English Language Arts Grade 4
Reading: Informational Text Standard 2
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant Cousins
After completing these activities, students will be able to:
identify the original thirteen British colonies on a map; understand how physical geography affected settlement; understand how settlers' backgrounds influenced their values, priorities, and daily lives; examine artifacts and make inferences about the people and the historical periods that they represent; imagine typical daily life for different families in colonial America in the late 1700s; write a letter from the viewpoint of someone who lived in a different time and place.
Balancing Three Branches at Once
This page contains 4 EDSITEment lessons in which students use primary source documents to investigate of how the three branches of the American government can check each other.
Biographies: Creating Timelines of a Life
Studying biographies is of interest and value to young learners. This lesson from ReadWriteThink supports students' exploration of sources to create a timeline about the life of a person. The experience requires students work together and research and resolve conflicting information. Extension activities include developing essays from the research.
Comprehension Strategies Using Graphic Organizers
In this lesson from ReadWriteThink, collaborative strategic reading (CSR) is initially presented to students through modeling and whole-class instruction. To facilitate comprehension during and after reading, students apply four reading strategies: preview, click and clunk, get the gist, and wrap-up. Graphic organizers are used for scaffolding of these strategies while students work together in cooperative groups. NOTE: This is useful for struggling readers but does not tie directly to the CCSS.
Declare the Causes:The Declaration of Independence
This unit from EDSITEment capitalizes on the propensity to complain to increase student awareness of the precedents behind the Declaration of Independence. By the completion of this unit, students will be able to describe and list the sections of the Declaration of Independence and explain the basic purpose of each. They will also be able to give an example of a document that served as a precedent for the Declaration, list and explain one or more of the colonists' complaints included in the Declaration, and demonstrate an awareness of the Declaration of Independence as a historical process developed in protest of unfair conditions.
Engaging Students in a Collaborative Exploration of the Gettysburg Address
This lesson plan invites groups of students to learn more about the historical significance of President Abraham Lincoln's famous speech as well as the time period and people involved. Students will work together, participating in inquiry projects based on the speech, using the words and phrases of the speech itself.
Exploring Compare and Contrast Structure in Expository Texts
This lesson from ReadWriteThink focuses on the strategy of compare and contrast. Students use graphic organizers and clue words to evaluate nonfiction text, and they participate in a variety of other activities.
Go West: Imagining the Oregon Trail
After this lesson, students will have learned about the pioneer experience on the Oregon Trail,compared and contrasted modern-day travel experiences with travel experiences of the 19th century, and synthesized historical data through creative writing.
History in Quilts
Throughout history, women and sometimes men have used the art of quilting for many diverse purposes: to keep warm, to decorate their homes, to express their political views, to remember a loved one. Heighten your students' awareness of how quilts have reflected and continue to reflect the lives of the people who create them, and of how quilts record the cultural history of a particular place and time. This theme of History in Quilts contains two separate lessons that can stand alone or be taught in conjunction with one another.
How Big Are Martin's Big Words? Thinking Big about the Future
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Caldecott Honor book, Coretta Scott King Honor book, and an Orbis Pictus Award winner, tells of King's childhood determination to use "big words" through biographical information and quotations. Using this book as well as other resources on Dr. King, students explore information on King's "big" words. They discuss both the literal and figurative meanings of the word "big" and how they apply to Dr. King's words. They read an excerpt from Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech and note the "big" words. Students then choose one of two options: (1) they write about their own "big" words and dreams in stapled or stitched books, or (2) they construct found poems using an excerpt from one of King's speeches.
It Came From Greek Mythology
This page contains 6 EDSITEment lessons based around teaching Greek mythology. Students will study basic plots of three Greek myths and discuss three types of themes in Greek myths. They will also explore contemporary uses of terms from Greek mythology and analyze artistic and literary works based on or inspired by Greek myths.
Native Americans Today
In this lesson plan, teachers use photo essays and other texts to introduce students to Native American children and their families, thereby countering the idea that Native people no longer exist.
On the Home Front
This page contains 4 EDSITEment lessons in which students investigate how non-combatants contributed to the war effort during World War II and are then invited to reflect on how young people can contribute to the solution of contemporary national problems. Students will also investigate how posters were used to encourage home front efforts during World War II.
