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Fourth Grade Curriculum Overview

Fourth Grade Curriculum Overview
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This section provides a summary of the key fourth grade curriculum and learning objectives for language arts, math, social studies, and science. Under each is a more detailed description of what children learn in fourth grade subjects, including detailed lesson descriptions of Time4Learning learning activities.

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Overview of Fourth Grade Learning Milestones

Fourth grade is a year of highly visible progress in reading, writing and language arts. By the end of fourth grade language arts, students should be able to:

  • Read with a higher level of fluency and expression
  • Utilize root words, prefixes, suffixes, and context clues to analyze unfamiliar words
  • Apply comprehension strategies to literary and expository texts
  • Formulate multiple paragraph pieces that focus on a specific purpose or audience
  • Write chronological pieces, pieces focusing on cause and effect and pieces that draw from personal experience

Fourth grade is also a year of visible math skill development. By the end of fourth grade math, students should be able to:

  • Add and subtract large numbers with sums up to 1,000,000
  • Complete basic multiplication and division problems
  • Understand basic fraction and decimal concepts
  • Recognize and identify basic geometrical vocabulary and ideas
  • Be proficient in data collection and analysis

Fourth Grade Language Arts and Reading Curriculum Overview

The Time4Learning curriculum constitutes a solid fourth grade language arts program correlated to state standards, which many homeschool parents use as their entire curriculum. Non-homeschoolers utilize the lessons for extra practice, an online fourth grade tutorial, or summer enrichment. Fourth grade language arts is organized into two large sections: Language Arts and Language Arts Extensions.

  • The language arts section contains 161 learning activities that are primarily based on reading comprehension, writing skills and vocabulary
  • Our Independent Learning Activities (ILA), think alouds, interactive guided instruction and read & respond lessons will build and develop working knowledge of language arts skills and give students plenty of practice.

Lessons are organized into a variety of chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Vocabulary Skills – Synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and idioms are taught with new vocabulary using reading activities that build fluency. Lessons build a working understanding of suffixes, prefixes, and reading skills. Students are asked to identify, interpret and analyze passages.
  2. Process Skills: Think Alouds – Teaches the reading comprehension process of summarizing, predicting, visualizing, questioning, and clarifying with extensive scaffolding and support, through think aloud prompts.
  3. Comprehension – Teaches comprehension strategies to literary and expository texts. Fourth graders learn to identify and write about the characters, setting, plot, main idea and supporting details of a story. They learn about sequential order, fact and opinion, cause and effect, author’s purpose, inferences, and comparing and contrasting story elements.
  4. State Simulation Assessments – Mock assessment that uses simulated questions to teach students how to apply reading comprehension skills to high stakes tests. Students are asked to display working knowledge based on appropriate reading material.
  5. Pioneers (ILA) – Independent Learning Activity (ILA) that builds vocabulary and comprehension skills. Fourth graders will read an authentic narrative about life on the frontier. They will be asked to describe the setting, analyze the story and then write their own interpretation.
  6. Mystery (ILA) – A series of activities that uses fictional literature from the mystery genre to develop reading, writing and thinking skills. While solving a mystery, students will learn about inferences, quotations, paragraph forms and new vocabulary. They will also be asked to analyze clues and write a mystery report on their findings.
  7. Natural Disasters (ILA) – Teaches about natural disasters. A series of activities that develop and practice reading, writing, and thinking skills. Students will first read a nonfiction story. Then, they will follow guidelines on punctuation and sentence combination to compare and contrast elements of the story.
  8. African American Poetry (ILA) – Teaches vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills using authentic African American poetry. Activities combine direct instruction with read & responds to teach about root words, suffixes, prefixes, metaphors and inferences. Students are asked to write about their opinions.
  9. Heroes (ILA) – Develops vocabulary, reading, writing, and thinking skills using literature that revolves around heroes. Fourth graders are asked to describe a special event, draw conclusions about story characters, and write a news article about a hero.
  10. Inventory and Inventions (ILA) – Teaches vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills using a theme about inventions. Activities combine direct instruction with read & responds to teach about cause and effect, contractions, quoting and paraphrasing. Students are asked to write about a character’s actions.
  11. Famous Americans (ILA) – Teaches vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills using authentic nonfiction by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Activities combine direct instruction with read & responds to teach about summarizing and sentence fragments. Vocabulary is emphasized in word analysis lessons, and students are asked to write an expository essay about FDR at the end of the chapter.

Many parents have expressed interest in purchasing the full versions of the authentic literature excerpted in the 4th grade language arts section. They can be purchased at the links below but they DO NOT need to be purchased in order to use Time4Learning.

