Fourth Grade - Literature - Overview - September
 

Literature in Fourth Grade consists of Sayings and Phrases, Poetry, Stories and Speeches. You are encouraged to add to the suggested selections whenever possible.

Sayings and Phrases

You may wish to post individual sayings or phrases in your classroom or accumulate a list on chart paper. Some may be familiar to the students, but others will be a first exposure. During its study you may want to discuss why a particular saying or phrase is no longer used. Useful books for the study of sayings and phrases are:
 

Fraser, Betty. First Things First. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.

Collection of familiar sayings.

Hudson, Cheryl and Wade, compiled by. Kids' Book of Wisdom: Quotes from the African American Tradition. East Orange, NJ: Just Us Books, 1996. A collection of wise sayings familiar to many cultures.

Kelen, Emery, compiled by. Proverbs of Many Nations. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepherd, 1966. Proverbs arranged by theme.

Morris, William and Mary. Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper & Row, 1977, 1988.

Vavoni, Marvin. Great Expressions. New York: William Morrow, 1989. (0-688-07990-3)

Reference on the origins of words and phrases.
 

Poetry

Students should be exposed to poetry frequently. Help them to appreciate the music of the poetry and be sure that you have practiced reading it before you introduce it to the class. Avoid a sing-song approach and help the students to avoid it as well. If students wish to memorize a poem congratulate their effort, but don't require it. Students should have the opportunity to read and write poetry as well as have it read to them. Technical analysis while not required, is included in some lessons.

Four poems are introduced this month. Rhythm, rhyme and free verse are all explored. Students are invited to write and illustrate.

Stories

Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter is the story read this month. Because of its length it is possible to extend the reading over several weeks, or if you wish, one or two excerpts may be read instead. Suggested activities are included but not required.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Once in a blue moon
 

Objectives

Relate something that occurs once in a blue moon.
 

Materials

Copy of the phrase on chart paper or sentence strip

Chart paper, drawing paper (optional)
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, E.D., ed. What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
 

Teacher Background

According to the Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (Harper & Row, 1977), the origin of this phrase goes back to 1528 and a saying "Yf they say the mone is blewe/ We must believe that is true." In this sense the statement means something that never occurs.

What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know says a blue moon is "the second full moon in a calendar month." This phenomenon has only happened twice in the past five years so a blue moon is extremely rare.

Students may insist that they have seen a blue moon. Explain that dust storms and ice crystals can give the illusion of a blue moon, but the moon is not blue, nor is it made of green cheese.

Procedure

Introduce this phrase by using it in statements like the following.

I always do the dishes; my sister does them once in a blue moon.

Once in a blue moon we go to see a movie I want to see, but usually we go to see the ones my little brother wants.

My friend usually gets 100% on all her tests, but I only get 100% once in a blue moon.

Add statements to this list that would be meaningful for your class.

After you have shared several of these with your students, ask them to venture a guess as to the meaning of once in a blue moon. Students should be able to recognize that something that occurs once in a blue moon is a rare event. Explain that some people consider a blue moon to be the second full moon that occurs in a month (a rare event) and others believe that a moon that appears blue in color does not usually happen (an extremely rare event).

Ask the students to think of things that might happen once in a blue moon. You might suggest that parents complain that their children clean their rooms once in a blue moon, or that is how frequently they do the dishes, etc. Students may enjoy this opportunity to name a litany of injustices aimed at them (get to go out once in a blue moon, get my way once in a blue moon, etc.).

You may wish to make a list of things that happen once in a blue moon, or have the students draw the occurrence. These could be posted with the phrase.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - RSVP
 

Objectives

Explain the meaning of RSVP.

Write an invitation.
 

Materials

Unlined white paper, construction paper (optional)

Invitations that have been received (wedding, party, etc.)
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, E.D., ed. What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Leedy, Loreen. Messages in the Mailbox: How to Write a Letter. New York: Holiday House, 1991.

Directed to children, this book presents the different kinds of letters and their parts. Great illustrations; the teacher directing the students in the story is an alligator.
 

Teacher Background

If your students have had extensive work with writing invitations this lesson may be unnecessary. In that case simply review RSVP and the French term from which it originates. Have the students explain the meaning of Respondez S'il Vous Plait in their own words.
 

Procedure

Tell the students that you need their help. You are planning a party (or event of your choice) and you want them to help you design an invitation. Ask for volunteers to tell the information that should be included. List their suggestions on the board making sure that the list includes what, when, where, given by whom. If necessary, lead the students through this activity by asking questions like the following.

What is the reason for sending an invitation? (a party)

When is it being given? (date and time)

Where is it being held? (name and/or address of location)

Who is giving the party or event?

Students may suggest that you include a phone number (or response card) so that the person invited will let the person giving the party (or event) know whether or not he or she will be attending. If a student suggests RSVP be included ask whether he or she can tell what those letters mean. Accept any response that suggests the person receiving the invitation needs to respond.

