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Fourth Grade Big Ideas and Essential Questions: English-Language Arts

Word Analysis, Fluency, & Systematic Vocabulary Development

Power Standards: Word Recognition (Fluency) 1.1 Read narrative and expository text aloud and with gradeappropriate fluency and accuracy and with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression. Vocabulary and Concept Development 1.2 Apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, synonyms, antonyms, and idioms to determine the meaning of words and phrases. 1.5 Use a thesaurus to determine related words and concepts. 1.6 Distinguish and interpret words with multiple meanings.

Reading Comprehension

Power Standards: Structural Features of Informational Materials 2.1 Identify structural patterns found in informational text (e.g., compare and contrast, cause and effect, sequential or chronological order, proposition and support) to strengthen comprehension. Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text 2.2 Use appropriate strategies when reading for different purposes (e.g., full comprehension, location of information, personal enjoyment). 2.3 Make and confirm predictions about text by using prior knowledge and ideas presented in the text itself, including illustrations, titles, topic sentences, important words, and foreshadowing clues. 2.7 Follow multiple-step instructions in a basic technical manual (e.g., how to use computer commands or video games).

Literary Response and Analysis

Power Standards: Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text 3.2 Identify the main events of the plot, their causes, and the influence of each event on future actions. 3.3 Use knowledge of the situation and setting and of a character's traits and motivations to determine the causes for that character's actions. 3.5 Define figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification) and identify its use in literary works.

Big Ideas:

Word Recognition (Fluency)

Big Ideas:

Structural Features of Informational Materials

Big Ideas:

Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

When we read aloud, with fluency, it should: o Contain few errors. o Not be too fast or too slow. o Be read with expression, including changes in pitch, emphasis, and rate.

Vocabulary and Concept Development

Informational texts are organized in ways that help support our understanding of the information. Identifying the structural pattern used to organize informational material helps us understand the text better.

Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

Having a large, rich vocabulary supports becoming a welleducated person. Independent wide reading and word-learning strategies are both essential to acquiring a broad vocabulary. Vocabulary knowledge is critical to comprehension of oral and written language. Knowing how a new word compares/relates to other words helps us understand the new word better. A thesaurus helps us expand our vocabulary by providing synonyms (and sometimes antonyms) for words we already know. We must carefully select words from the thesaurus in order to find just the right word for what we want to say (e.g., beautiful and cute may both be listed as synonyms for pretty, but there is a subtle difference in the meanings of these words). Some words are spelled the same, but are used in different ways (e.g., bank may be a financial institution or a long pile or heap).

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To comprehend means to understand. Good readers comprehend most of what they read, but more importantly, they recognize when they don't understand. When good readers don't initially comprehend what they are reading, they use a variety of strategies and skills to further their understanding. Good readers select comprehension strategies that best support the purpose for reading (e.g., full comprehension, location of information, personal enjoyment). We can continually make and confirm predictions about text by connecting prior knowledge (things we already know) to information and ideas found in the text. Being able to comprehend and follow written instructions allows us to assemble and/or use equipment, games, electronics, etc., correctly, safely, and efficiently.

The plot is the underlying structure of a story; good readers are able to identify the important events of the plot and how they all work together to add meaning to the story. Authors use carefully chosen settings and situations, as well as specific character traits and motivations, to help the reader understand why characters behave the way they do. Authors reveal their characters' motivations, or reasons for doing what they do, in many ways (e.g., through dialogue, through the characters' thoughts and actions). Figurative language refers to words used in a way other than the ordinary, or standard way, to help the reader make an imaginative leap in order to comprehend an author's point.

Fourth Grade Big Ideas and Essential Questions: English-Language Arts

Writing Strategies

Power Standards: Organization and Focus 1.2 Create multiple-paragraph compositions: a. Provide an introductory paragraph. b. Establish and support a central idea with a topic sentence at or near the beginning of the first paragraph. c. Include supporting paragraphs with simple facts, details, and explanations. d. Conclude with a paragraph that summarizes the points. e. Use correct indention. 1.3 Use traditional structures for conveying information (e.g., chronological order, cause and effect, similarity and difference, posing and answering a question). Research and Technology 1.5 Quote or paraphrase information sources, citing them appropriately. 1.6 Locate information in reference texts by using organizational features (e.g., prefaces, appendixes). Evaluation and Revision 1.10 Edit and revise selected drafts to improve coherence and progression by adding, deleting, consolidating, and rearranging text.

Writing Applications

Power Standards: 2.1 Write narratives: a. Relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience. b. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience. c. Use concrete sensory details. d. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable. 2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Demonstrate an understanding of the literary work. b. Support judgments through references to both the text and prior knowledge. 2.3 Write information reports: a. Frame a central question about an issue or situation. b. Include facts and details for focus. c. Draw from more than one source of information (e.g., speakers, books, newspapers, other media sources). 2.4 Write summaries that contain the main ideas of the reading selection and the most significant details.

