A Developing Member in the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America
Serving Children From Early Childhood Through Eighth Grade
The 4th grade student wishes to revere but that reverence must be justified. These students are more self-confident as their perception of world sharpens, but the experience of separation from their surroundings can be painful. They begin to form their own personalities in response to their experience to the world, choosing qualities that go into their characters.
History: The study of the state history focuses on the people who created the culture. The study starts with the first Tennesseans, Native Americans and includes field trips. Study continues with early settlers, emphasizing the importance of human deeds. Also covered are local and natural resources.
Literature: Norse myths contain conscious choice. Gods are portrayed as individuals with distinct personalities, Loki showing the consequences of amoral cleverness, Siguna’s compassion, Odin giving an eye to drink from Mimir’s well to gain wisdom and spiritual vision. These myths give children strength to face challenges that may seem overwhelming.
Geography: The study of local geography starts with the students’ own bodies and expands to the four points of compass. Students make maps of their classroom, school, neighborhood, city, and state. They may also participate in orienteering.
English and Grammar: The curriculum concentrates on reading, writing, grammar, spelling, letters (business and friendly), poetry, speech, drama, and creative writing. Grammar specifically covers syntax, punctuation, tenses and composition. Students will complete written and oral book reports.
Science: Students will complete the lesson block on humans and animals, which covers the relationship between the human and animal kingdom. The students find strength and comfort in the comparison of the one-sidedness of various animals with well-roundedness of humans. They create the figure of human form and then follow a detailed study of forms and habitats of animals (beavers, bats, lions, foxes, etc.) through poetry, clay modeling and play-acting to feel fascinating skills and qualities that animals possess. The students see the unique and responsible position humans hold.
Mathematics: Fractions are the primary focus of the 4th grade curriculum. Cutting up apples, baking and cutting pies, and pizzas, are all ways of creating parts of a whole as a visual experience of fractions before forming mental concepts. Additionally, these concepts are covered in the curriculum: addition, subtraction, multiplication, reduction and expansion of fractions, changing improper fractions into mixed numbers, prime numbers, factoring, long division, weights and measures, drill work.
Music: Students continue to improve singing and recorder playing. They may also be part of a stringed orchestra.
Artistic work: Cross stitch is added to the handwork so students can experience wholeness from many crossings. Knotted form drawings, inspired by Nordic and Celtic motifs, are added to drawing. Animal forms and geometric shapes are modeled in clay and/or beeswax. Students begin painting on dry paper.
Spanish: Students begin the study of grammar.
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