Grade 4

Curriculum Guide for Grade 4



Note about mathematics curriculum: Mathematics curriculum at any grade level or for any topic identifies what students should know and be able to do at a particular grade level or course. However, intricately connected to and supporting all mathematics content and curriculum are mathematical processes that are common to all strands and specific expectations. Students at all levels need experiences with and growing proficiency in these practices. Educators and parents keep these in mind and integrate them constantly into mathematics instruction. The processes describe ways that students need to engage with mathematical subject matter increasingly as they progress through the grades.

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. 

Source: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics process standards, National Research Council’s report on helping children learn mathematics, Adding It Up. 

Algebraic Thinking and Operations with Whole Numbers

  • Use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems with whole numbers
  • Become familiar with factors and multiples within 100
  • Generate and analyze mathematical patterns

Number and Operations

  • Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers
  • Understand that the digit in one place is 10 times what it would be in the place to the right
  • Read and write multi-digit numerals
  • Write numbers in expanded form to show place value of each digit (Example: 26,825 = 20,000 + 6,000 + 800 + 20 + 5)
  • Round multi-digit numerals to any place
  • Compare the values of numbers using the symbols <, > , and =
  • Use understanding of place value and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic problems

Geometry and Spatial Relationships

  • Draw, identify, and define points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles
  • Draw, recognize, and define parallel and nonparallel lines
  • Classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles
  • Identify different kinds of triangles; recognize right triangles
  • Recognize and define lines of symmetry

Fractions and Operations

  • Compare and order numbers with different numerators and denominators
  • Build fractions from unit fractions
  • Decompose a fraction into a sum of fractions with the same denominator
  • Add and subtract mixed fractional numbers with like denominators
  • Multiply fractions by whole numbers
  • Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions
  • Create visual models to represent and solve problems with fractions
  • Express a fraction with denominator of 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator of 100
  • Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100
  • Compare decimals to one hundredth

Measurement and Data

  • Know relative sizes of units in metric and English systems
  • Convert units to larger and smaller units
  • Solve word problems with time, distance, masses of objects, money, and temperature
  • Use formulas to find area and perimeter of rectangles
  • Solve real-world problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit
  • Represent and interpret data
  • Make a line plot to show data in fractions of units
  • Understand that a circle has 360 degrees
  • Use a protractor to measure and draw angles in whole-number degrees
  • Understand and show angle measure as additive

Social Science - Studies of Own State

Notes about social science curriculum:

1. These ten themes of social studies from the National Council for Social Studies serve as a background framework for the teaching of the social studies at all grade levels. They weave through all content and are interrelated with one another. Students need exposure to and development of these themes throughout the grades.

Source: National Council for the Social Studies

Ten Themes of Social Studies

1. Culture
2. Time, continuity, and change
3. People, places, and environments
4. Individual development and identity
5. Individuals, groups, and institutions
6. Power, authority, and governance
7. Production, distribution, and consumption
8. Science, technology, and society
9. Global connections
10. Civic ideals and practices 

2. In addition, there are social science practices and habits and literacy skills that should be fostered and integrated with all social studies content. Students at all levels need grade-level appropriate experiences that develop and polish these practices.

1. Gathering, interpreting, and using evidence from various sources
2. Applying critical thinking skills to organize, use, and evaluate information
3. Problem solving and decision making processes
4. Chronological reasoning and understanding of causation
5. Comparing and understanding events and relationships in context
6. Comparing different ways of looking at an event or problem
7. Considering how people might be affected by events, changes, settings, or problems
8. Communicating knowledge, research conclusions, and ideas in written, oral, and visual form
9. Geographical reasoning and use of geographical tools
10. Describing and explaining economics and economic systems
11. Civic understanding and participation 


  • Comparative locations and features of the state (or province, territory) in relation to the United States (or home country) and world
  • Location of one’s home in relation to other cities and features in the state (or province, territory)
  • State’s (or province's, territory's) location using latitude and longitude grid
  • State’s (or province's, territory's) borders and neighbors
  • Physical features, vegetation, and climate
  • Major cities and other human-made or cultural features
  • Studying and comparing a variety of maps of the state (or province, territory and region
  • Creating maps of physical features of state (or province, territory) and key cities
  • The state’s (or province's, territory's) natural resources
  • Patterns of past and present settlements and population distribution
  • Geographic factors influencing settlement and population
  • Ways the land has provided for and continues to provide for needs
  • Locations of key events in state (or provincial, territorial) history
  • Relationship between humans and the environment in the state (or province, territory)

