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4th Grade Common Core Writing Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

The Common Core State Standards ask fourth graders to develop skills in narrative, persuasive, and explanatory nonfiction writing. The activities in this lesson will help you get your fourth graders going as writers.

Common Core Standards for Fourth Grade Writing

The Common Core State Standards ask a lot of fourth grade writers! At this age, students are expected to write about their opinions and support their ideas with reasons and facts. They are supposed to be able to write explanatory texts about topics they know a lot about, and write narrative fiction and nonfiction. Fourth graders are expected to be able to conduct and write about short research projects on different aspects of a topic, and their mechanics are meant to reflect good grammar and the ability to revise and edit. The activities in this lesson will help you get your fourth graders ready to meet these standards by the end of the year.

Activities for Opinion Pieces

That's Not Fair!

It's the rare fourth grader who can't find something to get worked up about in his or her daily life. Encourage your students to keep a list of things they think are unfair in the world, whether it's how their siblings get treated or the fact that people are homeless. Then, have them choose one thing on their list to write about in more detail.

Favorite Things

Ask your students to create lists of favorites: favorite foods, TV shows, movies, and books, for instance. Then, have them write a letter convincing you why one of those things should become your favorite too, justifying it with as many different reasons as possible.

Read and React

Read your students a letter to the editor from your local newspaper on a topic they are likely to know something about. Then, challenge them to take the position of the editor and respond to this writer. They can agree or disagree, but they should carefully explain why.

Activities for Explanatory Pieces

All About Books

Have your students create books all about a topic they are an expert in. They should think about what another person would need to know in order to understand this topic. They should plan a logical organizational structure for their books that really allows them to share their expertise. Give students a chance to share their books with their classmates.

Feature Articles

Tell your students you are going to create one issue of a class magazine. Give them a chance to read a number of different feature articles from children's magazines. As a class, decide on a theme for your magazine. Then, help students do research on topics that they choose to write articles about. After your students have written feature articles, compile them into a publication you can share with families and others in the school.

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