Grade 4 ELA Module 1
Becoming a Close Reader and Writing to Learn: Native Americans in New York
This module supplements the Social Studies content many fourthgrade teachers introduce at the start of the year. It ensures that students read, write, listen and speak to learn the history and contributions of Native Americans in New York State, particularly the Iroquois Confederacy. Module 1 focuses on reading and listening to primary and secondary sources to gather specific details and determine central ideas, and to reinforce reading fluency and paragraph writing. Students will read literature to develop an understanding of setting, characterization and theme, and informational writing. In the first unit, students will read a recounting of the Native American story of The Great Peacemaker, read short sections of the Iroquois Constitution, or “Great Law of Peace,” and begin to focus on writing explanatory paragraphs. In Unit 2, students read additional informational text about Native Americans in New York with a focus on determining main ideas, and read and hear an extended narrative text (Eagle Song by Joseph Bruchac, 840L) that reinforces knowledge about the Iroquois culture and describes the importance of lessons from that society in the lives of New Yorkers today. At the end of Unit 2, students draw evidence from the literary text to support an analysis of the main character (W.4.9). In Unit 3, students connect the past with the present by studying data designed to help them think about places in their school where agreements like those found in the Iroquois Constitution would benefit the school community. They then develop their own constitution, drawing on their knowledge of original Iroquois Constitution, ideas from Eagle Song, and specific details from magazine articles about conflict resolution. Then students independently write a paragraph in which they explain to others how their constitution will resolve or prevent issues at school. As a final on-demand assessment, students will revisit data and then write a problem/solution style paragraph in which they explain how their constitution could resolve or prevent issues at school.