Fourth grade is fully immersed within our Lucy Calkin’s Informational Writing and Reading units. The class has self-selected, not only biographies of famous people that fascinate them, such as Milton Hersey, Betsy Ross, Muhammad Ali and Harry Houdini, but has also selected others types of informational text that appeal to their interests. Whether it is Forest Animals, Mountain Lions, World War II, Mummies or Crystals, we are picking up and learning from nonfiction texts that speak to us. Last week, we noticed text structures, learned how to take organized notes and created informational posters which utilized at least three of the note-taking structures we had just learned. This week, the class will focus on how to teach their information to others and how to best tackle the hard parts of informational reading: complex topics and tricky vocabulary.
As Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap, pointed out, “We are confronted by exponential increases of readily available information, new technologies that are constantly changing and more complex societal challenges. Thus, work, learning, and citizenship in the twenty-first century demand that we all know how to think-to reason, analyze, weigh evidence, problem solve-and to communicate effectively.” Please enjoy a photo of the 4th grade class, communicating the information they researched to a small group of peers.