Fourth Graders love exploring and learning new words! Vocabulary Workshop gives students the chance to delve deeper into words they have known as well as the opportunity to learn new words. The highlight of the two-week study of twelve words is acting them out! Students show their deep understanding of words by portraying them silently with actions. Guessing also requires knowledge of the word meanings, as students must explain why that action connects to that word. Ask your student to act out hardship, stampede, or drowsy!
We started Reading Workshop this year with a realistic fiction author study. Kate DiCamillo is the author of some beloved early chapter books, such as Mercy Watson. As Fourth Graders, students immerse themselves in more sophisticated DiCamillo novels, including Tiger Rising and Because of Winn Dixie. We use these realistic fiction novels to analyze characters, settings, and the way these two interact on a deep level. This analysis also helps students as they begin to write realistic fiction!
Writing realistic fiction is exciting for these creative students, however, it is hard! Their imaginations are running wild but transferring that into a story for readers does not come as easily as students expect. As we begin our unit writing realistic fiction, students learn that ideas for stories actually come from their own lives. They look at their surroundings and think, what if this happened? Or, could this happen instead? What do I wish happened? The next step for these budding young writers is developing strong characters.