Curriculum‎ > ‎Fourth Grade‎ > ‎

Language Arts

The goal of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach children to use language thoughtfully and to express and receive information and ideas. Children learn to read and write in the same way that they learn to speak–that is, by using their emerging literacy in meaningful situations. In school, we provide children with numerous opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write. The necessary details of reading and writing are taught most effectively in contexts meaningful to the student.

This curriculum is a guide for teaching all the language arts. It includes listening and speaking as necessary parts of reading and writing. It presents a variety of literary experiences to foster a sense of meaning and enjoyment in learning to read and write.
  • Obtain information, directions, instructions
  • Understand and follow multi-step directions
  • Make timely and appropriate responses to others
  • Listen for enjoyment
  • Understand speaker’s message
  • Give clear directions; make simple announcements
  • Participate in small- and large-group discussions
  • Deliver information in front of class
  • Perform/recite short written work
  • Express feelings and opinions to peers and adults
  • Elaborate on ideas

Vocabulary/Word Recognition

  • Continue to expand vocabulary, including content-area vocabulary
  • Understand synonyms, antonyms and homonyms
Word Analysis
  • Continue to use phonetic, structural and contextual analysis to read unfamiliar words
Comprehension: Literal
  • Recall sequence of events
  • Recognize characters, setting and plot
  • Follow written directions
Comprehension: Inferential
  • Understand main idea
  • Predict outcomes
  • Interpret character traits and feelings
  • Interpret a character’s point of view
  • Recognize contrasting points of view among characters
  • Differentiate between fact and opinion; fiction and nonfiction
  • Determine cause and effect
Comprehension: Interpretive
  • Relate text to self, other text, and the larger world

Preparation for Writing

  • Brainstorm, alone or in a group, to develop topics
  • Select a topic to develop
  • Use a template to structure writing
  • Use information skills to research a topic
  • Learn to write complete sentences and develop a coherent paragraph
  • Write a piece that communicates effectively to an audience
  • Respond to the reactions of an audience
  • Share writing with peers
  • Compose fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reports
  • Reread own work to assure the meaning is clear
  • Delete unwanted portions of the work
  • Use revision strategies to enrich the piece
  • Recognize and correct spelling mistakes using appropriate resources
  • Use correct capitalization and punctuation
  • Use correct subject/predicate agreement
  • Use adjectives and adverbs correctly
  • Correct run-on sentences and sentence fragments
  • Choose several pieces of work for publication


  • Nouns: common, proper, singular and plural
  • Verbs: action and being
  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs
  • Aspects of grammar
    • Subjects and predicates
    • Complete sentences
  • Sentence beginnings and the word “I”
  • Proper nouns
  • Titles
  • Quotation beginning
  • Titles for people
  • Names of places
  • Names of states
  • Time and dates
Punctuation Marks
  • Periods
  • Question marks
  • Exclamation marks
  • Commas in series
  • Commas in numbers
  • Commas in letter writing
  • Quotation marks in direct quotation
  • Quotation marks with other punctuation marks
  • Hyphens to indicate syllables at the end of a line
  • Apostrophes used to show ownership
  • Apostrophes in contractions

Learning to spell is a developmental process. Spelling instruction includes helpful strategies and some useful rules that can help children learn to spell. The goal of the spelling program is to help students become competent, independent spellers and encourage them to apply their spelling skills across the curriculum in meaningful writing experiences. Students learn useful spelling rules and generalizations to aid in spelling development.

The key components of the spelling program:

Students use word lists that include:

  • Words most frequently used in writing
  • Words governed by reliable or phonic generalizations
  • High-frequency demon words that defy generalizations
  • Words most frequently misspelled in writing
  • High-utility content-area words
Misspelled words are identified and worked on in writing.

Accountability and evaluation are built into the spelling program.

Students learn a variety of multi-sensory techniques to help learn new spelling words:

  • Learn spelling words as whole unit
  • Develop visual imagery
  • Try alternate spellings; see which looks correct
  • Sound out word
  • Learn to spell in clusters (to-get-her)
  • Think of related words
  • Think of word parts
Students learn and use proofreading skills that may enable the writer to distinguish between correct and incorrect spelling.

Students learn use of dictionary and other resources to check spelling.


  • Use legible upper-and lower-case cursive or printing.
Information Skills
  • Use an on-line catalog to locate materials by subject, title and author
  • Locate fiction and nonfiction materials in the Ray School library/media center
  • Locate and use table of contents, index and glossary
  • Use guide words and indexes to locate information in books and encyclopedias
  • Use encyclopedias, almanacs and atlases to find information on a topic
  • Use nonprint materials as source of information
  • Use newspapers and magazines as sources of information
  • Use a search strategy for locating resources on a specific topic
  • Take notes in his or her own words, using key words and phrases
  • Share information and ideas with a written, oral or visual presentation
  • Participate in open-ended discussions of literature
  • Recognize the work of a variety of authors and illustrators
  • Recognize a variety of literary genres
  • Listen while teacher reads aloud
  • Recognize and appreciate examples of good literature
  • Read books of own choosing in class
  • Choose appropriate books independently in the library
  • Progress through developmental stages of oral and silent reading