  • Artwork (painting, drawing: black/white media, clay sculpting)
  • Woodworking (wooden spoon carving)
  • Music (recorder ensemble, singing—rounds, harmonies, orchestra, chorus, Roman music)

Grade 7

  • Language Arts (grammar, composition, creative writing, spelling, report writing, note-taking skills, researching)
  • Literature (Arthurian legends, biographies, poetry)
  • Mathematics (business math, pre-Algebra skills, precise Geometry, graphing, roots, negative numbers)
  • History (The Renaissance and Reformation, The Age of Discovery)
  • Geography (European and African Geography, tides, weather)
  • Eurythmy (contrasting moods, inner characteristics of poems, ballads, tragedies)
  • Science (Physics—add pulleys and levers, Inorganic Chemistry, Astronomy, Physiology)
  • Foreign Language (conversational, vocabulary, word study)
  • Physical Education (team sports, archery, gymnastics)
  • Handwork (sewing clothing, slippers, hand puppets)
  • Artwork (painting, perspective drawing, clay sculpting—the human hand, foot, bones, fired pottery)
  • Woodworking (primitive bowl)
  • Music (recorder ensemble, orchestra, chorus, ballads, opera, Renaissance music)

Grade 8

  • Language Arts (same as Gr. 7, plus literary forms, Shakespeare)
  • Literature (Shakespeare, poetry)
  • Mathematics (practical math, Algebra, precise Geometry)
  • History (the Industrial Revolution to the present day, U.S. History, current events)
  • Geography (Asia, Australia, Antarctica, contrasts, as related to World Economics)
  • Eurythmy (poems with tension/relief, contraction/expansion)
  • Science (Physics, Organic Chemistry, Physiology)
  • Foreign Language (conversational, vocabulary, word study)
  • Physical Education (team sports, Greek wrestling, gymnastics)
  • Handwork (machine sewing, simple clothing, darning)
  • Artwork (painting—shadows, portraits, landscapes, drawing, clay sculpting—the human head, soapstone carving)
  • Woodworking (simple moveable toy, stool, simple carpentry)
  • Music (recorder ensemble, orchestra, chorus, Elizabethan songs)

Curriculum overview created by Waldorf Family Network.

© 2012 - Prairie Moon Waldorf School