Fourth-Grade Reading Learning Objectives
Elementary readers experience a wide variety of books in their classrooms through mini-lessons, read alouds, book partnerships, and independent reading. Independent reading is a vital part of our reading experience - especially in fostering a love for reading. Our readers learn to select “just right books.” These books interest the child and offer the appropriate challenge to help build confidence and to become better and better readers. While individual readers develop as readers at differing rates, we do use grade-level standards to measure a child’s progress from year-to-year. Monitoring readers as they select books, as they read books and when they write about and discuss books helps teachers know how readers are progressing. In addition, teachers administer reading assessments such as the DRA2 and the SRI.
Please notice that literacy learning objectives, listed in italics, are aligned to our larger report card indicators, typed in bold. Each learning objective is accompanied by sample “I statements” that students can use in considering their progress as readers and writers.
Report Card Indicator: Accurately reads and understands grade level texts.
Fiction and nonfiction books become increasing complicated as children reach the end of fourth grade. Readers must easily comprehend lengthy, complex sentences and solve new vocabulary words, especially longer descriptive words and technical words. Nonfiction might have dense content that relies on prior knowledge to understand. Fourth-graders read novels built on complicated plots. Often one conflict is obvious and might easily come to a resolution, but other problems are more subtle and more difficult to solve. The characters in these novels may have internal emotional lives that affect the plot and meaning but can be difficult for the reader to understand. Often aspects of the setting, or even minor characters, can be symbolic. The meaning of these novels is not be apparent to a casual reader; a fourth-grader must dig in to interpret the author’s message.
Report Card Indicator: Uses a variety of strategies to comprehend the literal meaning of a text.Fourth-graders refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly.
Fourth-graders work to determine the meaning of words and phrases, including general academic and topic-specific, as they are used in a text.
- I make sure to draw on prior knowledge of fiction to preview and figure out ideas about characters, setting, and main storyline - using the genre, like historical fiction, to figure out what will probably be important.
- I read to expect the parts of the text to fit together and ask “How does this part fit with my overall picture of the text?” I re-read when things don’t seem to fit.
- I realize that stories are not always told sequentially and look for clues about gaps in times. I make sure that I can identify when setting changes.
- Fourth-graders can describe, in depth, parts of a text such a character, the setting, an idea or concept, or key events.
- I read to step into the character’s shoes.
- I draw on character traits and motivations, the setting, earlier parts of the text and the events to make predictions.
- I use mental models (box and bullets, timelines, diagrams) to make sense of new information.
Fourth-graders can describe the overall structure of a text such as chronological or cause/effect in nonfiction, and then can talk about the difference between poetry and prose.
- When I try to figure out a word or phrase, I check to see if the author has given a definition, an example, a synonym, or other clues. I try to substitute a word if I can’t figure it out.
- I use what I know about prefixes and suffixes and root words to solve the word the best I can, when needed.
- I know that authors play with words, so I ask, “Could this mean something besides the literal meaning?”
Report Card Indicator: Reads for depth of understanding of a text’s themes, message, or arguments.Fourth-graders refer to details and examples in a text when explaining something and/or when drawing inferences from the text.
- I preview the text paying special attention to text features like table of contents, headings, topic sentences, etc., to help me decide how the text will go.
- Previewing the text helps me determine how to read the text and organize for note-taking.
- I can refer to the structural elements of each when writing or speaking about a text.
Fourth-graders are aware that texts can be written to get a reader to think and feel something about an issue or topic. They interpret texts by paying close attention to the details.
- A reader might form new ideas about the world, other people, or a topic. I use new ideas as a lens for rethinking or rereading. I consider and critique that a text is saying about an issue.
- A good reader thinks, “What is it that the author wants me to think/feel?” and “Do I agree?”
- The reader develops his/her own ideas about the text related to values, the world, or the book. Ideas are grounded in text-based information--drawing on several parts of the text(s). I ask questions, “Could it be…?” I am not not afraid to think in new ways.
Fourth-graders learn to pay close attention to point of view. In fiction, the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations, is important. In nonfiction, we compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic and describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
- I keep in mind that characters are complicated in order to understand why a character makes a decision or takes action. I recognize that even a small action by a character can signal a deeper meaning.
- After reading a novel, I am able to summarize to show knowledge of the important parts of the story. I can discuss character traits and important events using sequence to recap or cause-effect to show relationships. I realize that the theme does not come clear until the end, so I revisit the story to trace the development of the theme through the story.
- I’m aware that texts can be written to get reader to think and feel something about an issue or topic. I can elaborate on why the author uses the craft techniques selected. I can say things like, “The author has chosen to use this image to help readers grasp an idea.”
In fourth grade, students interpret information presented visually or orally and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
- I think about, “Whose voice is being heard?” and “Whose voice is not being heard?” I can discuss a character’s perspective. I wonder “What influences this perspective?” and “What does this perspective influence?”
- I use how the author develops a character to explain why a character feels a certain way.
- I can recognize if the author was present at an event (firsthand) or an event that where he/she was not present (secondhand), and I am aware of how these accounts would be different than others.
Fourth-graders synthesize information from two texts on the same topic or two texts about similar themes in order to write or speak about the subject or ideas knowledgeably.
- I make connections and synthesize information from various forms of text (articles, story, video, etc.).
- I think about how one part is important to the whole story. I might think, “How is this particular setting important to the story?”
- I can elaborate on why the author uses the craft techniques selected. I can say things like, “The author has made a comparison to help readers grasp an idea.”
- I discuss why an author selects certain parts of a text (textbox, anecdote, chart, etc.) by knowing predictable ways that these features tend to be important to the main idea or structure.
Report Card Indicator: Reads aloud with fluency, which includes appropriate phrasing, expression, and rate.Fourth-graders read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
- When I read two or more texts, or a longer text, I can collect and merge information and ideas in a way that makes a new organization for the combined information - categorizing ideas and details into new subtopics.
- When comparing and contrasting two texts (or the parts of a longer text), I identify similarities and differences in information and the treatment of topics - including craft techniques, focus, and perspective.
- When I read aloud, I read a text with purpose and understanding.
- When reading fiction, I match my voice, mostly, with what is going on in the story and on what each character is thinking, feeling, or experiencing. When reading prose and poetry orally, I read with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expressions on successive readings.
- I work to use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.