Write the letters RSVP on the board and below them write Respondez S'il Vous Plait. Ask if anyone can identify which language this is before you tell them that it is French. (Take the opportunity to ask the students to name the country from which this language originates. [France]) Say the words and then ask the students to repeat them. Underline the letters RSVP in Respondez S'il Vous Plait and explain that this term has been shortened to the letters alone. People know that RSVP means "respond if you please" or "please answer or reply." Remind the students that a date by which the response is required is usually included as well. This ensures that the person sending the invitation knows how many guests to expect.

Ask the students to think about all the different occasions that require invitations. For which occasions have they received invitations? Have the students work in pairs and brainstorm as many different occasions as they can. After a few minutes ask the students to share their ideas

and list their suggestions on the board.

As a closing activity have each student create an invitation. Remind the students of the key information that should be included (what, when, where, given by whom, RSVP). Tell them that sometimes an additional note is included. It might be "bring a swimsuit" or "formal attire or black tie required." You may wish to provide unlined paper and construction paper for use in creating more unusual invitations. Demonstrate that the invitation may be written on paper cut in a particular shape (a fish, a triangle, an apple, a cake) or a decorative border may be placed around it.

If you feel that your students need more examples before attempting this activity you may wish to share the book Messages in the Mailbox: How to Write a Letter or display invitations that you may have received.
 

Additional activity

Display the students' completed invitations in the classroom. Tell the class that when they have free time they may write responses and attach them to the original invitation(s). You may wish to put a sample response in the area to use as a guide.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Bury the hatchet
 

Objective

Explain the phrase.
 

Materials

Phrase on chart paper or sentence strip
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Teacher Background

According to the Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris (Harper & Row, 1977), the origin of this idiom takes place in New England. Indians there are said to have buried the hatchet (or ax) symbolically making peace with the white man. There is reference to Sachem Indian chiefs having buried two axes in a 1680 account by a man named Samuel Sewall.

Relate this idiom to the lessons in history this month. Students should be able to connect the origin of bury the hatchet and on the warpath, another phrase studied this month, to the relationships between the settlers and Native Americans.

Procedure

Display the phrase bury the hatchet and read it to the students. Ask them if they have ever heard the phrase before and if so, can they tell what it means. If no one volunteers a response ask the students to tell what the words in the phrase mean. Ask: What does it mean to bury something? (place under the ground) What is a hatchet? (a tool used for chopping, also used as a weapon)

Remind the students that a hatchet was used by the settlers who first came to America and by the Native Americans they found living here. A hatchet was a useful tool but it could also be used as a weapon. If the hatchet was considered a weapon, to bury it meant to put an end to the fighting that could occur with it. Over the years the phrase bury the hatchet came to mean the end of fighting, or peace.

Tell the students that bury the hatchet can also mean to end an ongoing disagreement. People may carry a grudge about a particular incident for years, when they bury the hatchet they are saying that they are willing to let go of the past and forget the cause of their quarrel.

You may wish to tell the students that the phrases let bygones be bygones and forgive and forget are similar phrases and take a few moments to discuss the meaning of each. Ask the students if they can relate this phrase to any modern situations. Are there "grudge" matches that occur in sports? Have they ever heard that two individuals (or two teams) will put an end to an ongoing fight? Can they name any individuals who should bury the hatchet?
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - On the warpath
 

Objective

Speculate about the origin of the phrase.
 

Materials

Phrase on chart paper or sentence strip
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Teacher Background

You may wish to present this saying on the warpath along with the saying bury the hatchet. Remind students that these sayings have been passed down as oral history and that we are not always sure of their origin.

Procedure

Display and read aloud the saying on the warpath. Ask the students to tell what they think the saying means. Remind them that someone who is on the path to war is someone who is ready to fight. Ask them where they think such a phrase might have originated (observing the behavior of others, during the time of the Revolutionary or French and Indian wars). Tell the students to consider that this phrase has been around for a long time and to think about what events might have caused someone to say it.

Ask how we can tell that someone is angry and ready to fight (grouchy, scowling, picking on others). Ask the students what would be the best way to treat a person who appears to be on the warpath (stay out of that person's way, be especially kind to that person). Remind the students that as they have learned in history, war can be the way that is sometimes chosen as a solution but it usually results in another problem.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Fog
 

Objectives

Be introduced to the term metaphor.

Recognize free verse.

Create a metaphor (optional).
 

Materials

Copy of the poem on chart paper

Pictures of fog, ideally just forming and just lifting
 

Suggested Books

Cassedy, Sylvia and Kunihiro Suetake, trans. Red Dragonfly on My Shoulder. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

Thirteen haiku translated with marvelous artwork by Molly Bang. Take the time to share this with your students!

Esbensen, Barbara Juster. Echoes for the Eye: Poems to Celebrate Patterns in Nature. New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

This collection of poems about patterns in nature contains wonderful examples of personification and metaphors. Helen K. Davies illustrations are beautiful.

Issa, Yayu, Kikaku. don't tell the scarecrow. New York: Four Winds Press, 1969.