Citizenship and Government

  • Rights and responsibilities of citizens in state (or province, territory)
  • State (or provincial, territorial) and patriotic symbols, traditions, and celebrations
  • Key officials and offices in state (or province, territory) and local area
  • Key elements of the state (or provincial, territorial) constitution
  • Structure of state (or provincial, territorial) government
  • Responsibilities of state (or provincial, territorial) governments
  • State (or provincial, territorial) or regional issues

Community and Culture

  • Cultural groups that make up one’s own state (or province, territory)
  • Immigration in the state (or province, territory) and cultural diffusion
  • Contributions of different cultural groups in the state (or province, territory)
  • Key cultural and social changes in the state (or province, territory)


  • Economic activities and changes over time in the state (or province, territory)
  • Businesses and industries in the state (or province, territory)
  • State (or provincial, territorial) resources, physical and human
  • Relationships between geography and the state (or provincial, territorial) economy
  • Creating maps of products or resources
  • Trade, exports, and imports
  • Economic issues in the state (or province, territory)
  • Economic choices in the sate (or province, territory)


  • Early settlements
  • Path to status as state (or province, territory) and establishment of government
  • Structure and key concepts of state (or provincial, territorial) constitution
  • Peoples and groups who settled the state (or province, territory)
  • Key events, developments, and decisions in state (or provincial, territorial) history
  • Key people in state (or provincial, territorial) history
  • Key issues in state (or provincial, territorial) history
  • Effects of nationwide or regional events on the state (or province, territory) --American revolution, westward movement, nation-wide or regional conflicts, industrialization, slavery, environmental decisions, national security, the war on terror, etc. (U.S.A.)
  • Ways technology changes affected state (or provincial, territorial) development, communication, and transportation
Language Arts

Language Arts

Foundational Skills

  • Apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in reading unfamiliar words
  • Read grade-level texts with purpose and understanding
  • Orally read grade-level texts with accuracy, expression, and appropriate rate
  • Confirm and self-correct words during oral reading

English Language Skills

  • Identify parts of speech and their functions in specific sentences
  • Use relative pronouns, progressive verb tenses, and prepositional phrases
  • Form and use possessive nouns
  • Produce complete sentences; correct incomplete or run-on sentences
  • Correctly use words that are frequently confused
  • Use conventions of English when writing (capitalization, punctuation, and spelling)
  • Punctuate dialogue correctly
  • Spell grade-level words correctly
  • Consult reference materials to check spellings
  • Correctly use the English language when speaking, reading, or writing
  • Know the difference between formal and informal English and when to use each

Reading Literature and Informational Text

  • Identify main topic, idea, or argument in grade-level text
  • Show understanding of key details in a text
  • Identify text evidence to support the author’s message or reader’s responses
  • Retell stories, including tales from diverse cultures
  • Describe main message, lesson, or moral from stories or other texts
  • Describe characters in a story and how their actions contribute to the plot
  • Determine meanings of words or phrases as used in a text
  • Describe effects and uses of words and phrases in passages
  • Describe overall structure of a passage and its effect on the message
  • Describe how parts of a story, poem, or drama build on other parts
  • Use features in the text and Internet search tools to locate relevant information
  • Explain connections between a series of events, ideas, concepts, or steps in a text
  • Explain differences between an author’s point of view and their own
  • Explain how visual images and graphics contribute to and clarify a text
  • Combine information from two texts on the same topic
  • By the end of the academic year, read and understand grade-level literary and informational texts at grade level independently and with proficiency

Speaking and Listening

  • Express ideas and feelings clearly
  • Speak clearly and audibly in sensible sentences
  • Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details
  • Give and follow directions
  • Participate in conversations with diverse partners and groups
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions
  • Listen and respond to others with focus and care
  • Ask and answer questions about key details heard in an oral or visual presentation
  • Present a report or tell a story with appropriate facts, relevant details
  • Add visual components to a speech to clarify ideas, feelings, and thoughts
  • Create audio recordings of stories or poems


