Fourth Grade Grammar

The best way to learn grammer is to hear proper grammar being spoken, to write (and revise and write again) nwith good grammar, and to read good works of literature. If you have a reluctant writer, I  think you can let the study of grammar ride for a little bit in the homeschooling environment and just perhaps try to write without pressure.  However, for some children, the study of grammar can be helpful in reaching new heights in writing. For other children, many  write well without much in the way of formal grammar.  We do, however, want  enthusiasm for writing for the future because there is quite a bit of it in middle school and certainly high school.

This is my third time through fourth grade, and this particular student has been a very reluctant writer, so this block is a good exposure towards writing more and the mechanics of writing.  My tack in this block was to do a preassessment – Dorothy Harrer has a little list of third grade free writing assignments in her  little book An English Manual for the Elementary School available for free at Online Waldorf Library. In this way, I could look at his overall writing – his flow of thoughts, how he writes, the quality of the sentence structure, capitalization, spelling, grammar – just within free writing.

We went through the second and third grade lessons from the above book rather quickly, focusing on the different parts of speech first with different colors in sentences on the board, and naming them BOTH with the “little person” version (naming words) and the “bigger people version” (nouns).  I pulled poems out of  books by Caribbean poets and reinforced with examples from those poems.  Then we moved into the fourth grade lessons and are moving through types of sentences, parts of speech, adverbs, prepostions, tenses, adjectives, linking and helping verbs.  For some children, understanding grammar helps them understand how to write.  Our fourth grader is very much like that.

I anticipate this block to take about six weeks or so.  For the first three weeks, I will take things relatively slow and have free writing, correcting writing I put on the board, looking for parts of speech in poems and such plus some of the specific things I listed above and free write something once or twice a week.  For the last three weeks, we will delve into writing three smaller pieces a week, using our work to tie stories, paintings, and writings with the stories from the book , Myths of the Sacred Tree, which I think is a wonderful bridge between fourth and fifth grade.  Excited as we head towards fifth grade!

Would love to hear what you are up to!


9 thoughts on “Fourth Grade Grammar

  1. Pingback: Fourth Grade Grammar - Baby Registry Finder

    • If you go to Online Waldorf Library, it is there under ebooks, but I will try to fix the link! Thank you for letting me know – Blessings, Carrie

  2. Do you know “The Little Grammar People” by Nuri Maas? I used that one just a few weeks ago. We also have an older paper version of “The Humpties” (you can see the idea online under And my daughter is really thriving with Jessie Wise’s “First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind” Level 3. The constant repetition is very good for her. I alternate that one with the old “Voyages in English” (Level 4) vom Lepanto Press. I use the color workbook from St. Jerome Library. There is also a CD called “Grammar Songs” which is great for auditory learners.

  3. Hi Carrie,

    I’m wondering do you recommend waiting until fourth grade to formally introduce grammar? I’ve read through the Dorothy Harrer and it looks wonderful. We’re at the end of second grade now and my daughter loves language, often asking me to give her words to spell etc. I don’t see any “reason” that she needs to know these things right now, other than I think she would love it. What would your advice be?
    Thanks, Helen

    • Hi ! Yes, sometimes I don’t really do grammar until sixth grade. Just my particular child does better understanding how to write if he understands each sentence needs a verb and noun, for example . Developmentally I would wait until fourth grade at least! In Waldorf Schools they do typically introduce some grammar especially in third grade with Adam’s naming of the animals – color words (adjectives), naming words (nouns), doing words (verbs) but I don’t really see that if you miss that there is any detriment in the homeschooling environment. Natural writers many times just seem to know how to write with good grammar so I think so much of it just depends on the child in front of you. I never was a great grammarian, but scored well on SAT tests, AP Literature tests etc on grammar concepts just because it made sense to me without a lot of formal instruction. Blessings, Carrie

  4. Pingback: Grammaire de quatrième année | Le passage pour les parents | Bien choisir les jeux et jouets à offrir

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