Much of the 4th grade writing curriculum focuses on developing writing, specifically so that it has clarity and structure and uses reasons, facts and, details to support and strengthen students’ arguments. Fourth graders are taught to organize their writing, ensure that it has a flow, and group 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. They do this by going beyond simply stating the facts; they express ideas, make connections, and provide details and emotions when appropriate.
In order to build writing skills, your 4th grader:
- Writes opinion pieces that express a point of view; have an introduction, a conclusion, reasons, and facts to support the opinion; and group together related ideas.
- Writes informative/explanatory pieces that present information on a topic, use facts and details, group together related topics; provides introductions and conclusions in these pieces.
- Writes narrative pieces that use specific details, descriptions, and dialogue to convey a real event; includes an introduction and conclusion in each piece.
- 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; lists the texts and resources used.
- Writes for both long (over weeks) and shorter (one sitting or a couple of days) 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 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.