Fourth Grade

Where the magic happens.

Fourth grade is a year of greater independence and self-advocacy. It is a year when students further develop their reading, writing and math skills, building on foundational work from previous grades with greater confidence and skill. In fourth grade, students are actively reading to learn, climbing the ladder of interpretation and making connections across their studies through collaborative projects and an interactive curriculum.

Fourth graders use their problem-solving skills, creativity and teamwork to try to save the world from disaster during the World Peace Game, a geopolitical simulation staged over the course of one week in the Lower School IdeaLab.

Key Characteristics

  • Students explore how geography influences culture, and how the past influences the present, in the ancient cultures unit in Social Studies.
  • Fourth graders participate in the Global Read Aloud, joining thousands of students across the world who read the same book together during class time and participate in online discussion groups.
  • Students facilitate a school-wide recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle. The program collects difficult-to-recycle items (like plastic snack bags and drink pouches) and sends them to TerraCycle to be re-purposed.

Curricular Highlights

Water unit. Fourth graders learn about Philadelphia's history through a study of our public water systems. They visit Fairmount Water Works, research our local rivers and learn from Philadelphia community members about our rich water history.

Economics unit. Students explore the question “what are the choices consumers make?” through various lenses as a way to engage with concepts of problem-solving, design and environmental sustainability.

Widener School Partnership. Fourth graders travel to the Widener Memorial School to partner with, support and spend time with friends who have physical and developmental differences.

Each year, the fourth grade class supplements their Social Studies curriculum with a visit to the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.