Grade 4 Curriculum
The grade four students ease into a new stage of childhood in which they find comfort in themselves and the world after coming through a significant change. They are ready to take on challenges, are able to make more conscious decisions and take on more academic work. Their developmental stage is met in the stories of the Norse Mythology and Finish Kalevala. Students continue to develop their composition skills in writing as they work with these stories. Most teachers introduce formal weekly spelling tests. Recitation continues and more complex language is explored through drama and verse.
In math the grade four curriculum focuses on fractions. The students are given opportunities to divide things into parts that up to now they have experienced as whole, such as food, music, the class (working in groups) etc. The mastery of mathematical concepts from grade three continues to grow through practice in grade four. The experience of square measure might be added to division, long and short methods, and to multiplication and simple freehand geometry.
Students also study animals as they relate to the human being. They explore local geography and history, often spending a week at Black Creek Pioneer village, and taking a local overnight camping trip. The class has key roles in the Michaelmas play and does the Maypole dance at the May Fair.
Specialty subjects continue as in grade three, though in handwork they move from crochet to cross-stitch. The students who began string lessons in grade three join a weekly string ensemble and those who do not play strings participate in a recorder ensemble. Where applicable, subject teachers design their programs to meet the developmental stage by introducing and then increasing writing, relating their lessons to the current main lesson block, and doing more work in groups or ‘parts’.
- Writing based on Norse Mythology stories and other main lesson blocks
- Riddles, speech exercises, alliterative verses, longer narrative verse; Kalevala
- Recitation in groups and individuals, shift in drama to more individualized roles
- Fountain pens usually introduced
- Dictation introduced as an additional method of lesson material write-ups
- Letter writing, pen pals, thank you notes, invitations, may be introduced
- Continue practice in writing mechanics: 4 types of sentences; punctuation; paragraph indentation; capitalization etc., grammar and spelling work expanded and becomes more formal
- Scheduled reading class for both independent and class reading
- Human and animal project assigned requiring independent research, reading and writing
- Mental math in narrative and written form
- Carry out all four processes with numbers competently
- Read and understand numbers up to 6 figures
- Know times tables up to 12 out of sequence
- Long multiplication with up to 3 digit multipliers
- Find factors of a given number
- Identify prime numbers less than 100
- Measurement of temperature
- Long division including remainder and estimating answers
- Fractions – terminology; adding, subtracting
In Grade 4 students begin a more formal study of science. The connections between the human and the animal kingdom are explored, beginning with the human being. The students undertake their first in-depth, individual project in the block entitled Human and Animal.
The formal study of history is introduced through the study of local history and geography. Emphasis is placed on how people came and settled on the land that was originally in the care of the First Nations People.
The fourth grader has now separated to some extent from his/her immediate environment and is now able to step back and engage with the larger world with an appreciation for past, present and future. We begin with the geography of the local surroundings – the rivers and hills, meadows and lakes – and from this, gain an understanding of the economic foundations of the areas such as how rivers are used for transport and the building of canals and railroads. We also study the indigenous culture in the area and how they used the land. Finally, we build on these concepts to understand the links between human beings and their natural environment. Simple map-making also begins in this grade as the children draw maps of their bedroom, classroom and their route from home to school.
French & German
As of Grade 4 the children are more aware of what they have learned and what has been collectively learned is now more individualized. Individual speaking and little dialogues are a new experience as is the introduction of reading and writing. Reading and writing is practiced by using poems and songs which they learned in previous years as well as new short stories. The students also learn to create their own little sentences and in this context study and practice the nouns and the conjugation of the verbs.
The Grade Four children continue with singing and playing recorder. They become proficient in the singing of rounds. Children now engage in learning written music notation beginning with the treble clef. Through this process, the children begin to understand harmonies created within rounds and two part singing and recorder playing.
The main Lesson teacher takes the class for one movement class per week, along with a nature walk for two periods a week. Starting in Grade 2 and continuing until Grade 4 the students participate in two 45 minute periods of ‘movement” classes a week with the Movement Teacher. The classes are held outside unless the weather is extreme then the classroom is used. Activities and games are chosen that strengthen the students sense of movement in space, their sense of balance and their sense of others around them. Consideration is given to activities that engage their gross motor muscles in a coordinated way, and balancing games that improve fine motor movements. Each class consists of bean bag or ball work, a running/tag game, then a group/circle game, and skipping. In addition, Audrey McAllister’s Zoo Exercises are incorporated into the lesson depending on the needs of the students.
The presentation of activities and games in these grades is made vivid and alive with appropriate images, poems or even a story. A ‘walk through’ of the game is completed before the real play begins. Weaving nature, the seasons, animals, and fairy-tale themes in this way into the activities engages the students’ imagination and helps to keep them involved.
- Access for free drawing with coloured beeswax crayons
- The teacher models reverence for the task which the children imitate
- The children are given the three primary colours with which to paint, out of which they will experience the secondary colours
- Have an art class once per week with their class teacher doing wet-on-wet painting reflecting the subject matter of the main lesson.
- The creation of main lesson books with beeswax crayons and/or coloured pencil crayons.
Practical Arts: Handwork
Learn to cross stitch; develops precision, concentration and dexterity; create patterns and intricate woven forms – recognize symmetry and balance; students need to be more precise; strengthens individuality.
The students visit Black Creek Pioneer Village each day for a week. Some teachers may take the class on an overnight camping trip, while others might go to Saint Marie Among the Hurons to explore our local geography and history.