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The Guide to 4th Grade Parent Newsletters

Get reading advice, kids' activities & more.
Review general curricula for 4th Grade, what to expect for each subject, and activities that can be Parents Update
done at home to support learning in the classroom. Preschool view sample

By Shira Ackerman, MA Elementary School view sample

Parent & Child Magazine

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This Guide Contains

> Introduction: 4th Grade Curriculum

> Reading: 4th Grade
> Writing: 4th Grade
> Math: 4th Grade
> Science: 4th Grade
> Social Studies: 4th Grade
> 4th Grade Book List
> Related Content


Introduction: 4th Grade Curriculum
by Shira Ackerman, MA
1. The Pros and Cons of Year-Round
As members of the upper grades of elementary school, 4th graders The Guide to 1st Grade
deepen their learning and skills, preparing them for middle school. 2.
Fourth graders are still viewed as and learn as elementary school
students do. Developmentally, most 4th graders are very much still 3. 6 Rules for School Safety
children; they enjoy and learn from play and thrive in nurturing and
warm environments. However, the content of most 4th grade curricula
pushes students to think, analyze, and learn in more sophisticated and 4. 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn
structured ways. Students are taught to deeply think about and make
connections in what they read and learn; write with clarity, flow, and
structure similar to that of traditional essays; and learn more complex
5. The Guide to 4th Grade

concepts across all subjects. In addition, 4th graders are encouraged to

be more independent in their learning, depending less on the teachers guidance and researching, planning, and
revising their work more by themselves.

The 4th grade classroom is structured like most elementary school classrooms, with desks or tables for the students
and usually an area for lessons, class meetings, and discussions. There are often also areas or centers dedicated to
different subjects of learning. For instance, there may be an area with all of the math tools and supplies, as well as a
class library dedicated to reading. Technology is a crucial part of the 4th grade classroom, as students use it for
extensive writing and research.

Dont forget to check out our extensive resources on homework help for 4th Grade here.

Reading: 4th Grade

by Shira Ackerman, MA

Much of the 4th grade reading curriculum teaches students how to
analyze the books they read. Rather than just understand the plot and
information given in a text, students are encouraged to think about the
messages in a text and how it relates to their own lives. They also
compare texts to each other and make connections both within one text
and across multiple texts. In short, 4th graders begin to learn how to
think and talk about a text in order to find their deeper meanings and
messages. This is done both with texts students read independently
and texts read by the whole class or smaller groups of students.
Teachers may often use a class read-aloud to show students strategies
for thinking about and analyzing what they read, encouraging them to do this in their own reading. Students also do
this as they write in more detail about the texts they read.

In order to build reading skills, your 4th grader:

Uses specific examples from the text to explain characters motivations, main events, central themes, or ideas
about a text.
Uses the context of a text to determine the meaning of a word. Scholastic Parents
Understands and can explain the differences between narrative prose, drama, and poetry. 1,040,420 likes
Identifies and refers to the different parts of poems and plays, such as verses, settings, and characters.
Interprets and connects information from illustrations, graphs, charts, or other sources related to the text.
Identifies, compares, and contrasts different perspectives from which texts are written. (For example, 1st and 3rd
person). Like Page Shop Now
Compares and contrasts the way different texts address the same issue, theme, or topic.
Makes connections between people, events, or important ideas in a text.
1 friend likes this
Uses previous knowledge to read unfamiliar multi-syllable words.
Reads grade-level texts with accurate comprehension, pacing, and expression.

