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The Excellent Reader Jr: 4th (Fourth) Grade Language Arts Class (Semester Two)

In this Semester Two Fourth Grade English Language Arts course, Mrs. VZ provides your student with excellent language arts instruction. Using award-winning literature, students will improve in reading, grammar, and creative writing.
Evelyn VanZant: 4th and 5th Grade Language Arts
158 total reviews for this teacher
7 reviews for this class
Completed by 42 learners
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$15 per class
Meets 2x per week
Over 12 weeks
50 minutes per class
There are no open spots for this class, but you can request another time or scroll down to find more classes like this.


Class Experience

In this 4th grade Language Arts course, students will improve their independent reading, comprehension, and writing skills by means of the five excellent literature books, the two-week paragraph writing unit, weekly vocabulary, grammar, and writing lessons.   As well as completion of the three special projects; an animal research project, writing a short story, writing a three-paragraph essay entitled, "What Would You Do?" 
Specifically, by the end of this course, students will have improved their visual, oral, and written communication skills.
Using knowledge gained in my over 23 years of teaching, I will guide your students and the class discussions to focus on the positive and character-developing attributes found in the stories we read.  Additionally, using common childhood scenarios, we will brainstorm ways to show kindness and be inclusive as demonstrated by the characters in our stories.  All of this will be done while I assist your learner in improving their oral, visual, and written Language Arts skills. 
Homework is not required for this course, however, completing the homework assignments will result in more academic growth.
Homework assignments will be uploaded at the beginning of each book or unit and should take anywhere from 2-4 hours outside of class to complete depending upon how fast your learner reads.  Readings may be completed by the student, by audiobook, or read aloud by a parent.
Accessibility to these books is crucial to your student's success in this course. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming (ISBN # 978-0763666668) Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat (ISBN # ‎ 978-0440413615) Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (ISBN # 978-0142404157) The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl (ISBN # 978-0142410349) Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty McDonald (ISBN # 978-0064401487) The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms, Newest Edition, Mass-Market Paperback (ISBN # ‎ 978-0877799061) All of these may be purchased on Amazon or any other book retailer. A Class 3 ring binder with loose-leaf paper (There will be weekly printable papers associated with this class) There are some supplies that students will need to complete special projects. Parents will be given at least one week's notice to gather these special supplies. Recommended, but not required: If you would like your student to have daily grammar work, I strongly suggest investing in Daily Grams Grade Four. This simple daily book teaches basic grammar concepts and gives daily practice in those concepts. It would be a great addition to this course.
Reading and Grammar assignments will be given a completion grade.
Writing assignments will be uploaded and graded for accuracy.
Special projects will be graded for accuracy and completion.
Comprehension will be graded through class discussion participation and homework answers.
At the completion of the class, each student will be given a teacher evaluation in which I use class time and written examples to clearly communicate how much the student has advanced in their skills.  
If requested a letter or numerical grade will be provided to the parent.   

4th Grade grading rubric
1/5 Homework Completion
1/5 Class Participation
1/5 Animal Research Presentation 
1/5 Short Story 
1/5 Imagine If Story
1 hour 40 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
We are reading five age-appropriate novels in this course and comprehension and book discussion are a large part of the in-class activities, so I wanted to summarize the plot and the discussion focus of each book.  

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
The book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written by Ian Fleming, the famous James Bond author, for his children.  In this wonderfully creative tale about the flying car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ian Fleming takes the reader along on a Pott family adventure.  This adventure finds the family run off the road, almost drowned, blown up, and the children kidnapped (and rescued, of course).  Through all of this, the brave Chitty Chitty Bang Bang never abandons the Pott family.  This is a wonderful story of family support, encouragement, and commitment. 
Parental Guidance: 
During one of their adventures, the Pott family finds themselves in a robber’s cave hideout.  The robbers have hung fake skeletons near the entrance to scare away visitors.  The Potts family is not deterred from investigating the cave.
During another part of the story, the children are kidnapped by the robbers.  However, they are treated kindly and rescued without incident.
Discussion Points:
When discussing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, not only will our discussion focus on the literary elements of this wonderful story, but also on the loving and supportive Pott family.  Their dedication to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and one another is something to be emulated. 

