ADW Language Arts Standards (Grade 4)


Language Arts in the Fourth Grade is comprised of the language components of listening, reading, speaking, and writing, and integrates these components with other Fourth Grade content/subject areas. A literature-based reading program promotes the students’ ability to read for meaning, information and pleasure. The Six Trait writing program encourages students to expand the creativity and precision of their writing.

Selected Goals
  • Spell with appropriate accuracy
  • Reading a broad range of genres through small group guided reading
  • Develop grade-appropriate vocabulary
  • Daily practice of cursive writing
  • Strengthen understanding of the Six Trait writing process
  • Participate in literary discussions
  • Write both creatively and informatively
  • Reflect on the learning process through writing
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Reading and analysis of literature relating to Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies
  • Paragraph, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writing
  • Book projects and library research
  • Presentations of state projects, book projects, and poetry
  • Organization and completion of homework

ADW Math Standards (Grade 4)


We start the year off by reviewing place value, estimation, and rounding.  Throughout the year we will be concentrating on our multiplication tables including mastery of facts and double and triple digit numbers.  We will also work on computation for all operations including long division.  Learning to apply all of these skills to word problems will be an important part of your child’s everyday math class.  Money, measurement, fractions, decimals and probability complete the 4th grade curriculum.


ADW Religion Standards (Grade 4)


This course reinforces solid conscience formation and understanding the role of intention deciding whether an act is right or wrong. We introduce the students to moral concepts such as the Ten Commandments, examination of conscience, and making good moral choices.

Selected Goals
  • Service: Prepare McKenna Sandwiches, support Little Sisters of the Poor
  • Fourth Grade plans and participates in two liturgical events throughout the year: Guardian Angels Mass and Advent Reconciliation
  • Fourth Graders attend two reconciliation services during the year (Advent and Lent) and memorize the Act of Contrition
  • With instruction from the school counselor, Fourth Graders become Lower School mediators
  • For Grandparents Day Assembly, learn and present a poem and a song
  • Fourth Graders attend and participate in the Christmas Show and All School masses
  • Memorize: The Beatitudes, The Ten Commandments, Works of Mercy, and The Holy Days of Obligation
  • Discuss Saints and Holy People
  • Fourth Graders regularly discuss the Gospel reading from the Sunday mass, and are encouraged to attend Sunday masses with their family
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Daily Prayer: morning, lunch and afternoon prayer.  The day ends with a 5-10 minute Examen
  • Religion class begins with the AMDG song
  • Sacred Space: Period of reflection/meditation after lunch and before afternoon classes begin
  • Sacred Space-daily guided reading on the Smart Board of the Irish Jesuits website: www.sacredspace.org
  • Guided reading in textbook: FINDING GOD: OUR RESPONSE TO GOD’S GIFTS (Loyola Press)
  • Group discussions
  • Occasional worksheets to reinforce textbook reading
  • Partner work/small group projects
  • Bible lessons with meditation
  • Assessments: quizzes on The Beatitudes, The Ten Commandments, The Holy Days of Obligation; graded weekly Bible lesson homework assignments
  • Attending Daily Mass in chapel as assigned. We also invited students to join us on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week
  • Visits and discussions with Sr. Ann and the Jesuits
  • Non- religion subject areas often begin with 3-minute meditation from www.findingod.org

ADW Science Standards (Grade 4)


Fourth grade science comprises the study of Earth Science, Physical Science and Life Science, incorporating field trips and weekly hands-on experiments.

Selected Goals
  • Prepare for October watershed field trip to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (S.E.R.C.) located in Edgewater, Maryland
  • Discuss Earth’s history and its structure as it relates to rocks and fossils
  • Learn about the Properties and Changes of Matter, Forms of Energy (heat, light, sound), and Electricity and Magnetism
  • Learn about animal characteristics, organ systems, cells in animals and plants, and changes in ecosystems
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Guided reading in textbook: SCIENCE (MacMillan McGraw-Hill)
  • Class discussion, partner work
  • Weekly small group experiments for each lesson (Ex.: Making Molds and Casts, How Can You Identify Matter?, How Does a Pulley Work?, Classifying Animals by Characteristics)
  • Formal assessment: chapter tests
  • Field trips: S.E.R.C. in October, Disney Nature films in April (2009: EARTH, 2010: OCEANS)
Social Studies

ADW Social Studies Standards (Grade 4)


Fourth Grade Social Studies comprises the study of basic mapping skills, geographic terms, the history and geography of the regions of the United States, Maryland and the District of Columbia – organized around five content areas: history, civics and government, geography, economics, and individuals, society, and culture.

Selected Goals
  • Demonstrate how to use and apply maps skills
  • Apply geography terminology to interpret data: past, present, and future
  • Analyze physical and human characteristics of places and differentiate how human actions vs. geography modifies the physical environment
  • Trace the historical periods, places, people, events, and movements that have led to the development of the United States, Maryland as a state and the District of Columbia as the nation’s capital
  • Memorize the fifty states and their capital cities
  • Research and create an individual state report that focuses on the climate, physical features, economy, natural resources, major cities, important historical events, and tourist attractions for assigned state
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Daily Morning Geography
  • Guided reading with textbook: SOCIAL STUDIES STATES AND REGIONS (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Class discussion, partner work, small group projects
  • Center work
  • Mini- quizzes of states and capitals and fifty states and capitals test
  • Formal assessment: chapter tests
  • Individual state projects: written report, oral presentation, and creative component (i.e. recipe, diorama, famous person skit)
  • Field trips, such as Theater Works: The Color of Justice or Freedom Train, One-Room School House, and monument tour

Art is taught as a language of knowing and communicating.  Students grow in the identification, understanding and application of the elements of art, (line, shape, form, texture, and color) in two- and three-dimensional assignments.  Classes meet once a week with one-half of a homeroom.