Big Ideas: Organization and Focus The role of the introductory paragraph is to establish the central idea of a composition, to help get the reader's attention, and to determine the tone or voice for the rest of the piece. The middle paragraphs support the central idea of the composition with facts, details, examples, and explanations. The concluding paragraph summarizes the main points covered in the composition and reminds the reader why the central idea is important. Good writers use a variety of strategies and structural patterns to focus and organize their writing (e.g., chronological order, cause and effect, similarity and difference, posing and answering a question). Research and Technology When we paraphrase information sources, we restate in our own words a passage written by someone else; quoted or paraphrased information should be credited to the author by including (citing) the source. Reference materials are organized in a logical, concise, and consistent manner. Learning how various reference materials are organized allows us to use any version of those materials to easily find information. Evaluation and Revision Rubrics allow us to revise and improve our drafts by comparing what we are writing with specific criteria. Good writing is coherent, which means that the ideas are logically connected to each other. Good writing has ideas that progress in a logical sequence from one idea to the next. Revising provides an opportunity for the writer to improve coherence and progression by adding, deleting, consolidating, and/or rearranging text. Editing is done only after all revisions have been made; editing focuses on conventions and presentation.

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Big Ideas: Narratives A narrative is a story about actual or fictional events. A personal narrative is a story, most often written in the first person, about an event or series of events in the author's life. Good writers provide a context in which the action of the story takes place; context tells the reader important information, such as who, where, and when. The context provides an anchor to which all the events are linked, helping the reader imagine the event or experience. Well-chosen sensory details help the reader imagine the context, develop the plot, and help give readers insight into why the experience is memorable. Response to Literature A response to literature emphasizes the reader's role in providing a thoughtful interpretation or understanding of a literary work. A response to literature examines the theme, plot, characters, and/or other aspects of a chapter, story, book, or poem. A meaningful analysis of a literary text supports the reader's judgments through references to both the text and prior knowledge. Information Reports An information report is an expository piece that provides facts and details about a topic, guiding readers to a clear understanding of the subject. A central question is a question (about an issue, topic, or situation) posed by the writer as part of the writing process that serves as the focus of his/her investigation of the topic; it may be framed/posed as a statement or a question in the finished piece of writing. Good writers use more than one source of information (e.g., books, newspapers) in order to provide ample and convincing evidence in answer to the central question. (Big Ideas continue on next page.)

Fourth Grade Big Ideas and Essential Questions: English-Language Arts

Writing Strategies Writing Applications

Summaries A summary is a shortened, condensed version of a reading selection (e.g., article, story, book) which shares the main idea and significant details, keeping the same tone as the original piece. Summaries do not contain opinions or a formal conclusion.

Essential Questions: Organization and Focus In a composition, what is the role of the introductory paragraph? In a composition, what is the role of the middle paragraphs? In a composition, what is the role of the concluding paragraph? Why is it important to use a variety of strategies and structural patterns in compositions? Research and Technology How do we paraphrase information sources? How do we appropriately cite the source? Why is it important to understand how various reference materials are organized? Evaluation and Revision Why do good writers revise their drafts? What do writing rubrics allow us to do? Why should good writing be coherent? Why should ideas progress in a logical sequence? What makes a sequence logical? How does revising help us improve coherence and progression? What is the difference between revising and editing?

Essential Questions: Narratives What is the difference between a narrative and a personal narrative? Why write narratives? Why is the context of a narrative important? Why is it important to carefully select the sensory details used in a narrative? Response to Literature What is the reader's role in writing a response to literature? How do good writers support their judgments about a text? Information Reports What is the purpose of an information report? What is a central question? How do good writers answer their central question? Summaries What is the difference between summarizing and retelling? What is the difference between a summary and a response to literature? Why do summaries not contain opinions or a formal conclusion?

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Fourth Grade Big Ideas and Essential Questions: English-Language Arts

Written & Oral English Language Conventions

Power Standards: Sentence Structure: 1.1 Use simple and compound sentences in writing and speaking. 1.2 Combine short, related sentences with appositives, participial phrases, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases. Grammar NOTE: Although no Power Standards have been selected for 4th Grade grammar, overarching Big Ideas and Essential Questions have been included to emphasize grammar's continuing importance. Punctuation 1.4 Use parentheses, commas in direct quotations, and apostrophes in the possessive case of nouns and in contractions. Spelling 1.7 Spell correctly roots, inflections, suffixes and prefixes, and syllable constructions.

Listening and Speaking Strategies

Power Standards: Comprehension 1.1 Ask thoughtful questions and respond to relevant questions with appropriate elaboration in oral settings. Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication 1.8 Use details, examples, anecdotes, or experiences to explain or clarify information. 1.9 Use volume, pitch, phrasing, pace, modulation, and gestures appropriately to enhance meaning.

