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Grade 4 Common Core Language Standards Alignment
Conventions of Standard English:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.a: Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.b: Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.c: Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.d Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.e Form and use prepositional phrases.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.f Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.f Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their)
Students will be able to write poems that incorporate and call attention to these conventions of English grammar and usage.
Conventions of Standard English, continued:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.2.a: Use correct capitalization.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.2.b: Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.2.c: Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.2.c: Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.
Students will be able to write poems that incorporate and call attention to aspects of English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Visiting writers give prompts that require students to utilize dialogue, in which they practice the conventions of commas, quotation marks, and proper capitalization.
Knowledge of Language:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3.a: Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3.a: Choose punctuation for effect.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.3.a: Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).
The WITS program is designed so that students will be able to focus on the careful selection of words and being precise (with regard to meaning and effect). Students will be able to choose punctuation for effect and also call attention to both formal and informal uses of English.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4.a: Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4.b: Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., telegraph, photograph, autograph).
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.4.c: Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
By using word banks and other vocabulary development tools, visiting writers will introduce students to unfamiliar words. Students will be able to determine the meaning of these words, and incorporate these new words into their poetry. Visiting writers also incorporate classroom dictionaries and reference materials into prompts and exercises as well.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use, part 2:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5.a: Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5.b: Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.5.c: Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
Our poetry prompts are designed so that students will actively consider the literal and nonliteral meanings of words; create similes and metaphors; call attention to and play with idioms, adages, and proverbs; and also be able to relate words to synonyms and antonyms.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use, part 3:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g., wildlife, conservation, and endangered when discussing animal preservation).
Many of our prompts require students to focus their attention on accurately using words and phrases that signal precise actions, emotions, and states of being. Visiting writers may read model poems aloud to the students. Students may then incorporate vocabulary from these works into their own poetry. Visiting writers are also able to construct or modify prompts so that classroom topics, themes, and areas of interest are incorporated into student writing.
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Grade 4 Common Core Reading Standards Alignment: Foundational Skills & Literature
Foundational Skills – Phonics and Word Recognition:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.3.a: Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.
By using word banks and other vocabulary development tools, visiting writers introduce students to unfamiliar words. Students will be able to determine the meaning of these words, and also practice usage by incorporating these new words into their poems. Also, some of our prompts also ask student to define unfamiliar or imaginary words in and out of context. When sharing their poems by reading aloud, students will be able to practice the correct pronunciation of new, unfamiliar words.
Foundational Skills – Fluency:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4.a: Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4.b: Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4.c: Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
At the conclusion of each prompt, students are encouraged to take turns reading their poems aloud to the class.
Literature – Key Ideas and Details:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Visiting writers develop prompts using published poems as models. Through a guided class discussion, students will be able to refer to details and examples in the text, explain what the text explicitly says, and draw inferences from the text. Students will be able to call attention to the use and effects of figurative language within model poems.
Literature – Key Ideas and Details, continued:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Visiting writers may develop prompts using published poems as models. Through a class discussion, students will be able to summarize the model poem, determine its theme, and call attention to the meaning of its details.
Literature – Craft and Structure:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
Using word banks and other vocabulary development tools, students will be able to expand their vocabulary. Vising writers present prompts that specifically call attention to words that allude to significant mythological creatures.
Literature – Craft and Structure, continued:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5 Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.
Visiting writers present prompts that allow students to better understand verse, meter, repetition, and other elements of poetry. Students will be able to use this knowledge to communicate the difference between poems, drama, and prose.
Literature – Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.
Through reading and discussing model poems, students will be able to compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics as well as the patterns of events and information.
Literature – Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Visiting writers introduce students to poems both at grade-level and above grade-level. This contributes to students reading, comprehending, and seeking out advanced texts by the end of the academic year.
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Grade 4 Common Core Speaking & Listening Standards Alignment
Comprehension and Collaboration:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.c: Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.d: Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
Visiting writers lead a discussion about poetry, poetic terms, and creative writing with the students. Students will be able to listen to the writers, participate in guided discussion, and ask questions for clarification. Our workshop takes place on two consecutive days, and students are required to recall the previous day’s lesson, review and explain key ideas, and draw upon that information and apply it to their work on the second day.
Comprehension and Collaboration, part 2:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Visiting writers will read model poems aloud to the students. Students are then asked to paraphrase portions of the text and recount key ideas and details from the work.
Comprehension and Collaboration, part 3:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.3 Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
Visiting writers will read model poems aloud to the students. Through class discussion, students will call attention to the speaker of the poem’s point of view. (Much like how fiction contains a distinct “narrator” and a seperate “author,” in poetry, we refer to the “speaker” of the poem so that we do not falsely attribute the attitudes and beliefs expressed within a poem to its poet.) Students will be able to identify the reasons and evidence the speaker of the poem provides to support his point of view.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
WITS prompts are designed so that students draw from their own knowledge, observations, and experiences in order to make poems. Our program emphasizes the value and effects of specific, concrete details in order to describe an abstract idea or theme. At the conclusion of each prompt, students are given the opportunity to read their poems aloud.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas, continued:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.6 Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 4 Language standards 1 here for specific expectations.)
Students will be able to write poems that incorporate formal English and informal discourses; through this activity, students will be able to call attention to the relationship between discourse and appropriate task and situation.
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Grade 4 Common Core Writing Standards Alignment
Text Types and Purposes:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.a: Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.b: Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.c: Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.d: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3.e: Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
Visiting writers present prompts that ask students to write narrative poems (real or imagined) and encourage the use of descriptive details, thoughts, feelings, linear or (intentionally) non-linear sequencing, and/or a conclusion. The WITS program emphasizes the value of using concrete details and sensory details in order to convey an abstract idea or theme. Specificity is emphasized and encouraged. Students will be able to call attention to the sequencing of elements and their development, and establish a beginning as well as close with a conclusion. Many prompts are designed so that students will employ temporal words and phrases, calling attention to the relationship between events or thoughts (or the relationship between thought and event).
Production and Distribution of Writing:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
Students are given clear, specific instructions and prompts for making poems and will be able to produce clear and coherent poems with proper development and organization. Lessons and prompts are designed in such a way that students will be able to consider their own poem’s organization and structure, purpose, and intended audience.
Production and Distribution of Writing, continued:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 4 here.)
Visiting writers walk around the room and spend one-on-one time with students as they work on their poems. Visiting writers also introduce students to revision techniques such as replacing weak, vague verbs with strong, specific verbs, improving descriptions by choosing more specific language, and/or removing lines from their poems. Students are also encouraged to play with syntax and re-order their lines. Many WITS prompts are designed with a built-in revision component.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9.a: Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).
Many prompts are designed to function as responses to and/or imitations of model published poems. Students will be able to reflect on characters, setting, events within a model poem and the specific details therein. When making their own poems, students will synthesize their own experiences and knowledge with the forms and techniques presented by visiting writers in model poems.
Range of Writing:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Students will be able to write poems from a variety of prompts over short time frames (each prompt ranges from 2 to 15 minutes). Prompts are presented using published poems as models. Visiting writers guide students in a discussion about the model poem’s purpose and intended audience, and students will be able to write with a specific purpose and with a specific audience in mind.