The ELA program in fourth grade, based on a balanced literacy concept, focuses on the important introduction of learning how to read and decipher informational, textbook-based materials. Textbooks and informational articles constitute the basis of comprehension skill building for both social studies and science, units of study which will be discussed later. The ELA program includes a variety of formats, including literature circles, independent reading, oral readings, read aloud (having a variety of materials read to the students by the teacher), and public speaking. (Throughout the year, class members have several opportunities to give a short presentation on a predetermined topic to their classmates.)
Also included in this area are note-taking skills, identifying the main idea and its related details, chunking information (linking like details together), building upon vocabulary usage, and a variety of grammar based skills.
The writing segment focuses on writing “tight,” concise on-topic paragraphs which use a greater complexity of sentence structure and variety of transitional and linking words. As the writing is linked to the vast variety of topics covered, it can take numerous forms, such as personal narratives, compare and contrast essays, or short, detailed explanations of a process or concept.