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Grade 4 Writing

Now that your child has reached fourth-grade level, they’ll be consolidating, refining and building upon knowledge that they’ve developed in their language arts lessons in previous grades. Children in fourth grade are encouraged to start thinking, analyzing and processing information more independently, which can be considered quite a big jump from previous years. They’ll be expected to research topics on their and produce articles utilizing this newly-acquired knowledge. There are many higher-level thinking skills involved in the writing process in fourth grade and this could prove challenging for your child at times.

In this article, we have broken down some of the key, smaller skills that your child can focus on to pave their way towards becoming an excellent writer at Grade 4 level.

10 Important Grade 4 Writing Goals

  1. I can write independently
  2. I can compose clear and coherent articles and stories
  3. I can refine written text by editing and redrafting
  4. I can complete a plan before beginning to write
  5. I can use technology to publish articles and stories
  6. I can structure articles and stories correctly
  7. I can produce writing for different purposes and audiences
  8. I can use my research skills to compose an informative report
  9. I can use structured paragraphs and different types of sentences
  10. I can establish a clear theme throughout an article or story

Your child will work towards achieving these goals by writing in the following forms:

  • Opinion
  • Informative / Explanatory
  • Narrative
  • These particular styles of writing will all be familiar to your child by the time they reach fourth grade. They should be familiar with the features and the structure involved in drafting each type. In order to level up their writing in fourth grade, children will need to both increase the level of detail in their articles and stories, whilst using an increasing level of complexity with their vocabulary and grammar to impress their reader.

    To find out more about grammar, spelling and punctuation requirements at this level, you can visit our dedicated articles on these areas (coming soon!).

    Opinion Writing

    In Grade 4, your child should be writing with the intention of persuading or convincing the reader. Here are some guidelines on how to structure an opinion piece:

    1. Focus on a single, strong idea.
    2. State your opinion on the topic.
    3. Provide reasons for the argument, with relevant evidence and supporting thoughts (these should be organized in clear paragraphs).
    4. Use persuasive writing techniques such as emotive language to influence the reader.
    5. Use linking words and phrases to ensure their article flows (such as: in addition, in particular, in other words).
    6. End with a summary of the most important points made in the argument and conclude with a memorable sentence.

    Practice Tip: Challenge your child to share their opinion on a topic of your choice. Ask them to research their arguments and present these to you verbally with reasons to support their opinion. It can be very beneficial for children to talk about their writing before they put pen to paper.

    Informative Writing

    Your child should now be able to report factual information in an organized and clear way. Here are our top tips for writing a high quality informative text of Grade 4 standard:

    1. Get your child to learn about a specific topic and select the most important aspects to include in their piece of writing.
    2. Include facts, details and definitions in order to provide accurate information.
    3. Write in the 1st or 3rd person.
    4. Use appropriate language, such as precise, topic-related vocabulary.
    5. Organize different points in clear headings, sections and paragraphs.

    Practice Tip: Our printable report writing activity pack, shares top tips with young writers about how to structure their informative writing and guides children through developing a topic that includes facts, details, and definitions. It introduces topic related vocabulary and supports children to then use these words in their own writing.

    Narrative Writing

    In Grade 4, children will develop their narrative writing to include a clear sequence of events, descriptive detail, and an established narrator and characters.

    Alongside character development and plot, children in Grade 4 need to control and direct their narrative using transitional words and phrases. Conjunctions, adverbs, and prepositions can all be used to link and sequence sentences and paragraphs within a story.

    Some narrative writing techniques to have in mind are:

    1. Get your child to base narrative stories on real events or, if they’re super-creative, fictional scenarios!
    2. Set established settings and surroundings, characters and details which can give the reader a sense of immersion.
    3. Provide a wider context for the story. For example, if the plot takes place in the main character’s home, where is the home located? Is it in a big city or in the countryside?
    4. Ensure that the story follows a logical narrative structure - beginning, middle and end.
    5. Good stories need a good ending! End the narrative with a happy ending, a cliffhanger or even a plot-twist!

    How Night Zookeeper can help

    Nightzookeeper.com has been designed to provide a well-rounded writing curriculum, which will help your child develop fundamental Grade 4 writing skills such as those outlined above. Some of our lessons assess your child’s understanding of information and encourage them to organize information into sections using subheadings, giving them the opportunity to practice using subject-specific technical vocabulary.

    Other lessons guide children through a variety of interesting ways to develop narrative in an interesting and varied way. We also have a huge variety of creative writing prompts to choose from so that children can express themselves and really show off the complex skills they are learning in fourth grade!

    Related Articles

    Grade 4 Reading

    Grade 4 Grammar

    Grade 4 Writing Prompts

    Coming soon:

    Grade 4 Punctuation

    Grade 4 Spelling

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