4th Grade

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, and Sikhism–and investigate the commonalities and differences between them.  They then collaborate in teams to design and build a model of an interfaith center that could serve all of these groups cooperatively, and present their designs in an open session that lets them demonstrate the depth of their knowledge.

Having learned about faiths and cultures from around the world, students then explore their connections to other parts of the world as they undertake a study of American immigration.  Students are asked to choose someone in their family who immigrated to this country and either interview that person or research that relative.  Along the way, they realize that almost all families in America immigrated at some point, and were not necessarily welcomed.  They learn about Ellis Island and Angel Island, and the different motivations behind these facilities, and ultimately stage a living-history presentation to which the whole school is invited.  It’s not uncommon for relatives to attend the Immigration Fair to see themselves portrayed in person, and their journey carefully chronicled for all to see!

Fourth grade students become pen-pals with St. Benedict’s Primary School, Moses Brown’s sister school in Busia, Kenya. Concurrently, they learn about the enormous diversity of countries, climates, people, religions, and language on the African continent.  At the same time, they identify and break apart stereotypes that Americans hold.



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