Fourth Grade Literacy

Our work in literacy is inextricably linked to our learning expeditions.

Readers’ Workshop
Throughout the year, we read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction genres that illuminate our topics of study. For example, during the American Dream expedition, we read primary sources, biographies, autobiographies, non-fiction texts, dramas, and historical fiction books that enrich our understanding of the time periods and cultures under investigation. Sometimes students read books that are targeted to their specific stage of reading development, and at other times they will choose books based on personal interest.

In addition to reading texts in support of our learning expeditions, students engage in other author and genre studies that allow us to specifically explore literary structure and techniques. For instance, in the fall, we study the work of Louis Sachar, and during the winter, we study the genre of science fiction.

Writers’ Workshop
WritingStudents develop proficiency with three genres of writing: persuasive writing, narrative writing, and expository writing. As with reading, their writing projects will often directly connect to learning expeditions. Students write persuasive letters about the importance of preserving the Charles, conduct research to write expository reports on the Ancient Maya, and create historical fiction narratives about the lives of Americans living in diverse cultures and historical periods.

We also continue to master the conventions of the English language. We focus on using more complex sentence patterns and more sophisticated uses of punctuation, such as using commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks for dialogue.

Word Study
We continue to learn and apply spelling principles to our daily writing. We meet in small groups for weekly word sorts to support our spelling and vocabulary development. By the end of the year, we also explore common Greek and Latin roots and their role in our language system.