Fourth Grade Units of Inquiry

Fourth grade classes participate in six units of inquiry throughout the year. Click on each unit below to learn more.

Unit 1 - Who we are

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Who we are: an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Central Idea

Relationships impact systems.

Lines of Inquiry

  • The interactions within an ecosystem.
  • The structure of government.
  • The role of a learner.

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Balanced
  • Inquirers
  • Reflective

Parent Support

Questions to ask your student:

  • What is the role of a scientist?
  • How is the government a system?
  • What do researchers do?
  • How do the parts of an ecosystem (living/nonliving) interact?

Single Subject Connections

Unit 2 - How we organize ourselves

Transdisciplinary Theme 

How we organize ourselves: an inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Central Idea

  • Values
  • Influence
  • Interactions

Lines of Inquiry

  • Colonization
  • Virginia geography
  • Virginia natural resources

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Risk-taker
  • Open-minded

Parent Support

Questions to ask your student:

  • How do people's values influence their interactions with others?
  • What do the colonist/first people value?
  • How do our actions impact the environment?

Single Subject Connections

Unit 3 - Where we are in place and time

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Where we are in place and time: an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Central Idea

Positions shape our understanding of the world.

Lines of Inquiry

  •  The characteristics of the solar system
  • The relationship between the Earth, moon, and sun
  • Life in the Virginia colony
  • The role of Virginia in the American Revolution

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Knowledgeable
  • Communicator

Parent Support

Useful websites:

www.solpass.org

(password: dragons)

https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/

solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/overview/

Single Subject Connections

In Art, 4th graders will be reflecting on their personal history in order to create a book filled with important memories from their life. 

In PE, 4th graders will explore the concept of positions while learning various basketball skills.  The students will practice the body positions needed to dribble, pass, and shoot. The students will also explore the perspective of defense and offense on the basketball court.

Unit 4 - How the world works

Transdisciplinary Theme

How the world works: an inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment. 

Central Idea

Behavior impacts change.

Lines of Inquiry

  • The relationship between force and motion.                                                                                                                                           
  • The effects of weather conditions.                                                                                                                                                       
  • The establishment of a new nation.

Attributes of the Learner Profile

  • Thinker
  • Principled

Parent Support

Questions to ask your student:

  • Why do we use different weather tools?
  • What were some decisions that needed to be made in developing the new nation?
  • What is the difference between hail and sleet?

Single Subject Connections

In PE, 4th grade will explore the concept of striking with an implement. The students will practice the body positions needed to strike, volley and score. The students will also explore the perspective of defense and offense on the tennis court. Students will work on safety when practicing tennis by hugging/grounding the racket .

In STEAM, the students will explore the impact of severe weather on humans and the environment. The students will design and create homes that will withstand severe weather.

Unit 5 - How we express ourselves

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections

Unit 6 - Sharing the planet

Transdisciplinary Theme 

Central Idea

Lines of Inquiry

Attributes of the Learner Profile

Parent Support

Single Subject Connections