Collection of haiku illustrated with beautiful woodcuts.

Yolen, Jane, selected by. Once Upon Ice and Other Frozen Poems. New York: Boyds Mills Press, 1997. Collection of poems inspired by Jason Stemple's striking photographs of ice. Contains metaphors and personification.

Teacher Background

Carl Sandburg was born in Illinois on January 6, 1878. His parents were Swedish immigrants and the family was poor. Sandburg quit school in eighth grade in order to help support his older sister so she could finish school.

Sandburg worked at many jobs throughout his life including service in the Spanish-American War. It was later in his life while he was working as a newspaper reporter that his first poems were published. His free verse (without rhyme and rhythm) became a recognized moving force in American literature.

Carl Sandburg is best known for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. Sandburg died in his sleep on July 22, 1967.

Procedure

Ask the students if they have ever seen fog before and display photographs and illustrations. Have the students recall that fog is a cloud of water droplets that hang in the air. Fog forms when warm moist air meets cooler air. Because fog forms as the moisture in the warm air condenses to droplets, it is a gradual change not a rapid one.

Tell the students that the poet Carl Sandburg thought of fog in a very special way. Tell them to first listen to the poem, then be ready to tell what Sandburg has to say about fog. Read the poem.

Fourth Grade - Literature - Fog
 

Fog
 

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg
 

Students may be surprised that the poem is so short and you may wish to read it again for them. Ask: What does Sandburg think the fog is like? (a cat) Does he actually say that the fog is like a cat? (No, it is implied.) How do we know that Carl Sandburg is saying that the fog is like a cat? (He uses cat feet, sits looking, haunches to describe the fog.) Be sure that students understand what haunches means.

Tell the students that there is a name for this kind of comparison. It is called a metaphor. Write the word metaphor on the board. Tell the students that a metaphor is a comparison of two things that are basically not alike. Review that when we compare we tell how things are alike. Carl Sandburg says in his poem that the fog moves like a cat, remains like a cat sitting on its haunches watching, then moves on. We get a mental picture (visualize) what he is saying.

Display a copy of the poem and invite volunteers to read it. Ask if anyone can identify the rhyme pattern (There is none.) Explain that this type of poetry is called free verse. Free verse does not have a particular rhythm or rhyme. If any students are familiar with haiku they will recognize the idea of free verse. (If you wish to share haiku with your students see Suggested Books.) Tell the students that Sandburg had been reading haiku before he wrote this poem and was obviously influenced.

Try writing a free verse poem that contains a metaphor(s). (You may want to read selections from Echoes for the Eye: Poems to Celebrate Nature or Once Upon Ice and Other Frozen Poems for more exposure.) Ask the students to think about a storm. Tell them to visualize the force of the storm, to hear the sound of the storm, to feel the power of the storm and the sudden calm that happens afterward. Have them try to make comparisons without using the words like or as. An example would be:

The storm snarled and bit with its tiger teeth,

Its growl echoed over the land,

It pounced quickly over field and town

Then calmly strode away.
 

You may wish to try this exercise with other words as well. A train (moving in a serpentine path, snaking through tunnels, curling around curves) or other forms of weather (snow blankets the city) provide good springboards. If the thought of a poem is too much to consider with your students you may wish to simply write sentences or phrases together. You may wish to provide fill-ins like the following:
 
 
 

The highway was a _________________ (ribbon, stream of traffic flowing downhill)

The heat _________________ (rolled over them in unending waves, held them with its claws, is an unwelcome guest)

Her eyes __________________ (were embers glowing, were pools of liquid gold)

The city ___________________ (was a beehive, was a carnival, reached out with tentacled arms)

To summarize, ask the students to name the literary term that means a comparison of two unlike things that doesn't use the words like or as (metaphor). What two unlike things are compared in the poem Fog? (fog, cat) What do we call poetry that doesn't have a rhythm or rhyme? (free verse)

Fourth Grade - Literature - Clouds
 

Objectives

Identify the topic of the poem.

Recognize the rhythm in the poem achieved by repetition.

Create a page for a cloud book.
 

Materials

Copy of the poem on chart paper

A sheet of white paper and a sheet of blue paper per student
 

Suggested Books

deRegniers, Beatrice Schenk. Sing a Song of Popcorn. New York: Scholastic, 1988.

Collection of 128 poems, contains "Clouds."

Gaber, Susan, selected and illustrated by. Favorite Poems for Children Coloring Book. New York: Dover, 1980.

Seventeen poems and illustrations suitable for coloring are included.

Shaw, Charles. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. New York: Harper & Row, 1947.

Torn paper provides the shapes that look like a variety of things but are really just clouds.
 

Teacher Resource

Poster of the poem "Clouds" including illustrations of clouds and their names is in Scholastic Integrated Theme Units, "Weather" (1992).
 

Teacher Background

Christina Rossetti was born in London on December 5, 1830. Although her poetry usually has nature as its theme, her first poem was about her mother. Christina Rossetti died on December 29, 1894.

