A parent sent me 4th grade reading topics students will be assigned this quarter. While I cannot remember what I read in elementary school, I don’t recall reading such heavy topics at such a young age. Hopefully, by the end of third grade students are transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. Book selection is very important to build interest in reading. What are 4th graders reading and learning? I applaud historical fiction assignments but shouldn’t our children first learn early American History before the Great Depression, World War II, Civil Rights and immigration? With permission from the parent, below is the excerpt from the teacher’s email “Quarter 3, Week 1 News”to parents :
What we are learning…..
Reading: In reading this quarter, we will be focusing on reading Historical Fiction texts. This is my favorite quarter to teach because I see so many students truly fall in love with reading! As a class, we will be reading the book Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry. This is the story about the escape of a Jewish family from Copenhagen during World War II. In preparation for this book, we will be teaching some background knowledge about WWII and the holocaust. Wake County provides us with educational and age appropriate materials to teach this subject which we will be using. As you can imagine, there are often many questions that arise when teaching this matter. I wanted to inform you of this so that you can discuss these topics with your child prior to our class discussions if you wish.
In addition to reading Number the Stars, your child will be participating in book clubs this quarter. They will be assigned an additional historical fiction book to read based on my choice. Your child will be discussing this book each week in a group setting with other students and a parent who are reading the same book. Some topics that these books cover include the Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Immigration, and Hiroshima. Your child will be provided with a copy of the text they are reading as well as a book club packet that they are responsible for completing each week. We will be spending a lot of time in class discussing the importance of being an active group member and being prepared for discussions each week. Your child will have hours in class each week to work on their reading assignment as well as their book club packet. They may also complete this each night on their reading log as needed. Being that book club assignments will be a significant portion of reading grades for third quarter, I wanted to make you aware of this information.
Writing: We will focus on opinion writing this quarter. The students should understand what opinion means and how you can use your opinion to persuade others. Students are expected to organize an opinion piece of writing that provides reasons to support their opinion. Students will draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection,and research.
Do these topics track some of the changes to the Advanced Placement US History (APUSH) Framework?
The parent who sent me this is fully engaged and will read all assignments. Are you reading your children’s assignments? Are lessons presented objectively to develop critical thinking skills? The specific books were not included in the email; I will update you as I learn more.
What are your children reading?