• Grade 4 Writing Curriculum

    K-5 Overarching Concepts
    • Writing is communication.

    • Writing is power.

    • Writing is personal and gives voice to ideas.

    • Writing is generating ideas and refining thinking.

    • Writing is impacted by audience and experience.

    • Writing is embedded in a community of inquiry, reflection, and collaboration.

    • Writing is an ongoing creative process.

    • Sharing writing connects people with one another.

    Grade 4 Writing Course Description

    Fourth grade students experience increasing complexity in the following three types of writing:  narrative, informative, and opinion. Students experience the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and sharing/publishing through writer’s workshop which includes a mini-lesson, writing time (writing, conferring, peer work), and sharing.  Conversations about writing are framed by essential questions and mini-lessons support what students need to know, do, and understand as fourth grade writers.  Writing for research is embedded in each type of writing.  Students apply conventions through the editing component of writer’s workshop. Fourth grade students also use writing as a response to reading through read alouds, small group and independent reading using evidence from the text to support ideas in their writing.  Students continue to build on their ability to use evidence from the text as a part of their analysis reflected in their writing.  Mentor texts play a key role in providing models during independent writing.

    Writer's Workshop Instructional Framework

    Unit 1 Our Lives Are Stories:  Narrative Writing

    Teachers College Units of Study the Arc of Story:  Writing Realistic Fiction 

    • Narratives connect people with each other’s experiences and perspectives through telling and listening to stories

    • Narratives can inform, persuade and/or entertain

    • In every context of life, there is  a story, including past, present, and future events.

    • Narratives come from real and imagined experiences.

    • Narratives come from other narratives.

    • There are many narrative formats.

    • Writers chose the best format based on the purpose and audience.

    • Narratives relate events and how  characters’ respond to them.

    • Narratives tell how the events ended or were resolved.

    • Narratives can be told from many points of view (ex. narrator, character).

    • The parts of a narrative are interdependent--each part relies on and must fit with the other parts.

    • Narratives establish a situation and end with a sense of closure.

    • Narratives have a clear event sequence.

    • Events in a narrative relate to the situation and move the plot forward.

    • Engaging narratives develop experiences and events. (dialogue, pacing, description)

    • Engaging narratives show how characters respond to situations.

    • Narratives engage the audience with a problem or conflict in need of (re)solving.
    Unit 2 Understanding Empowers People: Opinion Writing
    Teachers College Units of Study Boxes and Bullets:  Personal and Persuasive Essays 
    • Opinions express a point of view or position about a topic.

    • Opinions can influence what others feel, think, and do.

    • Writers form opinions based on what they read, hear, and see.

    • Writers’ opinions are shaped by their purpose, interests, beliefs, and experiences.

    • Writers craft opinion pieces with an audience in mind.

    • The parts of an opinion piece are interdependent but don’t always follow a set formula.

    • The organizational structure must support the writer’s purpose and way of thinking about the topic or text.

    • Opinion pieces take a clear point of view on a topic.

    • Opinion pieces begin by explicitly introducing the topic and conclude by referring to the overall opinion.

    • Opinion pieces present reasons that are linked to the topic, supported by facts and details, and presented in a logical order.

    • An  opinion can show good or strong reasoning without persuading the audience.

    • The clarity of an opinion affects how persuasive it is.

    • Persuasive opinion pieces are built on reasons supported by reliable and relevant information.

    • Persuasive opinion pieces can draw on multiple sources on a topic to develop and support an opinion.

    • A persuasive opinion can change or influence an audience’s perspective.

    Unit 3 Gain and Share Knowledge: Information Writing

    Teachers College Units of Study Bringing History to Life 

    • Writing that informs and explains can create interest in and correct misunderstandings about a topic.

    • Writers examine and clearly convey accurate and relevant information and ideas pertaining to their topic and purpose.

    • Writers develop their topic through facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to their topic.

    • Writers can use text features, formatting, and multimedia

    • Writers use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain their topic.

    • Organizing related ideas and grouping them together in paragraphs and sections makes writing clear.

    • The ideas and parts in informative/explanatory piece are interrelated and interdependent.

    • Writers can gather ideas and knowledge from more than one source or different types of sources.

    • Writers can make sure what they write is true by checking multiple sources.

    • There are many ways that information and explanations can be presented, and the best format depends on the writer’s purpose and audience.

    • Informative or explanatory writing can be conveyed in various styles more informal to more formal.

    State College Area School District Writing Curriculum.


    Units of Study for Writing from Teachers College at Columbia University


    Hockett, Jessica.  English Language Arts Curriculum Writing Scope.  2014.

    Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Academic Standards for English Language Arts.  March, 2014. Web.

Last Modified on August 5, 2018