Lessons & Activities: Grade 4
Grade 4 Lessons & Activities
Number Sense
365 Penguins by JeanLuc Fromental is a humourous book that can be a great launch into partitioning (lesson here) or can be the context for multiplication and divsion problems. B.C. PLO A1 and B1 

The Cheerio Counting Activity  Develop Number sense with this lesson, which leads well into place value activities. B.C. PLOs A1 and A2 Please note: We discovered that Cheerio brand cereal o's only fit 40 o's per zip tie where as 'Generic'Brands can fit 50 which is easier for young children to count. 
Letter from Ms.Harwijne's class French 

Doggone Dogs by Karen Beaumont is a delightful story of ten dogs that escape into a variety of misadventures. I have attached a student sheet for further practice with partitioning. Use the 365 Penguin lesson format above for this activity. B.C. PLO A1 

Fractions Fraction concept development is very important. We need to make sure that fractions are presented as parts of a whole (with the whole in MANY different shapes  not just pizza) as well as parts of a set. In grade four, fractions also need to be understood on a numberline. I have included a template for fraction strips. The printshop can print them in colour for you. Have your children create their own fraction strips, which they fold, cut and label. By the time they have labeled 16 1/16's they really get that 1/16 is small! More activities can be found in SD71's professional library books, Lessons for Introducing Fractions and Lessons for Extending Fractions by Marilyn Burns. B.C. PLO A8 

Fraction benchmarks This idea came from Vector magazine and was first found by Debbie Nelson  a great catch! Students can hold up these number line pockets to show how they've compared, ordered or calculated their fractions. Photocopy the pocket on cardstock, fold the bottom and staple to create the pocket. The fraction cards fit into the pocket. BC PLO A8 

Fractions as Part of a Set with a Number Line Representation We used a number line to solve a problem centered on a student survey about activities of choice. We used a number line to solve the problem. We worked through the 1st problem together and some students moved on to the challenge survey problem. B.C. PLO A8 

Describe and Represent Decimals We had fun determining a decimal number  measuring the length of time to finish our addition table, do 15 situps, or our height in metres, length of a standing long jump  all measured to the tenths or hundreths place. We then built our decimal numbers concretely with base 10 materials and represented it pictorially and symbolically on our decimal mats. B.C. PLO A9 


Relating fractions to decimals We started with easy fractions (1/2, 3/10) before moving on to more difficult fractions. As a class, we determined 7 different ways to determine the decimal representation of a fraction. We used the context of a chocolate bar. Students created posters of their "justright fraction / decimal" that displayed several representations. B.C. PLO A10 

Number Relationship Mat This activity is excellent laminated and then used for warm up and review for number concepts. B.C. PLOs A1, A3, and A7 Thanks Lisa for adapting this mat for intermediate grades and Patrisha and Cheryl for translating. Diversity tip: Address the diversity in your class by provided number challenges to students that are at they level they need to be working at. 


Place Value  Build models I have been working on a series of lessons that have children examining their understanding of large numbers and to introduce or reinforce the 10 times as big that each shift left in the place value chart represents. 1. A Million Dots by Andrew Clements  I read the children this fun book then have them draw dots in groups of 10 for one minute. After this experience the children estimate how long a line of 10, 100 and then 1000 dots would be. I help them go for a walk of 1000 dots, having a child stand at every 100 dots. 2. After some journal entries for 'Large numbers' and lots of conversations about the cyclical nature of our number system we then build a model of 1 111. If one square is 1 etc.  I have included a photo of a sample. I distribute coloured paper, have them fold it, then start to glue  right to left 1, 10, 100 and 1000. I point out the pattern of square, rectangle etc. and purposefully have them put the 1000 as a rectangle so that the effect of x 10 is very clear. Children then describe what their model shows about large numbers and the x10 relationship. 3. A final fun task for a group of grade 4's at Valley View was to make a new model. I read them How Much is a Million? by David Swartz that asked them: If one paper clip is one, what would 10, 100 and 1000 look like? We had great fun and some incredible learning when we strung together 10 boxes of 100 clips. Once child confidently said when she saw I had one box of 100, "All you need is 10 boxes because 1000 is 10 times 100." Music to my ears! B.C. PLO A1 
French  though neither of these books are available in French, they could be read in English and the activities done in French.


