Grade 4 Writing

Discover Grade 4 writing standards

Now that your child has reached fourth grade, they’ll be consolidating, refining and building upon language arts knowledge that they’ve developed in previous grades.

As they embark on the second half of their elementary school journey, fourth graders will be encouraged to start thinking, analyzing and processing information more independently, which can be quite a big jump from previous grades. They’ll be expected to research various topics and produce articles utilizing their reading comprehension skills. 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.

This guide will take you through the key writing skills your fourth grader will need to develop in order to ensure that their academic progress is seamless.

10 Important Fourth Grade Writing Goals

  1. I can write independently
  2. I can compose clear and coherent articles and stories
  3. I can refine written text by revising 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 complex sentences
  10. I can establish a clear theme throughout an article or story
Check list

Fourth grade learners will work towards achieving these goals by writing in the following forms:

  • Opinion Writing
  • Explanatory/Informative Writing
  • Narrative Writing
  • Learners in fourth grade should be familiar with these styles of writing, and understand the features and structure of each text type.

    To level up their writing skills, children will need to both increase the level of detail in their articles and stories, and the sophistication of their vocabulary and grammar usage to impress their reader.

    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, 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.
    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 take on their own research project to ensure that their arguments are valid, and then ask them to 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.

    People with speech bubbles

    Informative Writing

    Children in Grade 4 should be able to report factual information in an organized and clear way.

    Here’s how your fourth grader can succeed at informative writing:

    1. Learn about a specific topic and list out 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 first or third person.
    4. Use appropriate language, such as precise, topic-related vocabulary.
    5. Organize different points in clear headings, sections and paragraphs.
    6. Review the whole piece when it is completed. Informative writing requires precise use of facts, so it’s important that your child double-checks that the information they’ve provided is truthful.

    Practice Tip

    Our printable report writing activity pack shares top tips on how to structure informative writing pieces and guides learners 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.

    Report writing activity pack.

    Narrative Writing

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

    Alongside character development and plot, fourth graders 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. Use literary devices such as similes and metaphors to make the writing piece even more captivating!
    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!

    Practice Tip

    Encourage daily writing! The more your fourth grader practices, the better they’ll become at describing and using figurative language to grab the reader’s attention. Daily writing can be done in many different ways, including journalling, using writing prompts, and playing writing games on Night Zookeeper!

    How Night Zookeeper can help

    Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

    Night Zookeeper is a language arts program created to help your child develop fundamental writing skills. Whether used as your homeschool language arts curriculum or as a supplemental learning resource, we guarantee your child will love our approach to teaching writing skills. We use gamification to add an educational twist to video games, meaning your child will learn as they have fun!

    Our award-winning content has been created by expert elementary school teachers, and includes writing lesson plans that you can use to map out your child’s learning experience, creative writing prompts on all styles of writing, printable fourth grade writing worksheets, and much more!

    Sign up to our program today to get a 7-day free trial!

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