Part of being a fourth grader is to journey to the top floor and acquire a locker for the first time. It also means becoming part of "Citizens Making a Difference", taking on increased responsibility and having more homework.
Because of these increased responsibilities, focus is given to time management, independence, problem-solving, and personal responsibility.
The fourth grade theme, "Citizens Making a Difference", includes three units of study. The year begins with a close look at ancient Greece, and how it has influenced our world. While exploring ancient Greece, children discover that Athens was the foundation of democracy. This discovery allows for an easy transition to the next unit of study, where students look more carefully at our government, how it functions in America, and how our government helps citizens solve problems. Through field trips, guest speakers, and simulations, students explore the local, state, and federal levels, as well as the three branches of government.
Through this study of the government students learn that politicians, along with everyday citizens, can make a difference in their communities and the world around them. The final unit of study, "Citizens in Action", begins by having students introduced to individuals who have made a difference. Our service learning project revolves around a community garden which provides fresh vegetables to two local food pantries. Throughout the year, students work at this Central West End Farm where they plant, tend to, harvest, and deliver vegetables to the food pantries. This experience has a strong impact on the students as they see how they, too, can make a difference in people’s lives.
Fourth graders are always excited to become part of the action. Whether it’s on one of the many experiences out in the community or it’s returning to fourth grade to set up their own government, boys and girls like to get their “hands dirty.” From building vessels out of plaster to having a rummage sale to earn the necessary funds to be able to participate in World Food Day, New City fourth graders are experiencing what it really means to make a difference.
What to Expect from Your Fourth Grader
Nine- and ten-year-olds take pleasure in using their interpersonal intelligence. They enjoy group activities and working with others, although this may be challenging for them at times because of their competitiveness. They prefer to work and play with peers of the same gender; however, this often begins to change throughout the year. Students are very curious and like learning factual information. They want to know how things work and why things happen as they do. Children at this age love language, word play, and expanding their vocabulary.
Intrapersonally, students are becoming more responsible. They are learning to take care of themselves and their belongings without being reminded. Fourth graders love humor and silliness. Making sure their humor is appropriate and that the silliness doesn’t get out of control are two areas students work on at this age.
Students in fourth grade may be anxious over their work, over their friendships, or over their own misperceptions of a situation. This is an important time when they need the gentle reassurance of their teachers and parents. As they come to understand more about their own strengths, this anxiousness tends to dissipate as the year progresses.
Top Ten Things to Know about Fourth Grade
Greek Vessels: Students love creating vessels to house their hopes & dreams which set the tone of the year.
Greek Gods and Goddesses: Children pick a god or goddess who has similar interests to them, research his/her background to become that particular Greek god or goddess.
Camping at Shaw Nature Reserve: During this overnight, campers connect with their naturalist and personal intelligences.
Trips to St. Louis City Hall and Jefferson City: Learners experience government first-hand.
Classroom Government: Fourth grade citizens experience the three branches through simulations of creating their own classroom governments.
Living Museum: Children share the story of someone who has made a difference for the greater good by taking on the persona of that person.
Differently-abled Simulations: Students experience the school day from a new perspective.
Students as Change Makers: Fourth graders participate in service learning projects.
Community Garden Project: Gardeners grow fresh greens and vegetables to support area food pantries.
Grade Level Show: Fourth grade poets and artists share their experiences of Making a Difference.
If you would like more information about the content and skills covered in the fourth grade curriculum, click here.