Lower School

4th Grade

Developmentally, fourth graders are beginning to discover their own areas of knowledge and leadership.  In language arts, they find that they can write persuasive, well-sourced essays.  In math, they find that they have multiple strategies to tackle tough problems, and can both help and learn from their peers.

They discover that they have informed opinions about things, and use their knowledge of ecosystems and human impact on the environment to create public-awareness campaigns about ecological issues.  They study religions of the world and collaborate in teams to design interfaith centers that serve diverse needs.

And they are ready to stretch their horizons, and strike up pen-pal relationships with a sister school in Kenya that gets them thinking deeply about their own lives and standard of living.



Language Arts

Fourth graders at Moses Brown undertake two intensive studies in Language Arts: interpreting characters in fiction and writing persuasively. The entire class reads Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo and investigates two central characters in powerful opposition to one another.  As they work to interpret and inhabit these characters, they realize that no details in the book...

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At every step of the way, children use a variety of problem-solving strategies so they’ll have something else to try if their main approach doesn’t work.  This builds both confidence and resilience, and they always explain their work.  This can reveal hidden errors and strengths that might have gone unrecognized in the wake of an...

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History/Social Studies

At Moses Brown, fourth grade students delve into world religions, immigration, and the continent of Africa. These units challenge our students to become globally and socially aware as articulate citizens of the United States and the world. Children become familiar with the history, customs, and cultures of six major world religions–Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism,...

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Fourth Grade scientists are ready to wrestle with more abstract concepts–as long as they’re relevant. This developmental stage is notable for emotional intensity and the growing importance of peer relationships.  In science, students collaborate in pairs or groups, deepening friendships with a variety of classmates. Whether they are designing a six-foot anatomically correct flower to...

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Today’s fourth graders were born around the same time that Apple first released the iPhone. In addition to reading, writing and arithmetic, today’s students need to learn how to create digital products, not just consume them.  Coding introduces kids to the process of computational thinking, in which students break a problem down and express a...

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World Languages

Fourth graders study Spanish in half groups for 45 minutes twice a week.  They use a visual curriculum that allows them to speak entirely in full sentences from the beginning of the year as they “read” strings of pictographs that they have learned as vocabulary items. These are kept in a picture dictionary binder for...

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Fourth grade musicians at Moses Brown build musical independence through creative projects both alone and in groups. If they choose, they can also sing in an extra-curricular chorus, play in a beginner string ensemble, advanced string ensemble, or wind ensemble, and perform in the annual Lower School musical. Children frequently perform their original work for...

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Global Awareness

World peace is no easy game

World peace is no easy game, just ask our fourth grade! They have completed the the World Peace Game, a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community by addressing economic, social, and environmental crises, under the specter of imminent war. Moses Brown is the first and only school in Rhode Island taking part in the game.

Designing Interfaith Centers

Project-based learning

Fourth grade completed an Interfaith Center research and design project, which saw the students learning about six major religions and then creating and constructing centers which could be utilized by community members of various beliefs, all in harmony.


Robert Pike

Lower School Fourth Grade

Robert Pike

Hull University – B.A.
Lesley University – M.Ed.

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