Students were introduced to Rossetti in Second Grade with the poems "Who Has Seen the Wind" and "Hurt No Living Thing."

Science lessons in Second Grade and Fourth Grade relate to weather and clouds.
 

Procedure

Begin the lesson by asking students to recall the poem "Fog." Ask: How did Carl Sandburg describe the fog? (He compared it to a cat.) What do we call it when a poet compares two unlike things? (metaphor) Why do you think poets and writers use metaphors? (helps the reader to visualize, more interesting, etc.)

Tell the students that the poem you are about to read also contains a metaphor. Tell them the poet is Christina Rossetti, the same woman who wrote "Who Has Seen the Wind?" and "Hurt No Living Thing." Remind the students that Rossetti enjoyed writing about nature. Tell them to keep that in mind when they listen to the poem and to try to figure out the title.

Read the poem without telling the title.

White sheep, white sheep

On a blue hill,

When the wind stops

You all stand still.
 

When the wind blows

You walk away slow.

White sheep, white sheep,

Where do you go?
 

(Clouds by Christina G. Rossetti)
 

After reading the poem ask the students to tell what they think the white sheep are (clouds). If necessary, read the poem a second time.

Ask the students if they have ever seen clouds that look like sheep. Take a few minutes and allow students to name other cloud shapes that they have seen. Ask if anyone knows the name of the fluffy, cotton ball-like clouds that take many shapes (cumulus).

Display the poem and have the class recite it together or ask for volunteers to read. Ask: Can anyone find another metaphor in the poem? (sky, [blue] hill) Who is being spoken to in the poem? (clouds, white sheep) Is this poem free verse? (No, it has rhyme and rhythm.) Can anyone figure out the rhyme pattern? (ABCBDEFE) Which are the words that rhyme? (hill, still; slow, go)

Tell the students to look at the poem again and read it silently while you read it aloud. After reading the poem ask the students if they can tell the way that Christina Rossetti puts rhythm in this poem (repetition of white sheep). Read the poem again, this time only saying white sheep once in the lines where it is repeated. Ask the students if they can hear the difference. Then read the poem a final time with a jump rope cadence. Can the students hear the difference this time? Invite them to read it this way too.

If possible, read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk to the class. Discuss the shapes that Shaw includes and how they are represented with torn white paper on a solid blue page. Have students suggest other shapes that could be included in the book. (If you are not able to obtain a copy of the book, simply tell the students that there is a book with this title that shows shapes torn from white paper pasted on a blue background.)

The text of the book is very simple. The same two lines are repeated, until finally at the end of the book we are told that what we were really seeing was a cloud in the sky. Invite the students to tear a piece of white paper into a recognizable shape and attach it to a sheet of blue paper. Have them fill in the lines from the book and attach them to the bottom of the page.
 


Sometimes it looked like________

But it wasn't _________________


 


Collect the pages and insert a final page that tells: It was just a cloud in the sky, and you have a class book.
 
 
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Paul Revere's Ride
 

Objectives

Participate in the recitation of a narrative poem.

Locate examples of personification (optional).

Identify rhyme patterns (optional).
 

Materials

Copy of poem on transparency/chart paper or individual copies for students
 

Suggested Books

Cohn, Amy L., compiled by. From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs. New York: Scholastic, 1993.

Collection of songs, stories and poems that tell the history of America.

Hall, Donald, selected and edited by. The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America. New York: Oxford, 1985.

Contains the poem "Paul Revere's Ride."

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, collected by. Hand in Hand: An American History. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Collection of poems and songs about America from the time of the Pilgrims to present day; beautifully illustrated by Peter M. Fiore.

Longfellow, Henry W. The Children's Own Longfellow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1908.

Contains "Paul Revere's Ride," "The Village Blacksmith," and "Song of Hiawatha;" illustrated by various artists, there is a color plate for each poem.

________, Henry W. Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Greenwillow, 1985.

Illustrations on each page, a map included and notes about the vocabulary of the poem make this a good choice. Illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker.

________, Henry W. Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Dutton, 1990.

Striking illustrations by Ted Rand.

________, Henry W. Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Windmill, 1973.

Map included, subtle pen and line drawings by Joseph Low.
 

Teacher Background

This lesson should be used in conjunction with the September American History lessons and done prior to Visual Arts Lesson 3, "Paul Revere" by John Singleton Copley. The poem will be approached as literature appreciation rather than a study of history.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Maine in 1807 and died in 1882. Nathaniel Hawthorne (The House of Seven Gables) was a contemporary of his. The students may be interested to know Longfellow's birth date in relation to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Procedure

Tell the students the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" is a very long poem, probably the longest they have read so far in their lives. (They will probably remember "The Night Before Christmas" as the longest poem to this point.) Ask if anyone has an idea why this poem would be so long. Accept all reasonable answers and congratulate any student who suggests that the poem would have to be long if it is telling the story of the ride.
 