Reading Activities

Read and Research Together: Read the same book as your child independently, together, or a combination of
both. Talk about the books as you read them, reviewing main ideas and plots and expressing your opinions on the
book. Then read an additional book or books on the same subject and compare and contrast how the books both
dealt with the same issue. For example, read two fiction books about family, or two different texts about the same
historical event or non-fiction topic.
Compare Perspectives: Read two texts, one that is first-hand and one written in third person about the same
event. Talk with your child about the differences and why she thinks these differences exist. Or try this yourself! After
sharing an event with your child, each of you can write about it from your own perspective. Or choose an event one
of you experienced first-hand that both of you can write about individually. Talk about the differences between what
you wrote to gain a better understanding of perspective.
Make traveling fun with
Read magazine and newspaper articles, focusing on illustrations, graphs, or charts. Point out to your child what preschoolers!
they show, ask her to help you interpret them, and discuss how they help explain or elaborate on the text. Fun apps, games, and toys to
make traveling less stressful
Writing: 4th Grade Get your kids excited and ready for vacation
with these ingenious ideas!
by Shira Ackerman, MA

It's tempting to wait until kids are older to

Much of the 4th grade writing curriculum focuses on developing writing,
travel, but there is much to gain
specifically so that it has clarity and structure and uses reasons, facts
and, details to support and strengthen students arguments. Fourth
graders are taught to organize their writing, ensure that it has a flow, Game-changing advice for traveling with
and group together related components. In addition, as students are your little ones

taught to think more deeply about concepts, they are encouraged to

write in deeper ways as well. They do this by going beyond simply
stating the facts; they express ideas, make connections, and provide
details and emotions when appropriate.

In order to build writing skills, your 4th grader:

Writes opinion pieces that express a point of view; have an introduction, a conclusion, reasons, and facts to
support the opinion; and group together related ideas.
Writes informative/explanatory pieces that present information on a topic, use facts and details, group together
related topics; provides introductions and conclusions in these pieces.
Writes narrative pieces that use specific details, descriptions, and dialogue to convey a real event; includes an
introduction and conclusion in each piece.
Plans, revises, and edits his writing.
Uses technology to publish, research, and communicate with others under the proper guidance of an adult or
Types with beginning accuracy and ability (for example, types one page of text within one sitting).
Completes research projects by taking notes, organizing them, and presenting them; lists the texts and resources
Writes for both long (over weeks) and shorter (one sitting or a couple of days) periods of time.

Writing Activities

Ask Why: When your child expresses his opinion or states his ideas about something, ask him why he thinks that
or how he knows it to be true. This will help him learn to support his opinion with reasons and/or facts. Do the same
when you express your opinion or ideas about something.
Practice Typing: Encourage your child to practice his typing skills. Use typing games or make up your own
games such as giving your child a word to spell and timing how fast he can type it.
Email with your Child: Set up an email account for your child and write emails describing your days to each
other. Include details, conversations, thoughts, and emotions you had. This can be done in addition to generally
encouraging (and supervising) your childs use of technology helping him use it for research, writing, and
communicating with others. As always, be cautious of your childs technology use by monitoring and supervising how
much it is used and with whom he communicates.
Practice Note Taking: When you and your child go somewhere like a museum or on a trip, or even when you or
child just talks about something interesting or of importance, pretend to be reporters and take notes. Both you and
your child can take notes and then use those notes to later describe what you learned. You can even relay your
reports as a newscaster would on a news show.

Math: 4th Grade

by Shira Ackerman, MA

In 4th grade, students master and further their multiplication, division,

and general computation skills. They learn how to solve real-life word
problems using the four basic operations (addition, subtraction,
multiplication, and division) and larger numbers. By the end of the year,
they are also expected to do all of these operations with greater
accuracy and speed. They need not speed through their work, but they
need to be able to do it at a pace that shows they understand how to
solve a problem without going through too many steps and with a
relatively quick sense of how to do it. In addition, 4th graders are
encouraged to explain how they solve problems in detailed and specific
ways (verbally and through writing), which also helps them practice their writing and analytic skills. In 4th grade,
students still use visuals, math tools, and manipulatives (such as base blocks, fake money, dice, and shapes),
especially to learn and explain how they solve problems with fractions.

