Grade 4

A Sample of Fourth Grade English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core State Standards

■ Describing the basic elements of stories — such as characters, events, and settings — by drawing on specific details in the text

■ Paying close attention to key features of informational books and articles: these include understanding the main and supporting ideas; being able to compare and contrast information; and explaining how the author uses facts, details, and evidence to support particular points

■ Comparing ideas, characters, events, and settings in stories and myths from different cultures

■ Writing summaries or opinions about topics supported with a set of well-organized facts, details, and examples

■ Independently conducting short research projects on different aspects of a topic using evidence from books and the Internet

■ Paraphrasing and responding to information presented in discussions, such as comparing and contrasting ideas and analyzing evidence that speakers use to support particular points

■ Reporting orally on a topic or telling a story with enough facts and details

■ Writing complete sentences with correct capitalization and spelling

■ Relating words that are common in reading to words with similar meanings (synonyms) and to their opposites (antonyms)

Reading Strategies

There are a variety of reading strategies that students use when they read. "Sounding out" is often used as the only method to read a word, but there are other strategies that are taught. Students should be thinking about not just stretching out sounds, but also about what makes sense in the sentence. Fourth graders are not only working on reading longer words, but understanding more difficult vocabulary. Refer to the image below for a list of reading strategies that are reinforced in fourth grade.


Fluency is the ability to read smoothly. It can also involve reading with expression. The reason we reinforce fluency is because research has shown that most students who are not fluent often have issues with comprehension. If it takes a student longer to read, it often makes it harder to remember what was actually read. One of the main prompts teachers use with students who are not fluent, is to encourage students to "put your words together like you are talking." If your child is having issues with phonics, refer to the web resources below to help strengthen those skills.

Comprehension Strategies

As students begin to read longer texts, it's important to ask them questions to be sure that they understand what they are reading. It's not only important to ask questions when students are reading the books themselves, but also when a book is being read to them. There are research-based strategies that are helpful in supporting your child's comprehension. Refer to the image below for suggestions.

Students in fourth grade are also working on writing about their reading. Students learn that they must provide evidence to support their thinking. Refer to the image below for more information.

Sight Words

Sight words are words students should be able to recognize quickly by sight. Many of them are "rule breakers" and don't follow a regular pattern for sounding out purposes. Students practice reading and writing these words all throughout fourth grade. Refer to the link below for the 100 words that are taught in fourth grade. The link also includes ready to print flashcards.

Book Lists

Most students read between a Level O and S or above in fourth grade. Once you know your child's reading level, you can refer to the links below to purchase and/or borrow books at your child's level.