Fourth Grade Curriculum - Kolbe Academy

Fourth Grade Curriculum


Course Texts:

  • Religion 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Jesus Our Guide, Textbook
  • Jesus Our Guide, Activity Book
  • Jesus Our Guide, Teacher Manual (Optional)
  • St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism #1
  • St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism #1, Answer Key (Optional)

Course Description:

Grade Four Religion introduces the student to God’s plan for the salvation of His people from sin. It shows us how we participate in that salvific act. This course explains to the student in clear and unmistakable terms the many ways God helps us in our pilgrimage here on earth. God, His Law, and His Church help and guide us.

The suffering of man is demonstrated through the fall of man, Cain and Abel, Joseph in Egypt, the slavery of Israel in Egypt, and the Exodus to the Promised Land. King David and King Solomon are looked at, leading to the promise of a new king, fulfilled in Jesus.

The material from the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism #1 will overlap in many places with that of the Faith and Life Series. You may choose to follow the framework of the Baltimore Catechism rather than that of the Faith and Life Series, but you should choose one and only use the other for supplementary material. There are many wonderful activities at that can be used in conjunction with the lessons in this book.


Course Texts:

  • Catholic National Reader 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Catholic National Reader, Book Four, Textbook
  • Catholic National Reader, Book Four, Study Guide (2 book set)

Course Description:

Fourth Grade Reading presents a selection of readings appropriate to the level of the student. The program is based on mutual response: teacher reading and students listening; student reading and teacher and other students listening. Vocal reading skill is to be practiced and developed; to this end, the child should read orally every day.

The Catholic National Reader (CNR), Book Four is the primary reader for this level. The CNR is quite challenging so if necessary, proceed more slowly than the course plans suggest. It is not unusual for a student to be reading the book that is a year below his grade level. In this course, the student will continue to develop a love for reading, understand how learning develops from good reading habits, understand the assimilation of word meanings and vocabulary from reading, identify characters, plots, and the point or objective of the author, and write book reports.


Course Texts:

  • Phonics D Course Plan & Tests
  • Phonics D, Workbook
  • Phonics D, Answer Key (Optional)
  • Phonics D, Teacher Manual (Optional)

Course Description:

Grade Four Phonics introduces the student to a gradual sophistication of use in the skills developed from the previous phonics courses. Uses of the apostrophe, possessives, contractions, prefixes & roots all expand the student’s ability to read, write and speak with use of simple but important and expanded phonics skills. Syllables, silent letters, diphthongs, vowel pairs and digraphs, alphabetical order, and dictionary skills are also included in this course.

Phonics Level D begins with easy material, and the child should be able to read the instructions and follow the directions with very little help. Much in the word study book reinforces what the student learns in English and Spelling.

English Grammar

Course Texts:

  • English 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Lepanto Grammar 4, Textbook
  • Lepanto Grammar 4, Teacher Manual (Optional)

Course Description:

English Grammar for Grade Four implements the functions of all the parts of writing to develop in the student the ability to write clearly and persuasively. This is partially accomplished by using the method of “imitation,” reading the stories that go along with the Lepanto Grammar 4 text and then imitating the methods used in the stories to develop the writing skills of the student. This year in grammar brings all learning from the previous three years into focus and applies it in a progressively more difficult, but rewarding way.

The teaching of English should be cumulative. In Grade Four the student will review what he learned in previous grades and build on it. Everything learned in English should be applied and reinforced in the student’s reading, composition, spelling, and phonics. Topics covered include writing paragraphs, letters, invitations, and book reports, punctuation and capitalization, poetry, irregular verbs, contractions, abbreviations, and possessives.

Vocabulary & Spelling

Course Texts:

  • Vocabulary & Spelling 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Vocabulary Workshop Level Orange, Workbook
  • Vocabulary Workshop Level Orange, Teacher Manual
  • Catholic National Reader, Book Four, Textbook (Optional)

Course Description:

Grade Four Vocabulary & Spelling develops the student’s capacity to pronounce, spell, use, look up in the dictionary, understand, and remember the definitions of words, their diacritical marks, and syllabication. It also develops the student’s ability to work with synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, and analogies.

Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop, Level Orange is the primary book used for the course. The Catholic National Reader (CNR), Book Four is used during each week for additional vocabulary work. If doing both the vocabulary book and the words from the CNR is too time consuming and challenging, eliminate the words from CNR and do only the vocabulary book.