Peace Poems and Picasso Doves
This lesson, from ReadWriteThink, supports third-grade students as they apply think-aloud strategies to reading, as well as to the composition of artwork and poetry. Activities include collaborative as well as individual work. Technology tools are integrated as students research symbols of peace and as they prewrite, compose, and publish their poetry.
Reading and Writing About Pollution to Understand Cause and Effect
In this lesson, students access prior knowledge about water pollution before exploring the topic further using read-alouds. They then complete a sequencing graphic organizer using a story of a fish and its journey from the mountains to a polluted waterway. Finally, students' understanding of cause and effect is reinforced using a hands-on experiment, art project, and graphic organizer.
Research Building Blocks: "Organize This!"
Research skills can help students find answers for themselves. In this mini lesson, students organize the information they have compiled through the research process by using sentence strips.
Research Building Blocks: Skim, Scan, and Scroll
Research skills can help students find answers for themselves. This lesson teaches students the skill of "Skim, Scan, and Scroll," which is taken from a research - skills unit and is one step of successfully completing a written research report.
Slave Narratives: Constructing U.S. History Through Analyzing Primary Sources
In these activities, students research narratives from the Federal Writers' Project and describe the lives of former African slaves in the U.S. - both before and after emancipation.
Strategic Reading and Writing: Summarizing Antislavery Biographies
In this lesson, students practice writing effective summaries using biographies.
Student Interactives: Bio-Cube
Students can use the Bio-Cube to summarize a person's life after reading or before writing a biography or autobiography. If students create these bio-cubes on the lives of famous Americans, it would welcome the comparison of historical figures.
The Aztecs: Mighty Warriors of Mexico
After completing this lesson, students will be able to: identify the Aztecs as the builders of a great city and rich civilization in what is now Mexico; locate the Aztec Empire and its capital on a map; describe several aspects of Aztec culture; and understand the causes of the Aztec civilization's downfall.
The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad
Analyzing archival material such as photos, documents, and posters, students can truly appreciate the phenomenon of the Transcontinental Railroad. They can begin to answer some important questions: Why was the Transcontinental Railroad built? How did it affect Native Americans? Other minorities? How was the environment affected? What were the advantages of railroad travel? Who used the railroads, and why? Who built the railroad?
The Letter Generator
This online tool is designed to help students learn to identify all the essential parts of a business or friendly letter, and then generate letters by typing information into letter templates.
The Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make
This page contains 5 EDSITEment lessons in which students investigate the purposes of the U.S. Constitution, as identified in the Preamble to the Constitution, and study fundamental values and principles as they are expressed in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
Traveling Terrain: Comprehending Nonfiction Text
This lesson, from ReadWriteThink, teaches specific skills to students in order to improve their comprehension of nonfiction text found in website format. Strategies include locating specific information, identifying text features of nonfiction text, and generalizing information read to related topics. The lesson centers on a science-oriented website, but can be adapted to other content area websites.
We Must Not Be Enemies: Lincoln's First Inaugural
This unit, consisting of six separate lessons, will help your students understand the historical context and significance of Lincoln's inaugural address through archival documents such as campaign posters, sheet music, vintage photographs and documents. Students will be able to answer the following questions: How did Lincoln's first inaugural address reflect the events that preceded it? How well did it presage events to follow? How did subsequent actions by Lincoln reflect the responsibilities enumerated in the Presidential Oath of Office?
What Makes a Hero?
In this unit from EDSITEment, students will explore heroes and the traits that make them heroic. Students begin by thinking about their own heroes and list the character traits their heroes possess. Students then explore kid heroes, adults' heroes, local heroes, and heroes from history, before completing one of several suggested culminating activities.
Where I Come From
In this lesson, from EDSITEment, students take research into their heritage a step beyond the construction of a family tree, traveling through cyberspace to find out what's happening in their ancestral homelands today and explore their sense of connection to these places in their past.
Writing and Assessing an Autobiographical Incident
In this lesson from ReadWriteThink, students will build upon their knowledge of biographies to write their own autobiographical incident. Students will be given a rubric and shown several examples. They will then complete the writing process and share their autobiographies with the class.
Writing Den Topics
Students choose a topic that interests them. They then select to read about words, sentences, or paragraphs about the topic and then take a short quiz to check comprehension.
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