English Language Arts Grade 4
Writing Standard 7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
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.
Black Beauty author Anna Sewell was born in 1820
In Black Beauty, Anna Sewell tackled one of the contemporary issues of her time, the cruel treatment of horses, many of them abused by their owners. Her work made readers aware of the need for laws to protect animals from harsh and abusive treatment. After exploring the cruelty to animals in Sewell's novel, extend the discussion to current events.
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.
Heroes Around Us
Students will explore the distinction between a hero and an idol. Based on collaboratively established criteria for heroism and characteristics of heroes, students will select, read about, and report on a hero. Students will identify how their hero matches their criteria and characteristics. (This is a unit for grades 6-8, but could be simplified for grade 4.)
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.
Integrating Literacy Into the Study of the Earth's Surface
Science trade books are an invaluable tool for supporting science learning with literacy. This lesson introduces third through fifth grade students to the bodies of water on the Earth's surface, including ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans.
Not 'Indians,' Many Tribes
In this unit, students will heighten their awareness of Native American diversity as they learn about three vastly different Native groups in a game-like activity using archival documents such as vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes. One factor influencing Native American diversity is environment. Help your students study the interaction between environment and culture.
Not Everyone Lived in Castles During the Middle Ages
After completing this lesson, students will be able to: compare common perceptions of medieval Europe with the realities of life during that period in history; and list elements of the daily lives of various classes of people living in medieval Europe.
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.
Remember the Ladies: The First Ladies
Through the lessons in this unit, students will explore the ways in which First Ladies were able to shape the world while dealing with the expectations placed on them as women and as partners of powerful men. Students will answer the following questions: What does a First Lady do? Who have some of our First Ladies been? How have they helped shape the social history of our country?
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.
Science writer Seymour Simon was born in 1931
Have your students select and explore a scientific topic in detail using Seymour Simon's nonfiction science books. Students then use what they learn to write original poetry on the topic.
Strategic Reading and Writing: Summarizing Antislavery Biographies
In this lesson, students practice writing effective summaries using biographies.
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.
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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