Course Texts:

  • Writing Our Catholic Faith: Grade 4 Cursive Writing

Primary Literature

Course Texts:

  • Primary Literature Course Plan & Tests
  • Primary Literature Workbook Study Guide
  • Primary Literature Student Glossary
  • Primary Literature Teacher Manual


  • Aesop’s Fables
  • Betsey and Tacy
  • The Black Cauldron
  • The Boxcar Children
  • Caddie Woodlawn
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • A Child’s Garden of Verses
  • The Children’s Homer
  • The Cricket in Times Square
  • The Great Brain
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Misty of Chincoteague
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
  • Of Bells and Cells
  • Peter Rabbit Story Collection
  • Pinocchio
  • Sarah Plain and Tall
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • Winnie the Pooh

Saint Stories:

  • The Children of Fatima
  • The Little Flower
  • Patron Saint of First Communicants
  • St. John Paul II
  • St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • St. Martin de Porres
  • St. Rose of Lima

Course Description:

The Primary Literature program for Grades Three and Four, introduces the student to literature in a deeper, more rigorous fashion than a typical reading course.  The course is comprised of classic literature and the lives of saints.  There is a suggested amount of time in which to cover each book.  Parents, possibly with the assistance of the student, are to select the proper number of books to fit into each quarter.  Kolbe has provided suggested grade levels for each work to aid the parent in choosing appropriate books for their student’s grade level in the syllabus.  These are based on maturity level needed for themes present in the work, difficulty of vocabulary, and overall difficulty of the material presented in the work.

A well-rounded literature course for each year includes choices from both the novels and lives of saints.  Each Novel and most of the saint books include weekly written assignment topics.  The Study Question booklets include study questions that are perfect to use for a short quiz after the student has read the daily assignment.  Kolbe Academy has provided an extensive amount of literature to study over the course of 3rd and 4th grade.  As such, students are NOT expected to cover all of the material included in the Primary Literature course.

Classical Composition 1: Fable Stage

Course Texts:

  • Classical Composition 1: Fable Stage Course Plan & Tests
  • Classical Composition Vol. I Student Book: Fable Stage
  • Classical Composition Vol. I Teacher Guide: Fable Stage (Optional, but strongly recommended)

Course Description:

Classical Composition instructs the novice writer as though he or she were an apprentice to the great master writers. Instruction is based on imitation. Beginning by making the student aware of the structure of sound writing, and proceeding by giving the student the tools to imitate it, the course ends by equipping the student to design his own sound writing. The course begins by acquainting the student with models from which he can gain a sound grasp of structure. Then sentence and word variation, figures of description, rhetorical devices, and stylistic considerations are introduced slowly – all in service of the message to be communicated. At the end of the full course a student should emerge as a writer who can ascertain the purpose of any given writing task and employ the best means of completing the task to communicate the message.

The full course is set forth in substance and sequence in the Fable Stage Teacher Manual, a complete, self-contained course that is part of a series. The Student Workbook compliments each lesson. English Composition I: Fable Stage is suitable for introducing classical composition to 4th or 5th graders. It may also be used with upper grammar school students whose writing background has not included classical composition instruction.

Classical Composition Vol. I: Fable Stage Teacher Manual and the corresponding Student Workbook are the primary texts for this course. The child should write every school day, utilizing Fridays for writing instruction or practice, if the parent wishes to stay with the schedule as written. Parents are free to double-up on lessons depending on the rate at which their children absorb the lesson and according to the schedule they have established for their home school. The final week of every quarter is written to double-up on the lessons in order to finish out the course in the traditional thirty-six (36) weeks. Quarterly exams have also been supplied to be used as the parent decides. The lessons are set forth on a 10 day cycle by the publisher, but as Kolbe parents you may adapt the pace and coverage to your own schedules.


History (Option 1: Founders of Freedom)

Course Texts:

  • Founders of Freedom Course Plan & Tests
  • Founders of Freedom, Land of Our Lady Series Volume I, Textbook
  • Founders of Freedom, Answer Key (Optional)

Course Description:

Grade Four History concentrates on the ancient and medieval world events that led up to the founding of the United States of America . The flow of history in this course will be drawn from the beginnings of history through to the foundations of the American drama.

Topics covered include the beginning of civilization, from Adam and Eve, the development of civilization in Greece and Rome, the beginning and challenges of Christianity, the role played by monks and missionaries, feudalism, the Magna Carta, religious orders, and the troubles in Europe, leading to the approach of the New World.

History (Option 2: Famous Men of Greece & Rome)

Course Texts:

  • Famous Men of Greece & Rome Course Plan & Tests
  • Famous Men of Greece, Textbook
  • Famous Men of Greece, Student Guide
  • Famous Men of Greece, Teacher Guide
  • Famous Men of Rome, Textbook
  • Famous Men of Rome, Student Guide
  • Famous Men of Rome, Teacher Guide
  • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (Supplemental)
  • The Children’s Homer (Supplemental)

Course Description:

Grade Four History is designed to introduce the student to the great figures of ancient Greek and Roman history and myth, and to trace the historical rise and lasting influence of the civilizations.  The textbooks can be supplemented with material from other sources, particularly encyclopedias for the writing of brief research reports.  As you read Famous Men of Greece, it is to the student’s advantage to read about the incident or the god/goddess in D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths.  This can give the student more details and help to reinforce in his memory persons, places, and incidents of Ancient Greece.