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat
In early 1900 in Saskatchewan, Canada, the author, Farley Mowat, rescued and reared two horned owls.  Children’s autobiographical books are rare, and this rare book is a rare gem, as well.  As we read this book together, students will travel back to a time without cell phones, without televisions, a simpler time when children spent hours exploring out of doors.  Farley and the owls, named Wol and Weeps, have many interesting and funny adventures in this short autobiography. 
Parental Guidance: 
There is a discussion of hunting in this book and at one point Farley’s father goes crow hunting.  There is nothing graphic in the description, but it is a part of the story. 
Discussion Points: 
Compassion will be our focus as we read the autobiography, Owls in the Family.  Farley and his friends show great compassion as they rescue and protect these two great-horned owls.  Additionally, this wonderful story is written in the first person, so we will discuss how we are able to see the story from Farley’s perspective.  

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
The book Homer Price is written by award-winning author Robert McCloskey.  He is most famous for his picture books, Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal.  This story follows the life of a clever boy named Homer who always seems to find himself in just the right place at just the right time.  This book includes six short stories about Homer, the fictional town of Centerburg, and several of its quirky residents.  Sometimes the stories are funny, other times series, but always Homer seems to be right in the middle of it all. 
Parental Guidance: 
In the first chapter, armed robbers steal $2000.00 and a suitcase full of aftershave lotion.  No one is injured and they are later caught, without incident. 
Discussion Points:
For Homer Price, our discussion focus will be on Homer’s patience, clever ideas, and practical helpfulness.  His bright ideas often save the day for the residents of Centerburg.  Additionally, we will discover how a short story is developed and then apply that knowledge by each student developing and writing their own short story. 

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
It is hard to have a 4th grade Language Arts class without reading a Roald Dahl book.  He was a prolific writer of excellent children’s books who seemed to understand the mind of a child.  Fantastic Mr. Fox follows the story of a true family man (Mr. Fox) as he finds ways to provide for his friends and family during a tumultuous time.  Being a clever fox, he outsmarts the local farmers at every turn, and with each frustrating defeat, the farmers try a new ploy to be rid of the entire fox family.  
Parental Guidance: 
In the chapter “Beans Cellar,” the characters stumble upon “Mr. Bean’s Secret Cider.”  It is referred to as both medicine and liquor.  Using guns, throughout the book the farmers are hunting Mr. Fox and at one point in the story, they shoot off Mr.Fox’s wonderful tail.  
Discussion Focus:
As we discuss Fantastic Mr. Fox, we will focus on what makes Mr. Fox, fantastic.  His perseverance, generosity, and bravery.  We will then look for ways in which we can emulate these wonderful characteristics in our daily lives.   

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty McDonald
Written by Betty McDonald in 1947, this wonderful book contains stories about the fictional, but amazing, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.   Mrs. Piggle Wiggle never had children of her own, however, she seems to know just what a child needs.  Her upside-down home is always open to the children who drop by after school for cookies and milk, pirate ship rides in the backyard or imaginary games of all sorts.  She is so popular with the children that parents begin seeking her advice with behavior issues at home.  Each chapter of this book shares a different problem solved as only Mrs. Piggle Wiggle can.  My favorite chapter is, The Fighter Quarreler’s Cure.  I wonder which one your child will like best. 
Parental Guidance: 
The families in the story face numerous behavioral issues with their children and at several times in the story, it is suggested that the children just need to be spanked.  However, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle always saves the day as she comes up with the wonderful “Cures” that allow the children to make the behavioral changes needed. 
Discussion Focus:
Our discussion will focus on the unique “cures” that Mrs. Piggle Wiggle offers for each behavior issue that arises.  Each cure is uniquely creative, funny, and effective.  As we discuss these issues we will make applications to our own lives, discussing how we can improve our choices to benefit not only ourselves but those around us.  At the end of this book, students will be assigned a thought-provoking writing assignment in which they have to decide, “What would you do?”


Evelyn VanZant: 4th and 5th Grade Language Arts
Lives in the United States
Passionate about helping student's reading skills improve!
158 total reviews
95 completed classes

About Me

Saving my profile will allow you to receive 4th and 5th Grade Language Arts class listing updates.  I teach year-round with classes beginning mid-September, mid-January, and Mid-May. 

Having taught for many years, I have learned the key to being... 
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