4th Grade Curriculum
In fourth grade, our historians take a journey through New York history. We begin our learning with an in-depth exploration of the Iroquois tribe that called New York home well before European explorers came to the United States. After this, we begin to explore the colonization of the United States, and in particular, the New York Colony. We then move into the exciting and explosive investigation of the American Revolution. Our historians explore the war from all different sorts of aspects. The historians get to choose what area of the war they would like to further research, for example: Women of the Revolution, Wars of the Revolution, and George Washington. Lastly, our historians finish the year by exploring immigration to the United States, in particular, immigration to the United States in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Our historians again get to choose what area of immigration that interests them the most, for example, German immigrants, Ellis Island, and immigrant children.
In Writing Workshop, our writers build on their primary writing skills to lift their writing skills as they take on upper grade writing. Mirroring the complexity of the ideas and books we now read, writers take their fiction writing to a whole new level: planning and bringing to life characters with complex histories, real life struggles, and believable traits. There is clearer focus and purpose to writing fiction: planning with an arc and meaning/theme in mind to produce stories that impact their readers' hearts, minds, and souls.
Essay writing is a key component of the fourth grade curriculum. Students master the structure of an essay, first, with topics that are personal to them in which they defend and bring in strong life evidence. Then, they shift to essay writing about literature, taking the same structure to help them argue their theses and back up their ideas with evidence grounded in the text. The units we study are: Realistic Fiction, Persuasive and Personal Essay, Informational Books, Poetry, Historical Fiction, and Journalism.
Our mathematicians use fourth grade to strengthen and fine tune all of their mathematical learning. They begin the year by exploring shapes, data, and how to represent it on a graph. Then they move on to deepening their understanding of multiplication, division, and decimals. We then explore estimation and estimating to different place values. We continue our learning by measuring angles and using mathematical tools, like, rulers and protractors. In fourth grade, we spend a lot of time investigating fractions, decimals, and percents (their uses, adding, subtracting, and converting). We finish out fourth grade by exploring perimeter and area of shapes, volume, and rates.
As fourth grade readers, our books are getting richer and lengthier, and so does the conversation and writing we do about reading. This year asks readers to tackle with more complex texts, a variety and wealth of fiction and nonfiction, and to refine their skills of interpretation and questioning, all while deepening comprehension and analysis through discussion with others in the form of meaningful partnerships and book clubs and text dependent writing about their reading ideas. The units we study are: Character Interpretation, Reading the Weather and the World, Thematic Interpretation, Reading History, Poetry, and Historical Fiction.
Fourth grade scientists have an exciting year of science investigations. At the beginning of fourth grade, our scientists explore Food Chains and Food Webs. They explore the interactions that animals have in small groups firsthand with living creatures. After this exciting investigation, our scientists then begin to explore electricity and magnetism. We use batteries, wires, circuit boards, and so much more to investigate the properties of electricity and magnetism. Lastly, our scientists finish the year by investigating water. There are so many interesting topics water allows scientists to explore, like: surface tension, evaporation, and states of matter.