Grade Four

Language Arts

Listening Skills. Given oral presentations of up to 20 minutes (and sometimes greater) in length and a 24-hour interval, students will recall the main sequence and details of the story. Stories for the year will include presentations from Ancient Cultures II: Northern Maritime Peoples; the Norsemen and their Myths, Norwegian folk tales, the Elder Edda, and Kalevala. Attention of instructor is directed to students’ listening posture and other signs of attentive behavior. Students will follow up to six sequential orally given instructions. Some of these instructions will be concrete images (e.g., take out your main lesson books), some will be spatial-visual (place your name on the upper right hand side of the paper).

Speaking Skills. Given selected passages, students will individually and chorally recite text with good dictation, meter, intonation and expression. Selected poems and passages will be presented before audiences at assemblies. Oral class reports will be presented during author’s circle. Emphasis will be given to voluntary sharing of one’s creativity. Given tongue twisters and sequences designed to pronounce specific sounds, students will individually, and in small groups, perform exercises with clear diction and intonation. Students will identify and isolate specific sounds. Given oral practice and stage directions, students will perform plays before an audience (one per year).

Writing Skills. Given an oral story, students will help the teacher to compose a synopsis of all, or part, of a story on the board. This will then be copied into their own “text” books. Given an oral story, students will be able to independently and collaboratively write a synopsis of all, or part, of a story “on their own.” Attention will be paid to the inclusion of correct sequence of action in the story and support with appropriate details. Given a written or oral presentation, students will be required to identify and outline main ideas and supporting details. This will be continued and expanded into the areas of expository, narrative and letter writing. Fluidity of writing at this stage is more important than technical expertise. Students will be encouraged to write, and as they are ready, correction of technical aspects will be introduced in a way designed not to interrupt what was created while writing. Given appropriate imaginative stimuli, students will create their own poems and stories. Alphabetizing of words will be required by the students as a precursor to use of the dictionary. Vocabulary is taught in a “whole language” context. Explanations and clarifications of words take place orally and in writing. Students will be required to indicate understanding of vocabulary words through written and oral exercises. Proofreading is required of all students. Students are required to copy correctly text from the board and are guided in learning to proofread their copied texts. Appropriate written text will be submitted to them and they will be required to proofread and make corrections.

Grammar Skills. Students will be required to identify simple declarative, interrogative, exclamatory and imperative sentences. Students will be required to classify into these categories and to write such sentences when requested. A study and review of parts of speech including nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, articles, conjunctions and interjections will be undertaken. Students will be required to show understanding of these through oral responses in class, board work and written exercises.

Spelling Skills. Correct spelling is encouraged on every writing assignment. Students will be required to identify and correct with the help of the teacher any misspellings that have occurred in their writing. Weekly spelling tests will be given with no fewer than ten words required for mastery. Spelling will include common sight words, compound words and phonetic groups. In context of spelling lists, word families will be reviewed. The students and teacher will generate lists of word family groupings.

Reading Skills. Given students’ created storybooks, teacher created storybooks (based on curriculum stories, activities and readers), students will continue to develop in word recognition skills, word attack skills, comprehension, fluency, intonation and expression. This development will be noted through oral (individual and choral) reading, and evaluated in specific written exercises. Given phonics review, students will identify sounds for letter combinations and word attack skills. Five to seven book reports on group and individually read books will be required. Children will be asked to re-create part of the story, give opinions and create a desire to read/not read this book. Recreational reading is required and encouraged through book reports and in silent reading times during school hours. Teacher-guided discussions with individual students about their books will take place. Juvenile novels are the focus of this reading, giving students some choice in their own reading material with guidance from the teacher.

Computation. Given appropriate review and practice, students will show mastery of the four processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The mastery will be evaluated through class participation, board work and written exercises. An emphasis is placed on review and practice of long division with an introduction to using estimation and rounding off. Students will be required to review and practice specific problems of measurement using measurement skills in the areas of linear, liquid, weight, time and money.

Concepts. The concept of greater and lesser is emphasized through the use of experiential anecdotes and manipulatives. Students will compare and contrast using whole numbers and fractions. Through curriculum stories, anecdotes and practical examples, students are introduced to the following: comparing fractions, finding common denominators, mixed fractions, using the four operations with fractions and lowest terms. Students will demonstrate understanding through oral response, board work and written exercises. Through curriculum-appropriate stories, examples and practice, the concepts of area and perimeter will be introduced. Students will first learn measurement of close and familiar objects and places surrounding them. Gradually this will be expanded to more abstract forms and areas. Understanding will be determined through oral response, board practice and written exercises. Number patterns, prime factors, and finding averages are all introduced and practiced. Students learn to make intricate weaving form drawing patterns. Word Problems. Given appropriate curriculum story problems, students will choose and write a formula representation of the mathematical aspects of the story. Given a formula representation, students will write a vertical representation of the problem. Mastery of the above will be evaluated through oral class participation.

Mental Arithmetic. Given an array of problems orally, students will complete these problems without the use of objects or written assistance on a daily basis. Understanding and capacity is measured in daily participation.

Social Studies

Given the goal of understanding the development of the neighborhood, students will study maps and map making. They will do freehand drawings of local areas and the regions of the state, noting places of interest and importance. Attention will be paid to the impact of the geography on development of agriculture and industry. Oral and written presentations will be required from the students to show an understanding of the interrelationship of geography and social and economic development. Given the goal of understanding their state, students will examine the aboriginal people of the areas through the development of folk culture and on to the present. Local and state historic sites will be visited and studied. The role of the local area and the development of the community will be a special interest. Students will give oral presentations; create appropriate drawings and written reports on the above subjects. In the course of this area of study, there will be extensive use of biographies of the people of the state and folk tales. Students will write and recall these materials.


In the science curriculum, we will study animal physiology and will relate this to the traits of the animals and their relationship to the environment. A special interest is the study of correspondences between the human being and those animals that best represent the respiratory, the circulatory system, the nervous system and the metabolic systems. This block is called “The Human and Animal Block.” Given the above goals, students will show mastery through expository writing; illustrations of animals, humans and habitats; modeling animals and their habitats; field trips to parks, streams, beaches, etc.; library research; dramatization of animal tales and creative writing.