With each project, students are introduced to relevant cultures and artists. Museums are invaluable for our program: their architecture, exhibits and education resources.  We use HTS library resources extensively and, as appropriate, integrate with individual technology classes.  Relevant book illustrations and art history images are displayed.  We take sketching field trips on our grounds and buildings.  Completed art works are exhibited throughout our buildings and, sometimes, on our website.

At the end of the year, students review and solidify the portfolio emerging from all their works.

Selected Goals

Our primary goal is to guide the students into accepting Art as a way of knowing and communicating as outlined in the AOW Art Standards.   We seek to provide a balance between having a group class, setting out rules and guidelines structured in a project and having free studio class. Each student’s work is celebrated as he or she is able to create it.  Art vocabulary is developed as students experience projects in drawing, field sketching, painting and water coloring, sculpture making, printmaking and portraiture; architecture and the presentation of art work, both in two- and three dimensions.   We seek to increase student awareness of the art and architecture in our school grounds and neighborhood, as well as in other cultures.


Fourth Grade curriculum expands their knowledge of all areas of literature with an emphasis on choosing books for pleasure reading as well as for information when needed. The online catalog is taught at the beginning of the year so students have the skills to use it independently as good online catalog searching translates to good searching of other online resources.  Additional skills are taught in collaboration with classroom teachers on research projects.


Fourth graders participate in once-a-week classes designed to awaken and extend each child’s creative capacity. Children at HTS are introduced to music through Orff-Schulwerk, an approach to music education created by composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Just as children learn to speak before they can read and write, music education encourages singing and playing instruments before learning to read and notate music. Our students experience elemental music in ways that are natural to them: singing, games, movement and other playful activities.  Students develop technique and skills in playing classroom instruments, and have many opportunities to improvise based upon those skills and knowledge.  The primary goals are confidence and success at each level.
Lower School Chorus: Third and fourth graders are invited to join the Lower School Chorus. Students will learn a variety of songs and will have the opportunity to perform at school functions and liturgies. Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays from 12:45-1:15.

Selected Goals for the Year
  • Sing on pitch a capella and with accompaniment
  • Sing expressively with dynamics
  • Accurately echo melodic and rhythmic patterns
  • Play instruments in a group with a steady beat and using correct technique (unpitched percussion, barred instruments, recorder)
  • Experience music from a variety of cultures and historical eras
  • Develop an understanding of musical forms: AB, ABA, rondo, coda, introduction
  • Compose “B,” “C,” etc. sections, introductions, codas – with music and movement
  • Respond to and creat Q & A phrases
  • Create dances to match the form of a piece of music
  • Notation: learn about the staff, notate simple rhythms and melodies (add half rest, whole rest, dotted rhythms, eighth rest)
  • Time signatures (2/4, 3/4, 4/4)
  • Recorder-Playing (begins in 3rd and continues in 4th);  B-A-G, low E, low D, high C, high D
  • Improvise melodies on the recorder and barred instruments (xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels)
  • Canons, cumulative songs (body percussion canon)
  • Speech ostinati, rhytimic ostinati
  • Experience music from a variety of cultures and historical eras through singing, dancing, and listening
  • Respond to music with creative movement
  • Study a composer:  Beethoven
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Perform a song or instrumental piece for Christmas Show, Arts Night, Grandparent’s Day assembly, Lower School assembly
  • Dramatize stories with music and movement
  • Cross-curricular unit: compose music for poems (Poetry Festival in Spring)
  • Learn folk dances from across the world
  • Use children’s literature to explore rhythmic and melodic concepts
  • Attend Northern Virginia Opera performance or another live music venue
Physical Education

The goal of physical education  in fourth grade is to engage students in developmentally appropriate activities that create  opportunities for development of skill, knowledge, health-related fitness, and ultimately, the confidence to enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.

Selected Goals
  • Fitness development
  • Cooperative activities
  • Development of soccer and Ultimate Frisbee skills
  • Introduction to Frisbee golf
  • Development of tennis skills
  • Introduction to flag football, “Capture the Football”
  • Introduction to team handball
  • Development of basketball skills
  • Introduction to badminton and hockey skills
  • Introduction to volleyball/indoor soccer
  • Introduction to track and field activities
  • Opportunity for students to pass the Presidential Physical Fitness Test
  • Development of kickball skills and concepts
  • Review of games and activities
Selected Activities and Approaches
  • Regular attendance is required
  • Correct uniform is required
  • Emphasis on effort, sportsmanship, and skill development
  • Students are graded on effort, participation, sportsmanship and skill development

In the Fourth Grade, the students use programs such as Inspiration Mapping, PowerPoint, MS Publisher, and Comic Life to reinforce and present topics learned in class.  Students continue to build skills in keyboarding and word processing.  Lab time is used to conduct Internet research, and online games are used to strengthen fundamental skills.

Updated:  June 2011