English Language Arts Grade 4
Writing Standard 9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
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.
Can You Haiku?
Haiku show us the world in a water drop, providing a tiny lens through which to glimpse the miracle and mystery of life. Combining close observation with a moment of reflection, this simple yet highly sophisticated form of poetry can help sharpen students' response to language and enhance their powers of self-expression. In this lesson, students learn the rules and conventions of haiku, study examples by Japanese masters, and create haiku of their own.
Character Detectives: Gathering Evidence
In this video lesson, students examine characters' speech, actions, thoughts, and feelings. (4 minutes)
Characters in Because of Winn-Dixie: Making Lists of Ten
Students will discuss characters and characterization in a text; work in cooperative groups; use a bookmark to document their findings while reading; identify and analyze the listing technique presented in Because of Winn-Dixie; create a list of ten things about a character.
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.
Critical Perspectives: Reading and Writing About Slavery
In this lesson, students critically examine the perspectives of slaves and slave owners.
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.
Developing a Living Definition of Reading in the Elementary Classroom
Students investigate the reading process and end up with a working definition of reading using different types of books. Each student brainstorms what it means to be a successful reader. Based upon shared findings and discussions, students then create a living definition of reading. This definition can be posted and revised as more is learned about reading during the year.
A diamante poem is a poem in the shape of a diamond. It doesn't have to rhyme but each line uses specific types of words like adjectives or -ing words. You and the computer can make a diamante poem together.
Earth Verse: Using Science in Poetry
This lesson is a great way to teach both scientific and English content to a class, although the teacher can easily choose another book and subject area. In this lesson, students listen to poems in the book Science Verse by Jon Scieszka.
Examining Plot Conflict through a Comparison/Contrast Essay
In this lesson, students explore picture books to identify the characteristics of four types of conflict: character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. nature, and character vs. society.
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.
This Teaching Channel video helps students examine characters' speech, actions, thoughts, and feelings. (4 minutes)
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.
Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore
Students will learn to define a folktale, understand the characteristics of helpful animal folktales, explain the roles humans play in helpful animal stories (human in distress, compassionate hunter, seeker/companion), and the conditions for animal transformation.
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.
Lesson Starter: Choose my Proposal
Students will frame, analyze and synthesize information from a range of texts in order to solve problems and answer questions.
Lonely as a Cloud: Using Poetry to Understand Similes
Students will gain knowledge by defining the term simile; apply this knowledge by identifying examples of similes in literature and poetry; practice analysis by examining the purpose and effect of similes in poetry; synthesize their knowledge by using a graphic organizer to create their own similes and then incorporating these similes into their own writing.
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.
Playing with Prepositions Through Poetry
In this lesson from ReadWriteThink, students have the opportunity to play with language, particularly prepositions, through the literature of Ruth Heller. Taking those experiences as a reader, they are asked to continue to play with the language in poetry.
Plot Diagram (Student Interactive)
The Plot Diagram is an organizational tool focusing on a pyramid or triangular shape, which is used to map the events in a story. This mapping of plot structure allows readers and writers to visualize the key features of stories.
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.
A shape poem is a poem about an object or thing. It is written in the shape of the object. Make a poem in the shape of a star, a leaf, heart, fish or other shape.
Shape Poems: Writing Extraordinary Poems About Ordinary Objects
Students will recognize the characteristics and format of a shape poem; compile a list of content area terms and sensory images (collaboratively as a class and also independently) that relate to a shape or object, as part of the process of brainstorming a word bank for their shape poem; apply spelling knowledge and strategies when brainstorming words for the word bank and writing and revising their shape poem.
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.
Teaching Point of View With Two Bad Ants
This lesson provides students with the opportunity to use illustrations and text to develop an understanding of the point of view of the characters.
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.
Using Historical Fiction to Learn About the Civil War
This lesson uses the book Meet Addy by Connie Porter to teach the characteristics of historical fiction, the making of inferences, the use of visualization, and Civil War history.
Using Picture Books to Teach Characterization
This ReadWriteThink lesson invites students to examine the craft of developing characters through focused experiences with pictures books. Through the careful analysis of character portrayal using the text and illustrations as cues, and online tools such as the ReadWriteThink Story Map, students have the opportunity to build bridges from their own experiences as readers to those skills needed as writers.
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.
What Makes Poetry? Exploring Line Breaks
This lesson, from ReadWriteThink, engages children in exploring various poems and hypothesizing about why lines are broken where they are in poetry. Students then experiment with line breaks and how they affect rhythm, sound, meaning, appearance, and can substitute for punctuation in poetry.
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.
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