Speaking Applications

Power Standards: Narrative 2.1 Make narrative presentations. a. Relate ideas, observations, or recollections about an event or experience. b. Provide a context that enables the listener to imagine the circumstances of the event or experience. c. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable. NOTE: Although informational presentations have been de-emphasized for 4th grade, please see Grade 5 Listening and Speaking Applications Power Standards for Big Ideas and Essential Questions for this application.

Big Ideas: Sentence Structure Good writers combine simple, short, related sentences to add interest and sophistication to their writing; they combine sentences in many different ways to add variety. Grammar/Punctuation Grammar is the set of rules of spoken and written language. Grammar rules and punctuation marks are like freeway signs and traffic signals ­ they guide readers through the text to help avoid confusion. Parentheses are sometimes used, in place of commas or other punctuation marks, around words that add extra information to the sentence; they indicate information that is not essential to the sentence. Spelling Spelling matters; incorrect spelling causes misunderstandings and confusion, and distracts from the writer's message.

Big Ideas: Big Ideas: Comprehension Narrative Thoughtful questions are ones that reveal the listener's A narrative presentation relates actual or fictional events. understanding of, and interest in, the main idea and A personal narrative presentation shares an event or series of events details of an oral presentation. in the author's life. Good speakers are well-informed and prepared to Good speakers provide a context in which the action of the story answer thoughtful questions with appropriate takes place; context tells the listener important information, such as elaboration. who, where, and when. The context provides an anchor to which all the events are linked, Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication helping the listener imagine the event or experience. The content of an oral presentation should be enhanced Well-chosen sensory details help the listener imagine the context, by the use of supplementary information (e.g., examples, understand the plot, and help provide insight into why the experience anecdotes, experiences) that help explain or clarify the is memorable to the speaker. topic. Oral presentations are enhanced or hampered by how the information is delivered; effective use of volume, pitch, phrasing, pace, and modulation, as well as appropriate use of varied gestures, improve the overall quality of the presentation.

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Fourth Grade Big Ideas and Essential Questions: English-Language Arts

Written & Oral English Language Conventions

Essential Questions: Sentence Structure How do good writers combine simple, short, related sentences to add interest and variety to their writing? Grammar/Punctuation Why is the correct usage of the rules of grammar important? How does incorrect punctuation interfere with written communication? What does the correct usage of parentheses allow writers to do? Spelling Why does spelling matter?

Listening and Speaking Strategies

Essential Questions: Comprehension What makes a thoughtful question thoughtful? Why is anticipating thoughtful questions helpful in preparing an oral presentation? What must a speaker do when answering questions posed by the audience? Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication How do we effectively enhance oral presentations so that our topic is clearly explained? Does the way in which information is delivered make a difference in how it's understood by the audience? Explain.

Speaking Applications

Essential Questions: Narrative What is the difference between a narrative and a personal narrative presentation? Why is the context of a narrative presentation important? Why is it important to carefully select the sensory details used in a narrative presentation?

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Fourth Grade Big Ideas and Essential Questions: English-Language Arts

Word Analysis, Fluency, & Systematic Vocabulary Development

Essential Questions:

Word Recognition (Fluency)

Reading Comprehension

Essential Questions:

Structural Features of Informational Materials

Literary Response and Analysis

Essential Questions:

Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

What are the attributes of fluent oral reading? Why is it important for us to read aloud with fluency?

Vocabulary and Concept Development

Why is organization important in informational text? How does identifying the structural pattern in informational text help us understand the text better?

Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text Why is it important to have a large, rich vocabulary? What does it mean to understand something? In what ways can we acquire a broad vocabulary? Why is it important to understand what we read? How does knowing a new word's relationship to other Why is it important to recognize when we don't understand words help us understand the new word? what we are reading? How is a thesaurus useful? How do good readers know the best comprehension strategy Why must we be selective about which words we use from to use at any given time? a thesaurus? Why do good readers continually make and confirm Why must we know the various meanings of multiple predictions while they read? meaning words? Why is it important to comprehend and follow written instructions?

Why is it important to identify the main events of a story? In what ways do authors help us understand why characters behave the way they do? How do authors reveal their characters' motivations? Why do authors use figurative language?

Fluency

The ability to read connected text rapidly, smoothly, effortlessly, and automatically with little conscious attention to the mechanics of reading.

Accuracy

Automatic word recognition

Pacing

Reading rate (not too fast, not too slow, so that the reader can be understood by the listeners).

Expression

Prosody (the stress and intonation patterns) Utilizes: emphasis, intonation, rate, language patterns, and phrasing.

Intonation

The pattern or melody of pitch changed in connected oral reading.

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