Grade Four - Revealing a Deeper View of Human Nature
Thor in Utgard class3

By the fourth grade, students are discovering the complexities of human motivations and emotions. They study Norse Mythology and folktales that reflect human characteristics in the stories of the Norse Gods. These traditional tales center on strength of character, courage, self-sacrifice, and perseverance while revealing hidden motives, a character's fallibility and the challenges of working at cross purposes with others.

The Language Arts curriculum emphasizes independent writing, and longer dictations. Students focus on spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure and vocabulary development. Parts of speech and tenses are introduced along with independent and group reading exercises and book reports. In Math, students are introduced to fractions. Through hands-on activities with a variety of materials, the children work with the whole and the parts. There is continued practice with measurement, the four basic operations, long division and multi-digit multiplication.

Through the study of local geography, children explore the place where they live. Children draw simple maps of their homes and school environments. They learn the four directions through movement and observation. They discuss how the land was formed and why people came to inhabit this area. In Science, children learn about animals’ diverse qualities and contrast them to human capacities. They learn simple research skills and write their first independent report on an animal of their choice. Students continue to develop their work in music, art and handwork, focusing this year in clay and needlepoint projects.

Fourth graders also begin formal Gym classes which usually involve cooperative games. In Music instruction, students choose a string instrument (Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass) and are introduced to the basics of instrument handling, reading and playing music. They also begin to learn vocal harmonies.

"For the Fourth Grade child, the inner and outer worlds are no longer one. The child experiences these worlds as torn apart. Self-consciousness becomes stronger, and the soul life becomes more inward and independent. The task of the teacher and parent is to lead the child into a world that is filled with beauty and meaning."

- Waldorf School Founder, Rudolf Steiner

Main Learning Objectives

  • Main Lesson Skills: Research Paper/Geography
  • Language Arts: Norse Mythology, independent writing, simple research skills
  • Mathematics: Fractions
  • Sciences: Human Being and Animal Environments & Behaviors
  • Geography: Local Environment, Chicago, simple mapmaking skills
  • Art: Painting, Drawing, Celtic knot illustrations, some clay modeling

Special Subjects

  • Foreign Language: Spanish
  • Handwork: Cross Stitch
  • Music: Singing, Introduction to string instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass)
  • Gym: Students begin taking gym with a year of cooperative games


  • Study take home vocabulary lists for weekly spelling tests
  • Memorize in depth their lines and actions for parts in the 4th grade play
  • Practice music for string instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello or Bass)