Fourth Grade English Lesson Plans and Exercises

At any grade, it's important to keep your students engaged in English class by reading interesting stories or using hands-on activities. Use the following lesson plans to teach valuable skills while still appealing to your fourth graders' interests.

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Lesson Plans and Exercises for Fourth Graders

Poetry vs. Prose

Find a poem and a story that have similar themes. Read both in class, and ask students, 'What were some similarities between the two?' Here, the students should just be looking at the content of both. Then, ask them about the differences. Encourage the students to consider the different forms and structures of the stories.

Use this discussion to introduce the necessary vocabulary and list the differences of each style on the board. Poetry has verses, meter and a rhyming pattern. Prose includes dialogue, a setting and character descriptions.


Have students write a story about what they did on their summer vacation or over the weekend. These stories will be in first person, such as 'I went swimming.' Then, have the students retell the same story, this time in third person. The same story may now be, 'Jimmy went swimming.' Before they begin writing, review the different perspectives a third person narrator might have, such as a broader view of the setting or an awareness of the people around the 'main character.'

After the students have written their story in third person, have them share the differences between the two versions. What changed in their second version? What benefits are there in telling a story in first or third person?

Decoding Words

Beyond analyzing texts, fourth graders also learn to decode words using prefixes and suffixes. To decode a word, students break it into smaller, more understandable chunks. For instance, the word 'unpredictable' has a prefix (un-), a base word (predict) and a suffix (-able). Knowing the meaning of prefixes and suffixes helps students figure out the meaning of the unknown word. The prefix, un-, means 'not.' The suffix, -able, means having the ability to do something. Therefore, 'unpredictable' means not able to be predicted.

After modeling how to break a word apart, give your students a chance to practice on their own. Give them crayons and a list of words with prefixes and suffixes. Tell them to circle the prefixes in red, underline the base words in blue and circle the suffixes in green. Then, after identifying the parts, write the definition of the word.

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