In order to build math skills, your 4th grader:

Uses addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to solve word problems, including word problems that
require multiple steps and computations.
Adds and subtracts multi-digit numbers.
Multiplies a number that has up to 4 digits by a 1-digit number, (for example, 2345 x 6) and multiplies two 2-digit
numbers by each other, (for example, 13 x 16).
Solves division equations with remainders.
Solves word problems that measure distance, time, size, money, area, and perimeter.
Predicts answers to word problems and equations based on knowledgeable estimation.
Understands the concepts of and learns the multiples and factors for numbers 1-100.
Follows a pattern or set of guidelines to determine a number. For example: Start with 5. Add 3 five times and
subtract 1. What number are you left with?
Compares and explains why one fraction is bigger or smaller than another using visuals and/or
common denominators.
Begins to add and subtract fractions, including within word problems.
Begins to write and compare fractions as decimals.
Reads and writes multi-digit numbers using bases of ten and expanded forms. For example: 4,538 = 4
thousands, 5 hundreds, 3 tens, and 8 ones.
Compares multi-digit number using < and >.
Rounds multi-digit numbers to any place.
Creates and uses graphs to represent data and answer questions (specifically, creates line plots).
Begins to learn about, measure, and decipher the angles of a shape.
Explains her thinking and how she solves math equations and word problems both verbally and through writing.

Math Activities

Appoint a Family Mathematician: Now that your child is very capable in her math skills, take advantage of the
opportunities available for her to help solve math problems you encounter in everyday life. For example, ask her to
figure how much change you will receive, what measurements you need for carpeting a room, or how much of an
ingredient you need when you are doubling or tripling a recipe. Make your child the family mathematician!
Create Math Riddles: Make up your own math riddles for each other, in which you provide set guidelines and
ask each other to find the final number (as explained in the bullet points above). For example: Start at 39. Subtract
4, divide by 7, and add 6. What number are you left with? You can do this for your child, and your child can do this
for you! Change things up a bit and give your child a number to end up with and ask him to create a riddle with at
least three steps, and use different operations, that would leave you with this number.
Make Predications: Give your child (and have your child give you) difficult math equations. Ask each other to
predict your answers using estimation and then explain how you developed this prediction. Then solve the problems
and see whose guess is closer to the correct answer. Do this for a few problems and keep score.
Make a Multiples and Factors Treasure Hunt: Write numbers on small cards and hide them around the house.
Ask your child to find all the factors or multiples of a certain number. Be sure to include some numbers that are not
multiples and factors; when your child finds those she should leave them where they are.

Science: 4th Grade

by Shira Ackerman, MA

Fourth graders take their science skills further as they conduct

experiments and use these experiments to further their learning. In
addition, the reading and writing work 4th graders do greatly supports
their science learningthey read non-fiction texts, take notes,
research, and support their writing with facts. In fact, some 4th grade
students might write informative or opinion pieces about a scientific
topic they study. As in other grades, the specific topics studied in
science vary by state. However, common topics studied in 4th grade
include: earth and space; plants; the cycle of life; animals; electricity
and magnetism; and motion and sound. Students also often learn
about these topics in relation to their location and where they live. Consult your childs teacher or research your
states science standards for more details.

In order to build science skills your 4th grader:

Conducts experiments using the scientific method (there are many different ways people present "the scientific
method," but here's a basic example):

1. Questions, observes, and researches

2. Develops a hypothesis (based on observations and research)
3. Makes predictions
4. Experiments
5. Develops a conclusion

Develops further questions to research and experiment with based on previously done experiments and
previously realized conclusions.
Writes about and orally presents the findings and conclusion of an experiment.
Researches and takes notes on information on a variety of topics using both text and digital resources.
Collects and uses data to support experiments and what he learns.
Experiments with different types of materials and different states of matter such as solid, liquid, and gas.
Works independently, in partnerships, in small groups, and as a class to conduct experiments and create

