Grade Four

The curriculum at the International School of Dongguan incorporates authentic literacy and is based on the knowledge that students learn at different rates, but with effective instruction and feedback, all students can be successful. In all subject areas and at all grade levels, students learn, practice and develop the following standards for success for education, for social interaction, and for careers:

  • Examine pictures, graphics and words to infer, interpret and draw conclusions.
  • Support an argument or point of view with evidence
  • Solve complex problems with no obvious answer
  • Resolve conflicting views found in experiences or documents

ISD recognizes that students need support in vocabulary, in thinking skills, and in learning and refining the English language to be able to be successful in all dimensions of the curriculum. In addition to the English language, students will also learn Chinese language and history. ISD’s curriculum is designed to give students explicit instruction, guided practice and frequent feedback in order that students become independent learners at their developmentally appropriate levels.

In addition to the Core Subjects summarized below, all students will study

  • Music: Please visit our ISD Music Website and click on your child's grade level drop-down tab. Here you will find weekly class updates, concert information, homework assignments, musical resources and more!
  • Art: Focus on elements of art through drawing and painting, through ceramics and clay, through mixed media, and through sculpture
  • Health & PE: Overall expectations include participating actively and regularly in a wide variety of physical activities that maintain or improve physical fitness, explain the role of healthy eating practices, physical activity, and heredity as they relate to body shape and size, identify the physical, interpersonal, and emotions aspects of healthy human beings.


Literacy through Reading/Writing Workshop: International School of Dongguan uses a balanced literacy approach to teaching reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Balanced literacy incorporates reading aloud, shared reading, guided reading, shared writing, interactive writing, word study, and independent reading and writing as important pieces of the daily classroom schedule. A workshop approach to teaching reading and writing is employed, where children are engaged in authentic, meaningful literacy activities to help them develop habits of lifelong readers and writers. Programs that support literacy at ISD include Making Meaning, Being A Writer, and Phonics Lessons.

Mathematics: Eureka Math and other supplementary resources introduce students to six major mathematical content domains: number sense, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis, and probability. The program builds and maintains basic skills, including automatic fact recall, while nurturing higher-order and critical-thinking skills. The curriculum emphasizes a problem solving approach toward learning that is based on everyday situations, and is designed to help foster critical thinking skills. Students will learn to solve problems in collaborative groups as well as independently. Learning problem-solving methods and strategies as well as explaining thinking and applying authentic literacy skills are vital parts of the program.

Some key features of the program include:

  • Problem solving for everyday situations
  • Developing readiness through hands-on activities
  • Establishing links between past experiences and explorations of new concepts
  • Sharing ideas through discussions
  • Cooperative learning through partner and small-group activities
  • Informal assessment and formal assessment
  • Integrating technology when appropriate

Social Studies: At ISD, the social studies program recognizes the unique circumstances of cultural diversity in the classroom and builds on this to develop students who are complex and creative thinkers. Authentic literacy skills are integrated into each unit of study as third graders collaborate and begin to work independently to learn and apply these habits necessary for the 21st century. The curriculum challenges students to be problem solvers, decision makers, and global citizens.

Specific units of study are focused on Identity of Southern China, Communities of Southeast Asia, and Demographics, Economics, and Environmental Awareness. Students will practice interviewing skills, collecting and interpreting data, and integrating technology through the use of cameras, online resources, and multi-media presentations. Students will use their data and evidence to support a point of view in a written expository piece. They will learn how to cite their sources and resolve conflicting views encountered in source documents and experiences.

Science: The best way for students to appreciate the scientific enterprise, learn important scientific concepts, and develop the ability to think well is to actively construct ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. Fourth graders collaborate to produce group-generated hypotheses, procedures and conclusions. Authentic literacy skills are explicitly taught and practiced in each science unit.

The topics for fourth grade include the three domains of science: Energy and Waves (physical science); Structure, Function, and Information Processing (life science); and Process that Shape the Earth (earth science). The STEM scopes program supports Science instruction.

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