4th Grade Science and Social Studies

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Course Summary

In this fourth-grade course, students explore a wide variety of social studies and science topics while building their skills in informational reading and writing. Though it can be used to teach science and social studies content, this course is an important component of Match’s fourth grade English Language Arts curriculum.

All three social studies units challenge students to think about how conflict and courageous individuals can create change, what it means to stand up for what you believe, and how the centuries-long struggle for freedom and equal rights has helped make the American promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness a reality for all Americans. It is our hope that the three units will inspire and motivate students to fight for the change they wish to see in the world, no matter what obstacles may stand in the way. All three science units challenge students to think about and observe different patterns related to the transfer of matter and energy on Earth, in physical interactions, and inside our own bodies. Through readings and hands-on experiments, it is our hope that fourth graders become motivated and inspired by the world of science and the way in which things work.

At Match Elementary School, we structure our 70- to 90-minute science and social studies block so that over the course of a week student have a chance to explore key content and themes while also grappling with a variety of non-fiction texts. To build students’ skills we ensure that they spend the majority of class time deeply engaged with informational texts, either individually or as a class, annotating, writing, and discussing key themes and questions. Target tasks are a central part of each daily lesson and offer opportunities for writing and discussion that both deepen students’ understanding of the content and build their writing and discussion skills. These writing target tasks and the longer more focused writing tasks embedded in the units are the primary basis for writing instruction at Match; students do not have a separate writing block. Starting with unit 2, students also begin daily practice with answering multiple-choice questions that require deep consideration and analysis of the texts and themes.

In all science and social studies units, we also believe in the power of hands-on learning. While directions for labs and projects are not explicitly written into units, we encourage all teachers to include at least three to four days of exploratory learning over the course of the unit to help bring the content to life for scholars.

How to Use This Course

 

Science and Social Studies at Match

At Match Education we have ambitious goals for our students. Through our teaching, we strive to transform our scholars into critical readers, writers, and thinkers, and we seek to widen our students’ perspectives and deepen their character so that they can better understand themselves and the world around them.

In grades kindergarten through five, our science and social studies curriculum does double duty. It exposes students to the core knowledge, skills, and habits of thinking needed to be successful in science and social studies, while at the same time honing students’ ability to read and write about complex informational texts. In this way the science and social studies curriculum in the elementary grades is a core component of Match’s overall approach to English language arts instruction. Through daily science or social studies instruction centered on reading, discussing, and analyzing nonfiction texts, combined with daily reading and writing instruction focused on literary texts, we help our students build the skills to become strong readers and writers.

Our elementary science and social studies curriculum is also under development. In this first phase of its development we have focused heavily on the skills and standards involved in reading and writing about informational texts. Over the next year it will evolve to include more detailed hands-on projects, labs, and activities in order to more deeply engage students in the content and teach important thinking and problem-solving skills.


For more information, view our full Science and Social Studies Program Overview.