Write the word narrate on the board. Tell the students that "to narrate" is "to tell." The person doing the narrating or telling, is called a narrator (write on board) and what that person tells is called a narrative (write on board). Tell the students "Paul Revere's Ride" is a narrative poem; together we will act as the narrators telling it.

Tell the students Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is the poet who wrote this poem. He was born only thirty-two years after the American Revolution so the events of Paul Revere's ride would be very familiar to him. He was probably told the story often as he was growing up.

Read the first stanza of the poem aloud to the class. Tell the students that this first stanza is usually easily memorized; ask if they can tell why (rhyme, rhythm).Who is the speaker? (Longfellow, the narrator)

You may wish to go over vocabulary prior to reading the poem, or you may wish to do a first reading taking the time to stop and explain as you go along. It is expected that some unknown words will be cleared in context. You will probably want to read the entire poem through once allowing the students to follow along silently before asking them to participate.

If the poem is presented on the overhead or put on chart paper you can underline the sections where you would like class participation. Likewise, student copies can be highlighted in the appropriate sections. Divide the poem in whichever way you wish, but you may want to have the students read the shorter stanzas. If your students are capable, divide the class into sections and assign parts of the entire poem. You may also wish to allow several students to tap lightly simulating hoof-beats from "A hurry of hoofs in a village street" through "Pierced by a British musket-ball."
 

Vocabulary

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Hang a lantern up in the church steeple where the bell hangs

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

Where the ship was loosely tied to the dock

The Somerset, British man-of-war

The Somerset, a British warship

The muster of men at the barrack-door,

The gathering of men at the barrack-door

The sounds of arms, and the tramp of feet,

The sounds of guns being moved, and the stamping of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers

The marching step of the soldiers who march ahead of the troops; the grenadiers wore tall bearskin hats that had no brims

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tred

By the stairs of the church tower with cautious steps

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

On the dark rafters ...

That he could hear like a sentinel's tread,

That he could hear like a watchman's footstep,

Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

Then, impatient, stamped the ground,

And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;

And turned and tightened the part of the saddle that attaches under the horse;

And the spark struck out by the steed in his flight

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

And the spark that was struck by the horse's shoe against the stones symbolically stood for the fire of battle that would spread throughout the colonies

And now under the alders that skirt its edge,

And now under the trees that border the Mystic River,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

Look at him with a ghostly stare,

As if they already stood aghast

As if they were already shocked
 

Additional Activities

Challenge the students to find examples of personification in the poem.
 

The watchful night-wind, as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
 

And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.
 

Assign several of the shorter stanzas and the final stanza for rhyme pattern identification.

A - Listen, my children, and you shall hear

A - Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

B - On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

B - Hardly a man is now alive

C - Who remembers that famous day and year.
 

A - He said to his friend, "If the British march

B - By land or sea from the town to-night,

A - Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

B - Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--

C - One, if by land, and two, if by sea;

C - And I on the opposite shore will be

D - Ready to ride and spread the alarm

D - Through every Middlesex village and farm,

D - For the country folk to be up and to arm."

A - He had left the village and mounted the steep,

A - And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

B - Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides,

C - And under the alders that skirt its edge,

C - Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

B - Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
 

A - It was twelve by the village clock,

B - When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

A - He heard the crowing of the cock,

C - And the barking of the farmer's dog,

C - And felt the damp of the river fog,

B - That rises after the sun goes down.
 

A - So through the night rode Paul Revere,

B - And so through the night went his cry of alarm

B - To every Middlesex village and farm,--

A - A cry of defiance and not of fear,

C - A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

C - And a word that shall echo for evermore!

D - For, borne on the night-wind of the past,

D - Through all our history, to the last,

E - In the hour of darkness and peril, and need,

A - The people will waken and listen to hear

E - The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

A - And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Paul Revere's Ride
 

Paul Revere's Ride
 

Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.
 

He said to his friend, "If the British march

By land or sea from the town to-night,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
 

One, if by land, and two, if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said, "Good-night!" and with muffled oar

Silently row'd to the Charles Town shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war;

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon like a prison bar,

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.
 

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street,

Wanders and watches with eager ears,

Till in the silence around him he hears

The muster of men at the barrack door,

The sounds of arms, and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers

Marching down to their boats on the shore.
 

Then he climb'd the tower of the Old North Church,

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

To the belfry-chamber overhead,

And started the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses of moving shapes of shade,--

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen and look down

A moment on the roofs of the town,

And the moonlight flowing over all.
 

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,

In their night-encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still

That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,

The watchful night-wind, as it went

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"

A moment only he feels the spell

Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay,

A line of black that bends and floats

On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.
 

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse's side,

Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,

Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns!
 

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;

That was all! and yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed in his flight

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
 

He had left the village and mounted the steep,

And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides,

And under the alders that skirt its edge,

Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
 

It was twelve by the village clock,

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

He heard the crowing of the cock,

And the barking of the farmer's dog,

And felt the damp of the river fog,

That rises after the sun goes down.
 

