“What makes a great book?” is the essential question we ask students as they uncover the many different genres of literature in Fourth Grade reading curriculums. Students read new literature as well as timeless classics as avenues to answer this essential question. Fourth Grade students are able to use their self-confidence to hone their presentation skills in projects that require both writing and speaking about the literature they are reading.
Fourth Graders study the State of Missouri in the Social Studies curriculum that asks questions like, “Are modern civilizations here now more civilized than ancient ones?” and, “Is bartering still a valuable way to obtain goods?” During the process of learning about these cultures and historical periods, as well as modern-day government, students create their own unique classroom city. Making decisions involved in creating a city enables them to discover how specific decisions by government and businesses affect everyone in the community.
The Mathematics curriculum used in Fourth Grade further stimulates problem solving and increases mental math ability. Different algorithms are used to solve multi-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Geometry is introduced and elementary algebraic concepts are presented on a regular basis using a variety of hands-on activities.
Being a part of the upper school allows Fourth Graders to take on a more advanced leadership role. Students guide their younger buddies in classroom activities and lessons.
It is so great to be back into the swing of things after our nice, relaxing Winter Break! Everyone seems well-rested and eager to learn, which is always wonderful to see.
To start the year in Reading, Third and Fourth Grade worked a lot on reading comprehension, specifically how to preview questions, highlight key words, and then read through the story to find the right answers. Now that we're halfway through the year, we're moving on to identifying and mapping the major elements of a story's plot. This is a useful tool because it helps the reader (especially young readers) visualize the key features of the story they're reading.
The biggest thing to understand is that without a plot, there is no story, really. In order for there to be a story to tell, something has to change. The way that authors create their stories follow 5 very specific steps that get the reader from Point A to Point B, and our class spent some time learning about them by reading a short story based off of the famous nursery rhyme Jack and Jill.
Step 1: Exposition. This is the foundation of the plot that introduces the reader to characters and gives us some basic information at the beginning of a story.
Step 2: Rising Action. This is where the conflict of the story is revealed and then becomes more complicated.
Step 3: Climax. This is the turning point of the story and generally the highest point of interest for the reader.
Step 4: Falling Action. At this point, events begin to conclude the story and allow the conflict to be resolved.
Step 5: Resolution. This is the end of the story. It is also where the outcome of the story is revealed.
The class did a great job their first time through and will continue to practice as we dive into the book Mr. Popper's Penguins, which everyone (teacher included) is very excited to start. Once their plot maps are complete, we'll post them on the walls for all to see! It will be a lot of fun!