  • Use context clues to determine word and phrase meanings
  • Use word structure clues to determine word meanings
  • Use synonyms and antonyms to clarify and explain word meanings
  • Use dictionaries and glossaries (print and digital) to determine or clarify word meaning
  • Understand and use figurative language (similes, metaphors, idioms, adages, proverbs, etc.)
  • Distinguish literal and nonliteral meanings of words in context
  • Distinguish shades of meaning among related words
  • Learn and use grade-level general academic vocabulary


  • Write opinion, informative, or explanatory pieces that state a topic or purpose, supplying relevant facts and reasons, and presenting a conclusion
  • Write stories that include details, put events in order, and provide a conclusion
  • Make improvements and needed changes to written work
  • Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas
  • Add dialogue and descriptions to develop characters and events
  • Use tools, including digital tools, to produce and publish writing
  • Take part in shared research and writing projects
  • Gather information from various sources to answer a question
  • Create written and visual works to summarize and share information
  • Conduct short research tasks on a topic through investigation
  • Gather information from print and digital sources and take notes
  • Write regularly for a variety of tasks, purposes, and audiences


Note about science curriculum: T

he Next Generation Science and Engineering Standards (developed in 2013 in a joint collaboration among the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, and Achieve) describe scientific practices that scientists use as they investigate the natural world and engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems. In addition, they present seven crosscutting concepts that apply across all the topics and fields of science. The teaching of science topics and the corresponding standards at all grade levels K-12 are intricately interwoven with these practices and crosscutting concepts. Students need consistent experience and connection with these two dimensions of science education (practices and cross-cutting concepts) as they work with the third dimension (core science content topics).

Science and Engineering Practices

1. Asking questions (science) and defining problems (engineering)
2. Developing and using models
3. Designing and carrying out investigation
4. Organizing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations (science) and designing solutions (engineering)
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communication information

Crosscutting Concepts

1. Patterns
2. Cause and effect
3. Scale, proportion, and quantity 
4. Systems and system models
5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
6. Structure and function
7. Stability and change

Life Science

  • Plant manufacture of food
  • Populations of organisms
  • Food chains and food webs
  • Plant and animal structures that support growth, reproduction, and behavior
  • Plant and animal relationships in an ecosystem
  • Plant and animal adaptation and survival
  • Human interaction with the environment
  • Animal structures specialized to take in and process information

Earth and Space Science

  • Earth history
  • Earth changes through plate tectonics (earthquake and volcano activity)
  • Rock evidence of Earth changes due to forces
  • Locations of earthquake and volcano activity
  • Earth changes through physical and chemical weathering
  • Natural resources and their importance and uses
  • How living things affect the physical characteristics of their region
  • Hazards that result from natural processes or extreme natural events

Physical Science

  • Definitions of energy
  • Movement and transfer of energy
  • Law of Conservation of Energy
  • Conductors and insulators
  • Relationship between energy and forces
  • Energy in chemical processes
  • Electrical circuits
  • Energy and fuels from natural resources
  • Magnets and magnetic forces
  • Electricity and magnetism; electromagnetic radiation
  • Safe use of electricity
  • Wave properties and motions
  • Transfer of digitized information
  • Properties of water
  • Changes in state of matter (evaporation, melting, condensation, freezing)
  • Water cycle
  • Floating and sinking

