Marist Brothers International School


Early Years

Curriculum overview

Grade 4

The Grade 4 Language Arts program is designed to equip students with strong reading, writing, and speaking skills that allow them to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Through exposure to a diverse range of texts, students are guided to become independent critical readers who skillfully use evidence to support their interpretations and understandings. To do this, each unit is centered around a relevant and engaging unit theme. During class, students will participate in a mix of whole-group, small-group, and independent reading and writing, focusing on a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts relevant to the current unit theme. Vocabulary also plays an important role in our Language Arts program as students use unit related vocabulary and morphology in their writing and peer discussions. Students learn how to plan and write narrative, opinion, and informative pieces for a variety of purposes. They use writing as both a vehicle to further their understanding of unit concepts and to develop their writing voice. They are taught a set of flexible writing strategies that foster independence and writing fluency. We regularly use formative assessments to monitor students’ literacy skills and provide targeted support to help students reach their goals.

Grade 4 Mathematics units aim to build confident and competent mathematicians who are able to apply their math knowledge both in and out of the classroom. Students engage in a variety of activities to help foster procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding. Students learn about place value, rounding, addition and subtraction, multi-digit multiplication and division, fraction equivalence and ordering, fraction operation, decimal fractions, unit conversions, and shapes and angles. We regularly use formative assessments to monitor students’ understanding of the concepts taught and provide targeted support to help students reach their mathematical goals.

The Grade 4 Science curriculum is designed to engage students in hands-on learning experiences with extensive reading to deepen knowledge. Throughout the year, students will explore various scientific phenomena through a series of investigations that encourage authentic inquiry. In each unit, students will be tasked with planning, conducting, and reflecting on their findings. They will use scientific reasoning and models to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts they are studying. Unit 1 focuses on plant and animal structures and how they affect survival. Unit 2 looks at Earth’s surface and its changes through weathering and erosion, while also inquiring into what makes volcanoes erupt. Unit 3 will explore the science of sound and how vibrations allow us to communicate across distances.Unit 4 focuses on energy and how it is stored, released, and transferred. Students also deepen their understanding of the different energy resources used to power our lives.

In Grade 4 Social Studies, students will explore a wide range of topics. We learn about the interconnectedness of world cultures and evaluate how the use of renewable and nonrenewable resources affects our lives. We learn about identity and the origins of cultures, how different cultures have influenced the world, and then look into some of their accomplishments. Unit 1 focuses on learning about maps and how to use their features to find locations. Unit 2 will explore the Vikings and how they were able to trade and explore vast areas. Unit 3 will focus on the dynasties of China and how they built an advanced civilization. Unit 4 will focus on how Islam grew into a major world religion, and then look at the scientific and cultural achievements of Islam’s golden age. Unit 5 will explore the pros and cons of different types of renewable and nonrenewable energy. We will look into what the future of our communities looks like if more renewable energy sources are not found.

Advanced/ Intermediate Japanese

Students will learn about Japan as a part of the world in the first quarter. They will be able to locate where Japan is using technical terms necessary for the maps. In the second quarter, students will learn about the human body. They will be able to understand the parts of the body both in Japanese and English and explain the functions of each body part. In the third quarter, they will read folktales around the world. They can read with understanding, and will be able to summarize and write their thoughts. In the fourth quarter, students will do the “SOY” Project, where they learn how the shapes change at each stage. They will be able to write cooking recipes of their own. Students will also work extensively in improving their Kanji ability, learning about 100-150 more Kanji during the year, depending on their current level.

Beginners Japanese

Students learn about Japan and Japanese cultures through a variety of activities. They will learn reading and writing Hiragana, position words, basic particles and simple sentence structures. They will be able to read, write and speak simple Japanese and ask basic questions in Japanese. They will be able to learn basic vocabularies needed for the N5 Japanese Language Proficiency Test.

Fourth-graders continue to learn more about the correct technique for manipulative skills. They can describe the similarities and differences between similar skills as well as the correct technique for the use of skills in different situations. Fourth-graders continue to include others in physical activities and respect individual differences in skill levels and motivation. They also continue their nutrition education by learning the role that food and water play in helping to improve physical performance. Students will also engage in lessons about grade level health and safety.

Students continue to explore the 3 content areas of health: Nutrition and Physical Activity, Injury Prevention and Safety, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs. Students are asked to take responsibility for learning about and making healthy choices in their everyday life. They identify personal long-term goals and formulate steps to reach them. Students will learn how to identify resources for valid information about safe and healthy foods, identify ways to reduce risk of injuries from fires, around water, while riding a motor vehicle, as a pedestrian, on the playground, and from falls and identify sources of valid information regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

The Lower School Visual Art program engages students in making art, viewing and discussing art, learning about contexts in which art has been created, and pondering fundamental questions about art. Emphasis is placed on familiarizing students with a wide variety of studio materials, processes and a high level of fine motor dexterity. Through a variety of art activities students learn the fundamentals elements and principles of design such as line, texture, color, value, and balance. Students explore the art of many cultures and artistic styles throughout history.

All areas are continued (basic elements and recorders). In addition the fourth graders are introduced to the ukulele. The concept of vocal harmony is taught (two or more notes being sung at the same time). This is done by using Simple rounds or by using scale patterns starting at different times. New concepts will include rhythmic elements (tam-ti, ti-tam), music hand symbols (fa, low ti), and meters (anacrusis, 3 meter), and chords (I, IV, V).

Students will develop a set of core values they can build on and call on throughout their life to guide their behavior and attitudes. The “Building Blocks” of character, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness and care; and the “Building Blocks” of Moral awareness, gratitude, love, compassion, cooperation and generosity/charity are some topics covered in grade 4. Throughout the year students will have an introduction to different religions. Religious backgrounds and appreciation of world religions will be fully included in this course. This course introduces Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Judaism over the school year.

Fourth-grade students learn more sophisticated search techniques. They use standard reference tools in print and online. They understand and can explain the organization of nonfiction books in the school library. Students become more knowledgeable about online searching. Students are aware that not everyone on the Internet is truthful or reliable. In fourth grade, students extract information from resources. They identify the factors that make a source comprehensive, current, credible, accurate, and authoritative. Students also communicate with others outside the school environment through the use of technology to share information. Fourth-grade students read increasingly complex works. They know the purpose of age-appropriate book awards such as the Caldecott, Newbery, and Sakura awards.