Click for lesson by lesson details on the Time4learning 4th grade language arts lesson plans.  Why wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

Fourth Grade Language Extensions Curriculum Overview

Language arts extensions is a component of the complete language arts curriculum. Many homeschooling parents have their child complete both the language arts and language arts extensions. Non homeschoolers use the lessons for online tutoring, extra practice, or summer enrichment or as a fourth grade language arts tutorial.

The language arts extensions lessons are organized into several chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Comprehend & Respond – Students learn to use a variety of strategies to comprehend and respond to a variety of different texts. Lessons include using facts, fiction, or opinion, developing dictionary competency, and extensive grade level appropriate vocabulary.
  2. Grammar – Students learn to apply what they have learned about grammar and mechanics as they write original compositions. Lessons focus on parts of speech, similes and metaphors, punctuation, double negatives, and spelling rules.
  3. Literature – Students learn to respond and comprehend a variety of literature including fiction, nonfiction, biography, poetry folklore, and public documents. Lessons include a focus on the elements, style, and characteristics of the various literary genres.
  4. Written Communication – Students learn to communicate ideas and information through creative writing for a variety of purposes such as: informing, persuading, influencing, responding, and creating. Lessons include the Writing Process, personal experience writing, and research.
  5. Convention of Language – Students will learn the various conventions of language to aid in communicating ideas orally. Lessons will focus on developing the student’s active listening and critical thinking skills in order to enhance understanding. Students learn about oral expressions, diverse vocabulary effective speaking, and listening skills.

For details about fourth grade writing standards, please visit Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

Fourth Grade Vocabulary Curriculum Overview

Vocabulary building is emphasized throughout Time4Learning’s fourth grade language arts program using reading, grammar, spelling and writing exercises.

Lesson activities cover:

  • Traditional vocabulary lists
  • Vocabulary exercises that encourage students to identify prefixes and suffixes
  • Animated vocabulary lessons covering synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
  • Literature-based study of topics such as pioneers, natural disasters, African American poetry, and inventors
  • Math vocabulary introduced with vocabulary words relating to quantity and size

Units culminate with a vocabulary test to assess understanding.

Fourth Grade Math Curriculum Overview

The fourth grade math curriculum contains numerous math lessons, along with printable worksheets, quizzes and chapter tests. It constitutes a solid fourth grade math program correlated to state standards, which is important to many homeschooling users. Non homeschoolers use the program as an alternative to a 4th grade math tutor, for test preparation, extra practice, or summer enrichment.The math lessons are organized into several chapters that introduce and cover:

  • Animated characters present the fourth grade math lessons one step at a time, at the student’s pace.
  • Lessons build on the skills they learned in third grade, as fourth graders are guided through fractions, decimals, geometry, algebra, measurement, and probability.
  • All lessons use interactive prompts and conceptual explanations.
  • Time4MathFacts, included in the curriculum, provides practice in foundation skill areas that is necessary for math success.

Math lessons are organized into 17 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Number Theory and Systems – Teaches how to write numbers up to nine digits, number comparison, standard and expanded form of numbers, and rounding numbers.
  2. Addition and Subtraction – Teaches the computation of numbers up to four digits. Lessons also include estimating sums and differences while rounding numbers.
  3. Multiplication and Division – Starts with math tutorials. It distinguishes the key components of multiplying several digits and introduces partial products. Lessons also include several practice scenarios for applying what students have learned with multiple digit multiplication. Division with 2 digit divisors is taught in conjunction with averaging numbers.
  4. Fractions and Decimals – Teaches relationships between numbers and the various ways of representing fractions and decimals. Lessons include adding and subtracting fractions and decimals.
  5. Money – Teaches students how money matters, how to count and make change, using decimals with money, and multiplying and dividing money.
  6. Patterns – Introduces students to pictorial and numeric patterns. Students explore function at the end of the chapter.
  7. Algebra – Teaches about addition and subtraction with variables. Lessons cover the associative and commutative properties.
  8. Properties of Shapes – Introduces basic geometry and spatial relationships. Students learn how to identify line segments, rays, lines, angles, polygons, and circles.
  9. Coordinate Geometry – Teaches ordered pairs, navigational directions, and distance with the coordinate plane.
  10. Transformations and Symmetry – Teaches congruence, similarity, transformations, symmetry, and the classification of each.
  11. Time – Introduces different ways that time is classified, such as calendar time and clock time. Lessons also teach how to tell time to the 1 and 5 minute intervals, finding elapsed time, and interpreting time schedules.
  12. Customary System – Teaches the students how to use the customary systems of measurement to understand the attributes of length, weight, capacity, and temperature and how to apply appropriate measuring techniques. Lessons also cover conversion of measurements.
  13. Metric System – Teaches the units of metric measurement and how to convert them.
  14. Perimeter, Area & Volume – Teaches how to find perimeter, area, and volume through customary and non customary methods of measurement. Lessons also introduce volume.
  15. Display and Interpret Data – Teaches students to recognize data in the form of frequency tables, bar graphs, line graphs, and stem and leaf plots. Students are also taught the different types of statistical measurements such as mean, median, mode, and range.
  16. Probability – Teaches reinforces the ideas of certainty and likelihood, combinations, and probability. Students are taught how to calculate probability as a fraction.
  17. Problem Solving – Teaches the basics of problem solving using diagrams, charts, lists, and addition and subtraction of equations to solve word problems.