Health and Safety

  • Health choices and consequences of choices
  • Ÿ Benefits of health (including healthy eating, exercise, stress-management, adequate sleep, social and emotional health, disease prevention, and avoidance of accidents and dangers)
  • Ÿ Personal responsibility for fitness, stress management, health, and safety
  • Ÿ Influences of peers, media, family, and cultural pressure on physical, emotional, and social health
  • Ÿ Major body systems and their functions
    Ÿ Nutrients and benefits of nutrients to the body
  • Aerobic and anaerobic exercise (contingent on any physical or other limitations)
  • Ÿ Prevention and transmission of disease by individual behaviors
  • Ÿ Communicable and noncommunicable diseases
  • Ÿ Ways body defends itself against germs
  • Ÿ Basic safety rules for daily and recreational activities
  • Ÿ Skills to identify, avoid, and cope with potentially dangerous situations
  • Ÿ Practices for responding to emergencies
  • Ÿ Identify safe behaviors around strangers
  • Ÿ Use, abuse, and effects of medications, tobacco, alcohol, and other substances
  • Ÿ Ways to avoid use of illegal drugs and other harmful substances
  • Ÿ Positive and negative characteristics of social groups gangs, clubs, cliques
  • Ÿ Reporting and getting help in unsafe situations
  • Ÿ Reasons and ways to avoid violence, gangs, and weapons
  • Ÿ Development of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Ÿ Respect and consideration for all individuals
  • Ÿ Healthy ways of getting attention
  • Ÿ Healthy ways of responding to disrespectful behavior
  • Ÿ Self-control and appropriate ways to express emotions
  • Ÿ Positive social interactions with peers, in home, and in the community
  • Ÿ Bullying, alternative behaviors to bullying, and appropriate responses to bullying
  • Ÿ Strategies for resolving conflicts with peers and others
  • Ÿ Skills for meeting people, making friends, and being a good friend
  • Ÿ Getting personal support from family
  • Ÿ How and where to get help in making health decisions
Typical Course of Study arts


  • Ÿ Perform and create artistic movements and patterns  
  • Ÿ Understand the physical processes and discipline associated with dance
  • Ÿ Identify melody, rhythm, harmony, and timbre in musical selections
  • Ÿ Respond to sounds and sound patterns with body movements
  • Ÿ Improvise music with classroom instruments
  • Ÿ Listen, describe, and respond to a variety of music
  • Ÿ Read and write patterns with musical notes and rhythmic notation
  • Ÿ Read, write, and perform diatonic scales
  • Ÿ Identify some common musical instruments by sight and sound
  • Ÿ Identify and sing a variety of kinds of music and musical forms
  • Ÿ Improvise dramatizations of stories or ideas
  • Ÿ Take part in writing scripts, designing sets, and performing group dramas
  • Ÿ Create costumes and props for a performance
  • Ÿ Observe patterns in nature and works of art
  • Ÿ Identify and describe elements in works of visual art (line, color, texture, shapes/form, space, value, etc.)
  • Ÿ Create original works of visual art in various media and dimensions
  • Ÿ Express observations, ideas, or feelings through music, drama, or visual art
  • Ÿ Identify and discuss some well-known works of dance, drama, music, or visual arts and some artists, actors, writers, musicians, choreographers, or composers
  • Ÿ Describe and analyze a variety of works of art according to their elements
  • Ÿ Learn and use vocabulary of dance, music, drama, and visual arts
  • Ÿ Describe techniques for a given form of art
  • Ÿ Compare and contrast two works of art
  • Ÿ Identify purposes, effects, and influences of art
  • Ÿ Understand how culture affects art and how art reflects culture
  • Ÿ Demonstrate appropriate audience skills for live artistic performances




  • Ÿ Concepts, characteristics, and real-life uses of technology
  • Ÿ Knowing parts of technology devices and systems devices
  • Ÿ Developing advanced keyboard skills
  • Ÿ Exploring virtual environments, simulations, programs, models, and applications
  • Ÿ Effective use of available grade-level technology
  • Ÿ Use of tools to produce creative original works
  • Ÿ Use of tools to interact and exchange ideas with peers, teacher, parents, or other students
  • Ÿ Use of tools and devices to develop cultural understanding
  • Ÿ Use of Internet to find, use, summarize, and evaluate information
  • Ÿ Planning and completing a research project to solve a problem or answer a question
  • Ÿ Understand negative uses of technology and ways to avoid them
  • Ÿ Participation in group collaborative interactive projects and activities
  • Ÿ Developing, printing, and publishing in print and digital
  • Ÿ Evaluating content, applications, and programs
  • Ÿ Digital citizenship and etiquette
  • Ÿ Legal use, fair use guidelines, and copyrights
  • Ÿ Procedures for safe online behavior, including use of social media
  • Ÿ Responsible care of digital equipment
  • Ÿ Positive attitudes toward technology for learning
  • Ÿ Demonstrating openness to learning and using new technologies 

Download World Book's Typical Course of Study