It was one by the village clock

When he galloped into Lexington.

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.
 

It was two by the village clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twitter of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning breeze

Blowing over the meadows brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket-ball.
 

You know the rest. In the books you have read,

How the British Regulars fired and fled,--

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the red-coats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.
 

So through the night rode Paul Revere,

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm,--

A cry of defiance and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo for evermore!

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

Through all our history, to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
 
 
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Monday's Child is Fair of Face
 

Objectives

Identify reasons why this rhyme is easily remembered.

Create a description for the child born on a particular day of the week.

Illustrate the description.
 

Materials

Copy of the poem on chart paper

Manila paper, crayons or markers (optional)

Sentence strips
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Teacher Background

In order to do the activity part of this lesson students must know the day of the week on which they were born. It may be necessary, therefore to secure a calendar(s) for the year(s) of most students' births. (A perpetual calendar would be perfect.)
 

Procedure

Tell the students that you are conducting a survey to see on which days of the week they were born. Ask the students to respond by raising their hands when you name the appropriate day. List the students' names under the days.

After you have collected all the data tell the students to take a look at the information and ask if there seem to be any particular patterns. Do all the people born on a particular day of the week share some quality? Are they all the same height? Are they all good at sports? Could you make a statement that is true for all those people? If any observation is made that seems accurate add it to the board. Remind the students that there are other people born on these days who are not represented in the class list.

Tell the students that many years ago a rhyme was written that describes people according to the day of the week on which they were born. We are not sure who the author was, it is simply a rhyme that has been passed down through the years. Tell the students to listen to the poem and see if they agree or disagree with it. Read the poem.
 

Monday's Child is Fair of Face
 

Monday's child is fair of face,

Tuesday's child is full of grace,

Wednesday's child is full of woe,

Thursday's child has far to go,

Friday's child is loving and giving,

Saturday's child works hard for a living,

And a child that is born on the Sabbath Day

Is fair and wise and good and gay.
 

Traditional
 

Ask the students to respond with some silent signal (thumbs-up, thumbs-down, etc.) that demonstrates their agreement or disagreement with the thoughts contained in the rhyme. Display the poem and have the students read it again either orally or silently. Be sure that the students understand that woe means trouble or unhappiness. Ask for a show of hands to indicate which day seems to have the best description and which seems to have the worst.

Ask the students to speculate about why this poem has been remembered for so many years (accept all reasonable responses). If necessary, point out the length of the poem, the rhyme pattern (AA, BB, CC, DD), the familiarity of six of the lines beginning with the names of the days of the week followed by child is.

Tell the students that they are being given the opportunity to update this rhyme. They are to think of positive qualities to describe people and then assign them to a particular day of the week. List the qualities the students suggest. You may need to help them come up with single word descriptors (see character traits list for additional help).

When you and the students have accumulated a sizable list tell them to think about ways that these qualities could be put into rhyme. Using the framework below try filling in words following the rhyme pattern (AA, BB, CC, DD).
 

Monday's child _______________

Tuesday's child _______________

Wednesday's child _____________

Thursday's child _______________

Friday's child __________________

Saturday's child ________________

And a child that is born on the seventh day is ______________________________
 

For example, a possible rhyme is:

Monday's child is thoughtful and kind,

Tuesday's child has a curious mind,
 

You may wish to continue the rhyme with the entire class or you may want to let groups work independently and therefore develop several versions of the poem. As a culminating activity students can illustrate the line from the poem (old or new) that describes their particular day. The illustrations for a particular day can be grouped around a sentence strip with the appropriate line from the rhyme written on it.
 

Additional Activity

Students may enjoy developing pantomimes to accompany the poems. Have one group of students responsible for the old version and one responsible for the new. Direct one (or several) students to recite the rhyme (from memory) while one (or several) students perform the pantomime.
 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Monday's Child is Fair of Face
 

Character traits
kind 

sincere 

curious 

loving 

polite 

brave 

patient

courageous 

sensitive 

shy 

serious 

generous 

resourceful 

sypathetic

thoughtful 

happy 

responsible 

smart 

wise 

considerate 

loyal

wise 

helpful 

risk-taker 

dependable 

thoughtful 

adventurous 

problem solver


 

Fourth Grade - Literature - Pollyanna
 

Objectives

Recognize that the term "Pollyanna" is used to describe an excessive optimist.

Define optimist.
 

Suggested Books

Hirsch, E.D., ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Contains excerpts from the book.

Porter, Eleanor H. Pollyanna. New York: Dell, 1986.
 

Teacher Background

It is important for students to get a sense of the period in time when the story Pollyanna takes place. Tell them that the author, Eleanor Parker, was born on December 19,1868. Remind them that this was around the time that the Civil War ended. Parker wrote Pollyanna in 1913. It told about an independent woman named Polly Harrington who is given the responsibility of taking care of her orphaned niece. Explain to the students it was unusual for a woman to live alone without a husband or family, and most women at this time did not own property.

