4th Grade - Revealing Strength, Courage & Adventure!

 

Developmental Picture of the Student

Fourth graders become more self-confident as their perceptions of the world sharpen. They also experience a stronger separation from their surroundings and become more independent. These developmental steps broaden the child’s perspective and show a world of endless, exciting possibilities. The fourth grader has an adventurous spirit, is full of curiosity, and is eager to explore new capacities for learning and creativity.

How the Curriculum Meets the 4th Grader

The ability to choose consciously is strongly echoed in Norse mythology. These traditional tales center on strength of character, courage, self-sacrifice, and perseverance while revealing hidden motives, and character fallibility. The Norse stories impart the gifts and risks of growing into independent, free human beings. Through these myths, the language arts curriculum expands to introduce independent writing and grammar.

The 4th grader experiences a stronger separation from their surroundings. This developmental step broadens the child’s perspective on the world and of human interactions and serves as a requisite foundation for future independence.

In 4th grade, the world—which once exhibited a magical wholeness—begins to break apart. This is the appropriate time to introduce fractions. Through hands-on activities, the children find a world of numbers in between any two whole numbers. In science, the children learn about animals’ diverse qualities and contrast them to human capacities. The students learn research skills and do their first independent report on an animal of their choice. They also advance writing skills with book reports.

Students continue to advance their work in music, art and handwork, focusing this year on the complex form drawings of Celtic knots and in needlepoint projects.

Geography and history are woven together to give the students a sense of the interrelatedness of space, time, and cultures. They learn how the earth’s geological movements formed the regional environments around Chicago, and they study local Native American history and culture which reveals a rich, detailed and integrated picture of Chicago and the Great Lakes region.
 

STUDENT BLOCK BOOK: THE LEGENDS OF NORSE MYTHOLOGY

The challenges, trials and achievements of the gods (here Thor & Loki) are studied in the 4th grade curriculum

 

4th GRADE CURRICULUM COMPONENTS:

         
 

SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS
- Human/animal environments & behaviors
- Introduction of fractions: equivalent fractions,
 expanding, reducing, greatest common factors
  and least common multiples

LANGUAGE ARTS
- Stories of Norse mythology
- Study local history and animal behavior
- Introduction to report writing research skills
- Reading independently for comprehension,
   inferring and decoding
- Introduction to grammar and parts of speech
- Paragraph development
- Writing book reports

GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY
-  Drawing maps, the four directions,
   geographic placement through movement
- History of Chicago

ART
- Celtic knot illustrations
- Modeling animals & local land forms
- Painting story motifs using warm/cool colors
- More advanced drawing techniques

   

WORLD LANGUAGES
Students experience alternating 6-week blocks of German and Spanish that provide an introduction to writing, reading and vocabulary

HANDWORK
Sequences, patterns, symmetry and direction are practiced through cross-stitching.

MUSIC
- Modern musical notation and learning to sing
  and play a song from sheet music
- Recorder
- Singing and playing rounds and part music
- Beginning orchestra

GYM & EURYTHMY
Advanced physical games and movement skills
Choreography and gestures for the major and minor moods in music

FIELD TRIPS & COMMUNITY EVENTS
- Camp Edwards YMCA:  Three days in
   Wisconsin hiking, skating, tubing and cross-
   country skiing
- Local field trips: explore the city’s rich history
- 4th grade play: A Norse myth recited by the
   whole class in costumes/props with some
   individual speaking parts

 


LIFE SKILLS & HOMEWORK EXPERIENCED IN 4TH GRADE

  • Study vocabulary lists for weekly spelling tests
  • Practice writing with correct sentence structure
  • Write an independent research paper on an animal
  • Writing summarizing book reports
  • Practice reading independently & in small groups
  • Practice simple fractions with all four processes
  • Practice with measurement, the four basic operations, long division and multi-digit multiplication
  • Memorizing lines and actions for parts in the play
  • Practice string instruments at home and in lessons