Course Texts:

  • Geography 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Daily Geography Practice 4, Workbook
  • Daily Geography Practice 4, Teacher Manual
  • World Globe (Not carried by Kolbe, but strongly recommended)

Course Description:

Apply the geography lessons to the world around the child: The World in Spatial Terms, Places and Regions, Physical Systems, Human Systems, Environment and Society, The Uses of Geography.

Topics covered in fourth grade:

  • Parts of a map globes
  • The four hemispheres
  • Map grid, coordinates, & scale
  • Lines of latitude & longitude
  • Robinson projection map
  • Picturing North America & the continents
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Maps: road, physical, political, population, landmark, cultural, history, & resource
  • United Sates: climate zones, southwest region, & time zones
  • Amazon rainforest
  • Product map: Florida
  • Communities in Illinois
  • Land use map: the Corn Belt States
  • Tourist map: New York
  • A city plan



Mathematics (Option 1: Singapore®)

Course Texts:

  • Singapore Math 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Primary Mathematics 4A, Textbook
  • Primary Mathematics 4A, Workbook
  • Primary Mathematics 4A, Home Instructor’s Guide
  • Primary Mathematics 4B, Textbook
  • Primary Mathematics 4B, Workbook
  • Primary Mathematics 4B, Home Instructor’s Guide

Course Description:

The goal of Primary Mathematics 4 (Standards Edition) is to develop student’s mathematical problem solving skills both in practical and abstract concepts. Mathematics concepts will be applied in both practical, real-life situations and in abstract, mathematical formulations. Lessons begin with a concrete representation of a concept, followed by pictorial representation and finally a symbolic representation of the general or abstract concept so that students will achieve mastery of each concept and be able to apply the abstract ideas to a range of practical problem solving situations. This program aims to convey the elegance and power of numbers so that students begin to build an appreciation of mathematics. Reasoning and understanding patterns and concepts are emphasized throughout the course. It is hoped that students will develop important logic and reasoning skills that will be invaluable in future mathematics courses and throughout life.

Mathematics (Option 2: Saxon 5/4)

Course Texts:

  • Saxon Math 5/4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Saxon Math 5/4, Homestudy Kit

Course Description:

Fourth Grade Math introduces to the student a program of “foundational” elements upon which the successful mathematical equations are worked out. This program contains a thorough review of addition, subtraction, and single digit multiplication and division. The subsequent arithmetic content includes number concepts, estimation functions, two- and three-digit computations, decimals and fractions. The basic skills of algebra and geometry are introduced. Continual and incremental practice with word problems, measurement, scale, and graph reading, as well as arithmetic, provides the opportunity for students to learn and remember the foundational skills and concepts of mathematics.


Course Texts:

  • Harcourt Science 4 Course Plan & Tests
  • Harcourt Science, Grades 3/4 Textbook*
  • Harcourt Science, Grades 3/4 Answer Key (Optional)*
  • Harcourt Science, Grades 3/4 Workbook (Optional)*
  • Harcourt Science, Grades 3/4 Workbook Answer Key (Optional)*

*Harcourt Science Grades 3/4 is used in both 3rd and 4th grade

Course Description:

Fourth Grade Science continues the basic introduction to the life, earth, and physical sciences.  The most important part of teaching science in the early years is helping the student see the wonders of God’s world, and making him unafraid of the subject when he pursues science in more depth later.  Children learn more from doing the experiments and investigations alongside the reading of the textbook.

The Harcourt Science series has the availability of several online learning tools to anyone who purchases the textbook.  The first is provided by the publisher, Harcourt.  There are several supplementary activities for the student and teacher on this website.  Another website is provided by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).  This website allows you to select the topic you are studying in the book, and will take you to a page of selected website links that can help you to enhance and further develop the topics that your child is studying.  The online resources are a wonderful addition to the activities provided within the text itself.

Life Science Topics:

  • The components, habitats, & conservation of ecosystems
  • Rain forests
  • Coral reefs

Earth Science Topics:

  • The atmosphere & weather prediction
  • The water cycle & the ocean floor
  • The earth, moon, & other planets

Physical Science Topics:

  • Electricity & magnetism
  • Motion & forces
  • Simple machines, including levers, pulleys, & wheels

Elementary Latin 2

Course Texts:

  • Liber Secundus Britanni et Galli, set

Course Description:

This course introduces the student to slightly more difficult Latin sentences and longer paragraphs in engaging illustrated stories about the inhabitants of ancient Britain and Gaul.  Second declension masculine and neuter nouns are used in sentences with simple third person being verbs and intransitive verbs in the present tense.  The genitive case of the first and second declension and the use of nouns of possession are introduced.  The student will learn more prepositions and a rich variety of new vocabulary words.