The essence of the story Pollyanna is the child and her sweet, positive nature. She is the consummate optimist who when faced with any disaster sees only the good that can come of it. While the term "Pollyanna" is sometimes used in a derisive manner, the character Pollyanna is strong and determined to find the good in life, a description that anyone should be happy to bear.

Procedure

You may wish to share the entire novel with your students or only read selections (the Hirsch book is a good choice). Whichever way you choose to share the story be sure that your students learn about the hardships in Pollyanna's life and her positive outlook toward them. Explain to the students that Pollyanna is an optimist, someone who sees the good side of all things and all people. Questions to accompany each chapter are included, as well as some quotes that lend themselves to discussion. You may use the questions with the class or assign one or two to students who read independently.

Tell the students that the story Pollyanna is a novel. The students should be able to tell the difference between a short story and a novel recognizing that a novel is much longer. Review the term plot reminding students that the plot tells what happens in the story. Challenge them to tell the plot of the chapter or chapters you share.

Ask the students to tell what the setting of a story is (where the story takes place). Have them recall various stories they have read and the setting for each. Remind the students that the setting can be as specific as a room or as general as a forest. You may wish to have the students find Vermont on the map and recall what they know about the climate of a New England state.

You may also wish to do character analysis with your students. If you read the entire novel, the students will certainly be able to see changes in several characters. Encourage them to note when a change occurs and its probable cause(s). Be sure that the students look at a character's physical description, personality traits and actions.
 

Main Characters (in the order they are introduced):

Miss Polly Harrington - Pollyanna's aunt, 40 years old, the mistress of the Harrington household
 

Nancy - the maid, has a sick widowed mother and three little sisters in "The Corners" (six miles away)

Old Tom Durgin - a loyal servant who had worked for the family since the time that Jennie and Polly and Anna were young. He pulled weeds and shoveled the paths

Pollyanna Whittier - eleven years old, named for her mother's two sisters;

daughter of Jennie Harrington and Reverend John Whittier; she came from the far-away West; plays the "Glad Game"
 

The Man - (John Pendleton) - Pollyanna encounters him when she takes a walk. John Pendleton lives alone and has little to do with others
 

Mrs. Snow - A poor, sick woman who is a member of Miss Polly's church--it is the duty of the church members to look out for her; Miss Polly usually fulfills her "duty" on Thursday, through Nancy (Perhaps not truly a main character, but one who makes a significant change during the story.)
 

Jimmy Bean - Young boy, ten going on eleven, who Pollyanna meets when he has run away from the Orphans' Home where he lives; he is looking for someone to adopt him
 

Dr. Chilton - A smooth-shaven, kind-eyed man who Pollyanna meets when she summons the doctor for John Pendleton

Setting: Harrington homestead in Beldingsville, Vermont
 

Pollyanna
 

Chapter 1 - Miss Polly

Choose three words to describe Miss Polly. Support each of your choices by telling how Miss Polly behaved in the story.
 

Chapter 2 - Old Tom and Nancy

Do Tom and Nancy feel the same about Miss Polly? What does Tom know about Miss Polly that Nancy doesn't? "feedin' on wormwood an' thistles"
 

Chapter 3 - The Coming of Pollyanna

Based on the information you already know about Miss Polly, and what you have just learned about Pollyanna, predict whether Pollyanna and Miss Polly will get along. Support your answer.
 

Chapter 4 - The Little Attic Room

What do you think is the worst thing about the room? What do you think is the best thing about it? " ... held out a hand with duty written large on every coldly extended finger."
 

Chapter 5 - The Game

Why would it be useful to be able to play "the game"?
 

Chapter 6 - A Question of Duty

Can you think of another word for Miss Polly to use instead of "duty"? How is responsibility different from duty?
 

Chapter 7 - Pollyanna and Punishments

Why does Pollyanna consider her punishments to be rewards? At this point in the story how are Pollyanna and her Aunt Polly getting along?
 

Chapter 8 - Pollyanna Pays a Visit

How would you describe Mrs. Snow? What makes this chapter funny? What is happening to Mrs. Snow? What do you think about the Man?
 

Chapter 9 - Which Tells of the Man

How does Pollyanna feel about the Man (John Pendleton)? How does Nancy feel about him?
 

Chapter 10 - A Surprise for Mrs. Snow

Why does Pollyanna bring a surprise for Mrs. Snow? What was the surprise for Pollyanna?
 

Chapter 11 - Introducing Jimmy

Pollyanna brings in a stray kitten and then a stray dog, what does that tell you about her? How do you expect her to treat Jimmy?
 

Chapter 12 - Before the Ladies' Aid

What does Pollyanna realize about the Ladies' Aid?
 

Chapter 13 - In Pendleton Woods

* Before reading this chapter what do you think will happen in Pendleton Woods?
 

Chapter 14 - Just a Matter of Jelly

Why do you think Aunt Polly doesn't want Mr. Pendleton to think she sent the jelly?
 

