Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade
Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 4 with Trade Book Pack
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Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing, Grade 4 with Trade Book Pack

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins

Fourth graders are on the verge of writing more academic texts. They begin the year writing realistic fiction and learn to develop rich characters and stories. The units then bring students step-by-step toward increasing proficiency with these genres: thesis-driven persuasive essays in unit 2, historical research reports in unit 3, and writing about fiction in literary essays in the final unit. 

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Full Description

About the Grade 4 Units

Written for children on the cusp of writing more academic texts, the fourth-grade units familiarizes students with the genres they will regularly encounter throughout school—thesis-driven persuasive essays, literary essays, and research reports. Each of the units begins where children are and then provides a progression of instruction that brings students step by step toward increasing proficiency. In Unit 1, The Arc of Story: Writing Realistic Fiction, students learn that the lenses they bring to reading fiction can also be brought to writing fiction, as they develop believable characters with struggles and motivations and rich stories to tell. This unit is followed by Boxes and Bullets: Personal and Persuasive Essays in which students learn the value of organization and form as they gather evidence to support and express an opinion on topics they know well. By Unit 3, Bringing History to Life, students are ready to tackle historical research in which they collect evidence and use details to vividly describe people and events long ago and far away. Unit 4, The Literary Essay: Writing About Fiction, brings the series full circle as students build on their learning of essay writing and apply it with increasing sophistication to a unit on literary essays—that is, writing about fiction.

About the Series

Lucy Calkins and her colleagues have drawn on their work from more than three decades to develop a state-of-the-art curriculum in writing to:

  • help you teach opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity
  • foster high-level thinking, including regular chances to synthesize, analyze, and critique
  • develop and refine strategies for content-area writing
  • support greater independence and fluency
  • conduct strategic performance assessments to help monitor students’ progress and differentiate instruction
  • provide a ladder of exemplar texts that model writing progressions across grades.

Purchase Recommendations and Options

Purchase Recommendation: Choose the Grade 4 Units of Studywith the Trade Book Pack (as shown in this product bundle) if your library does not already include the 4 mentor texts referenced in the Units. If you do not need the trade book pack, purchase the Grade 4 Units of Study without the Trade Book Pack.

Save when you purchase related cost-saving bundles, with or without trade book packs:

Select the Grade-Level Units you need most, available both with and without the trade book packs:

With trade book packs: Kindergarten / Grade 1 / Grade 2 / Grade 3 / Grade 4 / Grade 5

Without trade book packs: Kindergarten / Grade 1 / Grade 2 / Grade 3 / Grade 4 / Grade 5 / Grade 6 / Grade 7 / Grade 8

To learn more about the Units of Study in Opinion/Argument, Information, and Narrative Writing series, visit UnitsofStudy.com

Components

Four Units of Study

  • organized around the three types of writing mandated by the Common Core: opinion, information, and narrative writing
  • lay out 4-5 weeks of instruction (16-18 sessions) in each unit
  • include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language

A Guide to the Writing Workshop, Intermediate Grades

  • crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective writing workshop instruction (The Guide, now available for separate purchase, can be an essential manual for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and others who are supporting implementation of Units of Study—or for anyone wanting to learn more about writing workshop).

If… Then… Curriculum

  • offers additional units of study
  • presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions

  • organized around a grades K-5 learning progression across opinion/argument, information, and narrative writing
  • includes performance assessments, student checklists, rubrics, and leveled writing exemplars
  • also available in a K–8 edition for separate purchase: ideal for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and other who are supporting teachers as they implement Units of Study

Large-Format Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

  • Large-format preprinted Anchor-Chart Sticky Notes with illustrated teaching points help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across each unit

Online Resources

  • Video Orientations
  • Spanish translations of important student and teacher resources—includes Spanish translations of writing samples to use with Writing Pathways, student checklists, Anchor Chart Sticky Notes, and numerous other classroom materials such as daily charts and folders. Also available are lists of Spanish-language mentor texts
  • Downloadable and printable files for the anchor charts, figures, student exemplars, homework assignments, and checklists in every session
  • Digital files for resources provided in Writing Pathways, including Writing Progressions, On-Demand Writing Prompts, Rubrics, and Student Writing Samples 

Mentor Texts

The Grade 4 Trade Pack includes four age-appropriate trade books that are used in the units to model effective writing techniques, encourage students to read as writers, and provide background knowledge.

  • Fireflies by Julie Brinkloe
  • Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Revolutionary War (Cornerstones of Freedom series) by Josh Gregory
  • Fox by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks

Samples

Companion Resources

Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions (included with each grade-level bundle) is also available in a K–8 edition for separate purchase: ideal for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and other who are supporting teachers as they implement Units of Study

Supporting Materials

  • View Now! Units of Study for Teaching Writing Video Orientations, Grades K-8
  • Download a Study Guide
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