Much of a 4th grade writing curriculum focuses on developing writing specifically so that it has clarity and structure as well as uses reasons, facts and details to support and strengthen students’ writing. Fourth graders are taught to organize their writing and ensure that it has a flow and groups together related components. In addition, as students are taught to think more deeply about concepts, they are encouraged to write in deeper ways as well, by writing more than just facts but also expressing ideas, making connections, and providing details and emotions when appropriate.
In order to build writing skills, your 4th grader:
- Writes opinion pieces which express a point of view and which have an introduction, a conclusion, reasons and facts to support the opinion and groups together related ideas.
- Writes informative/explanatory pieces which present information on a topic, use facts and details, group together related topics, and provides and introduction and conclusion.
- Writes narrative pieces which use specific details, descriptions and dialogue to convey a real event and includes an introduction and conclusion.
- Plans, revises and edits his writing.
- Uses technology to publish, research and communicate with others under the proper guidance of an adult or teacher.
- Types with beginning accuracy and ability. (For example, types one page of text within one sitting).
- Completes research projects by taking notes, organizing them and presenting them. Texts and resources used are also listed.
- Writes for both long (over weeks) and shorter (one sitting, or a day or two) periods of time.
- Ask Why: When your child expresses his opinion or states his ideas about something, ask him why he thinks that or how he knows it to be true. This will help him learn to support his opinion with reasons and/or facts. Do the same when you express your opinion or ideas about something.
- Practice Typing: Encourage your child to practice his typing skills. Use typing games or make up your own games such as giving your child a word to spell and timing how fast he can type it.
- Email with your Child: Set up an email account for your child and write emails to each other describing your days to each other. Include details, conversations, thoughts and emotions you had. This can be done in addition to generally encouraging (and supervising) your child’s use of technology -- helping him use it for research, writing and communicating with others. As always, be cautious of your child’s technology use by monitoring and supervising how much it is used and with whom he communicates.
- Practice Note Taking: When you and your child go somewhere like a museum or on a trip, or even when you or child just talks about something interesting or of importance, pretend to be reporters and take notes. Both you and your child can take notes and then use those notes to later describe what you learned. You can even relay your “reports” as a newscaster would on a news show.