Chapter 15 - Dr. Chilton

What do you think "learn to live" means?
 

Chapter 16 - A Red Rose and a Lace Shawl

Why do you think Aunt Polly is upset about being seen by Dr. Chilton when her hair is done up and she is wearing the scarf?
 

Chapter 17 - "Just Like a Book"

Nancy is excited that John Pendleton's life is a mystery "just like in a book," what does she think is going on with John Pendleton?
 

Chapter 18 - Prisms

What does Pollyanna mean about living in a rainbow? Can the sun play "the Glad Game"? How could prisms help people feel better?
 

Chapter 19 - Which is Somewhat Surprising

What does Pollyanna think John Pendleton feels for Aunt Polly?
 

Chapter 20 - Which is More Surprising

What does Pollyanna find out?
 

Chapter 21 - A Question Answered

How is John Pendleton's question answered if it is never asked?
 

Chapter 22 - Sermons and Woodboxes

How are the "rejoicing texts" like the "Glad Game"?
 

Chapter 23 - An Accident

How does Aunt Polly show that duty isn't what's important to her anymore?
 

Chapter 24 - John Pendleton

Why does John Pendleton tell Aunt Polly about his offer to Pollyanna?

"Her heart jest seemed to turn bitter at the core."
 

Chapter 25 - A Waiting Game

Why do you think Aunt Polly has changed the way she treats Pollyanna? Does she feel sorry for Pollyanna and doing nice things because it is her duty?
 

Chapter 26 - A Door Ajar

*Before reading the chapter - A door ajar means a door that is open, can you imagine what Pollyanna will see or hear through an open door?
 

Chapter 27 - Two Visits

How does Jimmy Bean figure into the two visits that take place in this chapter?
 

Chapter 28 - The Game and its Players

Do you think that Pollyanna ever thought that her "Glad Game" would affect so many people?
 

Chapter 29 - Through an Open Window

* Before reading the chapter - Remember the open door in chapter 26? What do you think will be seen or heard through an open window?
 

Chapter 30 - Jimmy Takes the Helm

The person at the helm of a ship steers the ship, who or what does Jimmy take charge of and steer?
 

Chapter 31 - A New Uncle

What is the secret Aunt Polly keeps from Pollyanna?
 

Chapter 32 - Which is a Letter from Pollyanna

Pollyanna says she is glad to use her legs again, that you don't know how wonderful legs are until you lose them, what other people in the story get something back that they had lost?
 
 

Bibliography


 
 

Cassedy, Sylvia and Kunihiro Suetake, trans. Red Dragonfly on My Shoulder. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. (0-060226250)

*Cohn, Amy L., compiled by. From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs. New York: Scholastic, 1993. (0-590-42868-3)

deRegniers, Beatrice Schenk. Sing a Song of Popcorn. New York: Scholastic, 1988.

(0-590-43974-X)

Esbensen, Barbara Juster. Echoes for the Eye: Poems to Celebrate Patterns in Nature. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. (0-06-024399-6)

Fraser, Betty. First Things First. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.

Gaber, Susan, selected and illustrated by. Favorite Poems for Children Coloring Book. New York: Dover, 1980. (0-486-23923-3)

Hall, Donald, selected and edited by. The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America. New York: Oxford, 1985. (0-19-503539-9)

*Hirsch, E.D.,ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

(0-385-31257-1)

________, E. D., ed. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

(0-385-31260-1)

*Hopkins, Lee Bennett, collected by. Hand in Hand: An American History. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. (0-671-73315-X)

Hudson, Cheryl and Wade, compiled by. Kids' Book of Wisdom: Quotes from the African American Tradition. East Orange, NJ: Just Us Books, 1996. (0-940975-61-0)

Issa, Yayu, Kikaku. don't tell the scarecrow. New York: Four Winds Press, 1969.

Kelen, Emery, compiled by. Proverbs of Many Nations. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepherd, 1966.

Leedy, Loreen. Messages in the Mailbox: How to Write a Letter. New York: Holiday House, 1991. (0-8234-0889-2)

Longfellow, Henry W. The Children's Own Longfellow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1908.

(0-395-06889-4)

*________, Henry W. Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Greenwillow, 1985.(0-688-04015-2)

________, Henry W. Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Dutton, 1990. (0-525-44610-9)

________, Henry W. Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Windmill, 1973. (0-87807-050-8)

*Porter, Eleanor H. Pollyanna. New York: Dell, 1986.

Shaw, Charles. It Looked Like Spilt Milk. New York: Harper & Row, 1947. (069400491X)

Vavoni, Marvin. Great Expressions. New York: William Morrow, 1989. (0-688-07990-3)

Yolen, Jane, selected by. Once Upon Ice and Other Frozen Poems. New York: Boyds Mills Press, 1997. (1-56397-408-8)
 

Teacher Reference

Morris, William and Mary. Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper & Row, 1977, 1988. (0-06-015862-X)
 

*Required or strongly recommended for lessons