Curricular Highlights: Fourth Grade


Lake Bluff Elementary School District 65 utilizes a balanced literacy approach. A balanced approach uses a variety of reading, writing and word work instruction, and practice opportunities for students in order to expose them to the rich world of literacy. An essential component of balanced literacy is called “workshop”. Our understanding and implementation of workshop, in District 65, is grounded in the research and practices of Lucy Calkins and her colleagues from the Teachers College, Reading and Writing Project who have developed the Units of Study in both Reading and Writing to guide us.

Reading and Writing Workshops are conducted daily to allow for students to receive personalized learning by engaging with and producing high volumes of both fiction and nonfiction texts of their choosing.  Because all lessons begin with explicit, direct teaching points, workshop prioritizes time for students to be immersed in independent reading and writing work, while teachers provide focused, differentiated instruction in smaller groups. As a result, workshop challenges students to develop the habits and dispositions of lifelong readers and writers.

4th Grade Reading

In Reading, fourth graders are exposed to stories and texts across genres. Student learning will be focused on:

  • Using inferential skills to deeply understand characters in literature
  • Developing complex skills like synthesis, reading for text structure, and analyzing author’s craft with informational texts
  • Deepening interpretations of both literary and informational texts through working in book clubs
4th Grade Writing

In Writing, fourth graders will produce 3 types of texts:

  • The narrative unit asks for students to create believable characters developed through the arc of the story.
  • The informational unit asks for students to teach about a topic by organizing information as well as generating new  ideas from this information.
  • The opinion units ask for students to make a claim supported by reasons with examples and evidence.


Mathematics instruction in District 65 provides the opportunity for all students to have a rigorous, engaging, and accessible curriculum which focuses on developing students’ deep understanding of mathematics concepts. In order to achieve this, students engage in a high level of discourse and are exposed to multiple strategies in order to solve complex problems. The backbone of this instruction comes from Bridges 2nd Edition which has been developed by the Math Learning Center after years and years of research in the field of elementary mathematics instruction.

4th Grade Math

In fourth grade, students focus on multiplication and division with multi-digit numbers, fractions, and geometry. Throughout the year they:

  • Find factors and multiples of different numbers
  • Compare fractions and break fractions into smaller parts
  • Compare decimal numbers and find decimal and fraction equivalents
  • Develop efficient strategies for multiplying and dividing multi-digit numbers
  • Calculate area and volume
  • Measure and draw angles using protractors
4th Grade Science

Fourth grade students inquire about energy by predicting outcomes, testing hypotheses and making connections to real world engineering applications of energy transfer and conversion 

Fourth grade students explore the phenomena of the earth and its land and rock formations as a result of weathering and other earth processes.

Fourth grade students become information processing experts of living things. Students investigate plants and animals by predicting outcomes and testing the effects of stimuli on different organisms in multiple environments. 

4th Grade Social Studies

In fourth grade, students argue the importance of their questions and gather relevant information from multiple sources to distinguish between fact and opinion to determine credibility.  Students focus on the regions in our nation through the lenses of geography, history, economics and civics.

Students will explore the geography, government, and economy of our country.

They will explore historical events that challenged and strengthened our country as it grew.

As students investigate, they will gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities people encountered as they settled throughout our state and the country.