For a more detailed description of the fourth grade math lessons, please visit our fourth grade math scope and sequence page. Ready to start learning right now? Sign up today!

Fourth Grade Science Curriculum Overview

The fourth grade science curriculum contains a number of lessons, worksheets and quizzes, organized into an assortment of chapters. Members use the science curriculum as a 4th grade science tutorial, for extra practice, or summer enrichment.

In the fourth grade science curriculum, students will cover:

  1. Scientific Investigation – Lessons will focus on reasoning strategies as students are asked to conduct a simple experiment by asking a scientific question, stating a hypothesis, listing the procedure, recording the results, and communicating the conclusion. They will learn how to display data using graphs, tables, drawings, and other media.
  2. Changes in Matter and Energy – Students will learn about the basic properties of matter and their physical and chemical changes. They will learn how to classify matter, measure heat, describe physical and chemical changes, distinguish between types of change and apply force to an object.
  3. Sound – Students will learn the basic principles of sound, identify the basic physical phenomena of sound and learn how to identify musical instruments that create it.
  4. Solar System and the Universe – Students learn about the structure of the solar system and the universe. They are taught about the composition and formation of rocks and soil. They learn about the arrangement and movements of planets, meteors, comets and the sun. They are asked to classify each according to size, characteristics, and composition.
  5. Living Things – Students learn about the characteristics, structures, and functions of living things and of how living things interact with one another and their environment. They will learn the difference between vertebrates, invertebrates, ecosystems and the basic requirements of life. Students learn about environmental impact and the protection of natural resources.

For a more detailed description of the fourth grade science lessons, please visit our fourth grade science scope and sequence page.

Fourth Grade Social Studies Curriculum Overview

The fourth grade social studies curriculum contains numerous lessons, as well as worksheets and quizzes, organized into different chapters. Members use the social studies curriculum as a fourth grade social studies tutorial, for extra practice, or to supplement their homeschooling approach. Although the materials are extensive, it does not correlate to all state standards and is not animated.

In the fourth grade social studies curriculum, students will cover:

  1. Ancient Civilization – Students will review the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. Students will explore their types of writing, mysteries, and wonders
  2. Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas – Students will learn about the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas. They will explore their writing, art, architecture, and government.
  3. U. S. Revolutionary Period – Students will learn the history of the United States during the Revolutionary and Early National Periods. Lessons begin with the discovery of America, colonization, wars, important people, and end with a timeline.
  4. Geography – Students learn how to explore the world through the use of maps, globes, and atlases. Lessons are taught on how to recognize the different physical features of maps. Students also learn the various land features such as plateau, prairie, peninsula, isthmus, mesa, mountain range, delta, straight, and channel.
  5. United States Civics – Students will learn about the United States political system in historic context and from the standpoint of present-day practice. Students learn from using historical documents such as The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights.
  6. Economics – Students will demonstrate an understanding of economics through the study of production, distribution, and consumption. They will learn to differentiate between personal wants and needs, identify sources of revenue for local, state, and federal governments and review the role of economics in today’s society.
  7. Current Events – Students will examine and analyze current issues and discuss how they might impact present and future life. They will learn how to use public documents to gather information regarding current issues and events, examine possible impacts of a current event, predict possible impacts of a current event on future life and relate a current event to personal life.
  8. Prehistoric Art – Students will learn about and describe the basic styles of prehistoric cave art.

For a more detailed description of the fourth grade social studies lessons, please visit our fourth grade social studies scope and sequence page. Why wait? Sign up for Time4Learning and start learning today!

Fourth Grade Educational Resources

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The Time4Learning Online Curriculum

Time4Learning has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. Time4Learning’s online curriculum has proven effective with over 3,500+ multimedia lessons, printable worksheets, and graded activities in a student-paced environment that brings concepts to life. Math and language arts lessons correlated to state standards. Science, social studies and art are also provided to most grades. Students may also add foreign language learning to their subscription for an additional fee. Visit our demo to see examples of fourth grade lessons.


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