Science Activities: 4th Grade

Experiment: Find something that interests your child, such as the weather, plants, a garden you may be growing,
sound, or motion. Work with your child to use the scientific method as described above to learn about and
experiment with this project. Record each step, beginning with research and ending with the conclusion. You can
also do more experiments based on questions or observations that come from your experiment.
Hypothesize: Before doing anything, such as adding one liquid to another or putting something in the water, ask
your child to hypothesize what she thinks will happen. Ask her to explain why she thinks this.
Take a Hike: Visit a local park or hiking site and encourage your child to make observations, describe what she
notices, and ask questions. Pay particular attention to the natural objects you find (like rock formations and plants)
and use these observations for further research.
Learn How Something Works: Choose a technology or machine with your child and researchboth with books
and information onlinehow that object works. Then create a model, diagram, or video of how that object works.

Social Studies: 4th Grade

by Shira Ackerman, MA

Social studies in the 4th grade encourages students to deepen their

reading, writing, and analytical skills, as well as expand knowledge and
appreciation of their own local and American history. Students compare
different perspectives using both primary and secondary texts. They
then write both informative pieces and essays. Fourth graders also use
technology to research both past and current events. In all of their
work, 4th graders are taught to analyze the reasons why things occur
and form strong supported opinions and ideas, which encourages them
to think more deeply about the world. Since most social studies
curricula are specific to a location, consult your childs teacher or your
states social studies standards to find out which specific communities and aspects of the community will be covered.
While many curricula differ according to state, many 4th grade classes study the founding and early years of
American society and government.

In order to build social studies skills, your 4th grader:

Studies and uses maps to gain a deeper understanding of geography and how geography affects a community.
Researches, organizes, and presents his research on various topics, events, and figures.
Discusses topics focusing on explaining his opinion using specific details, facts, and reasons to support his
Writes essays that state an opinion; includes supporting facts for that opinion.
Reads primary and secondary sources about different events, people, and topics.
Uses technology to research both past and current events and topics.
Deepens his understanding of government and civic responsibility.
Deepens his understanding of basic economic principles and how ones community affects his or her economy
and business.
Uses and creates multiple types of sources including art, film, poetry and fiction to learn and show what he has
learned about historical events and social studies topics.
Understands different concepts, such as cause and effect, in order to explain and learn why things happen or
Compares different events and retellings of the same event.
Discusses American holidays and important days and events as they approach.

Social Studies Activities

Stay Current: Encourage your child to read news magazines for kids, such as Scholastic Kids. Ask and talk to
her about current events. Encourage her to share her opinion and ideas about the events.
Imagine That: Help your child see things from different perspectives. Read or learn about a moment, adult, or
child in history and talk about how your child would feel if he were in their shoes. Your child can even dress up as the
figure or a person living during that time and act out how he felt.
Compare Perspectives: Your child can interview a person who lived during an important historical or current
event. Then read about the moment in a secondary source and compare the two perspectives.
Watch, Read, and Listen: Compare different sources (books, movies, art, songs, poems) about an event and
talk about how they treat one topic or moment differently.
Visit Historical Places: Visit both local and national historical landmarks. Local landmarks are particularly
important, as they will help your child relate to events that occurred near to her own home.
4th Grade Book List
by Shira Ackerman, MA

Here are some book picks for your 4th grader:

Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliet: This is a great chapter book to

read with your child. It is a mystery book about a brother and sister and
incorporates adventure, art history and even secret codes!
The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles: Although this is a
picture book it is a very serious book which addresses the true story of
a black girl attending an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume: The name of
this book says it all. It is about a 4th grader, his classmates and their
daily adventures.
Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan: This historical fiction novel tells the story of a girl who is forced to
immigrate from Mexico to California during the depression.
It's Our World, Too!: Stories of Young People Who Are Making a Difference, by Phillip Hoose: This book
tells true stories of children and young adults who took action and caused change in the world.



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