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Fourth Grade Writing

Course Description

Writing is a meaning-making process that requires the synthesis of skills to effectively communicate. K-5 students are immersed in daily opportunities to explore, inquire, practice and apply writing strategies and skills in a variety of genres. Cultivating writers who write with the reader in mind is guided by the connection between reading and the writing process to convey authentic messages. Self-selected writing topics guided by positive, specific feedback ignite the joy and passion to grow as lifelong communicators.

Written for children on the cusp of writing more academic texts, the fourth-grade units familiarize students with the genres they will regularly encounter throughout school - thesis-driven persuasive essays, literary essays, and research reports. Each of the units begins where children are and then provides a progression of instruction that brings students step by step toward increasing proficiency. In Unit 1, Writing Realistic Fiction, students learn that the lenses they bring to reading fiction can also be brought to writing fiction, as they develop believable characters with struggles and motivations and rich stories to tell. This unit is followed by Personal and Persuasive Essays, in which students learn the value of organization and form as they gather evidence to support and express an opinion on topics they know well. By Unit 3, Bringing History to Life, students are ready to tackle historical research in which they collect evidence and use details to vividly describe people and events long ago and far away. Unit 4, The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction, brings the series full circle as students build on their learning of essay writing and apply it with increasing sophistication to a unit on literary essays - that is, writing about fiction.

Grade Level(s): Fourth Grade

Related Priority Standards (State &/or National):  K-5 Missouri Learning Standards & ELA Priority Standards

Essential Questions

  • How does a writer know his/her writing is clear?
  • What makes an interesting narrative?
  • How do authors begin & end their stories?
  • How do authors convey sequence?
  • How do writers organize their ideas to aid comprehension?
  • Who is the audience and why does it matter?
  • How does an author's choice of voice, tone and mood affect the audience's perception/understanding?
  • Why does one write an argumentative piece?
  • Why is my argumentative writing worth reading?
  • How do my experiences impact my opinions?
  • Where do ideas for writing come from?
  • How do writers organize their ideas?
  • What makes an effective argument?
  • How does a writer know his/her writing is clear?
  • Why does one write an informational/explanatory text?
  • When does one write an informational/explanatory text?
  • How do writers choose relevant facts?
  • What determines accurate information?
  • How does one know a source is credible?
  • How does one know an author is credible?
  • How does an author's choice of voice and register affect the audience's perception/understanding?

Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

  • Writing clearly is essential to effective communication.
  • Details enhance a narrative.
  • Appropriate transitions enhance continuity.
  • Narratives have a variety of organizational structures.
  • Narratives are written in a variety of forms.
  • Audience and purpose influence a writer's choice of organizational pattern, language, and literary techniques.
  • Expressing an opinion is a right that is to be valued and respected.
  • As our experiences change, so can our opinions.
  • Researched evidence supports a strong opinion.
  • Appropriate transitions enhance the continuity of writing.
  • Informational text is characterized by a formal style.
  • Well-chosen facts are specific to the topic, relevant to the audience and logically presented.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

  • Unit 1: Writing Realistic Fiction
  • Unit 2: Personal & Persuasive Essays
  • Unit 3: Bringing History to Life
  • Unit 4: The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction

* The above adjustments to scope and sequence are pending Board approval on August 22, 2022.

Course Resources & Materials

Date Last Revised/Approved: 2013