Place Value Game  Get To 1000! Have students take turns rolling a die (you pick the type  6 sided or 10 sided), select x1, x10 or x100. The first player whose sum of the product equals 1000 is the winner. B.C. PLO: A1 and A3 

How Many Jelly Beans? by Andrea Menotti  Representing Larger Numbers with Additive and Multiplicative Thinking  Representing numbers to 10 000 can be fun with this book, which appears about 3/4 of the way through the book. These thinking mats allows students to display a variety of ways to represent the number of their jelly beans  pick justright numbers! The book has many applications and would also be great for skip counting, estimating, adding / subtracting and discussions... BC PLO A1, A3, A5, A6 
Thinking flexibly with number representations  3 pages; English, student sample, French Additive and Multiplicative Thinking mat  3 pages; English, Student sample, French 

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett presents Fibonacci's Sequence in a visually appealing way. B.C. PLO A2 and B1 
Student Sheet Problems  simpler version French Lesson 

The Warlord’s Puzzle by Pilegard, Virginia is a great way to explore the fractional value of the pieces of a tangram puzzle. B.C. PLOs A8 
French

Number (Operations)
CoCreating Addition Strategies It is crucial that students explain the strategies that they use to find sums and that our mathematicans select an efficient strategy depending on the addends given. This lesson uses a context, base 10 materials and an open number line so that students share their thinking to coconstruct a class set of strategies. This cocreation increases student ownership and meaningful understanding of the strategies. 
Cocreating addition strategies lesson through building with 10 frames and an open number line. 

Addition and Subtraction Story Problems  The Garbage Barge See lesson descriptions using the Story Problem thinkboard for ideas for this book. This lesson includes a mixture of addition and subtraction story problems with result unknown and sums or differences to 10 000. Problems at higher and lower levels can be found in grades 2 to 5. B.C. PLO A3

French  Since the book is not available in French, we suggest you read it in English and do the math in French.


Addition and Subtraction Story Problems This lesson includes a mixture of addition and subtraction story problems (result unknown, change unknown and start unknown) based on the new Michael Phelps book, How to Train with a T.Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals. See grades 2 and 3 for simpler versions of the problems. Thanks Marty for ordering this book for all of SD71 libraries. You should be getting your copy soon! B.C. PLO A3 Diversity tip: Prepare copies of the adapted and grade 2, 3 or 5 cards as well, so that children who are ready to work with bigger numbers have those available and those who aren't can solve the problems without tripping up on numbers too large for them. They love the challenge of working up to 'just right' numbers for them. 
Independent Problems  adapted French  Since the book is not available in French, we suggest you read it in English and do the math in French.Problems  French 

Addition and Subtraction Story Problems Sold! A Mothematics Adventure by Nathan Zimelman is a funny story of a boy's experience at an auction that gets out of hand. It is a good launch to some addition and subtraction problems with the 'start' unknown. B.C. PLO A3 Diversity tip: Prepare copies of the adapted and grade 3 cards as well, so that children who are ready to work with bigger numbers have those available and those who aren't can solve the problems without tripping up on numbers too large for them. They love the challenge of working up to 'just right' numbers for them. 
Part/Part/Whole Money cards for warmup Story Problems for partner work Story Problems for Independent work Adapted student sheet for independent practice Sold! Thanks Kevin Reimer for videoing and editing. Thanks also to Kathy Sirrs and her amazing 2/3 class for allow us to video you! 

Addition and Subtraction Story Problems This lesson follows the format of lesson above but focuses on a mixture of addition and subtraction story problems the change unknown. It is based on the delightful book, Uno's Garden by Graeme Base (another lesson in the Patterns and Relation strand below.) B.C. PLO A3 Diversity tip: Prepare copies of the grade 2 or 3 cards as well, so that children who aren't ready to work with larger numbers can solve the problems without tripping up on numbers too difficult for them. They love the challenge of working up to 'just right' numbers for them. 


Animal Quilts  We made Multiplication Arrays , as quilts to protect various animals  some long and skinny, others wider and larger. This lesson connects skip counting to multiplication and uses arrays as a model of multiplication that easily connects to division concepts. So much fun!!! 

Array Model Multication Connected to Division This lesson series breaks down the instructional steps in multiplication as an array model and connecting it to division. The lessons include the model of gradual release, realworld contexts, and concrete / pictorial / abstract representations. Students will be able to compare and contrast the operations of multiplication and division, use partial products / distributive property and explain why the steps in the division algorithm work! 

Division Introduction  Stuart Murphy's Divide and Ride picture book to introduce the concept and vocabulary for division. B.C. PLOs A4 and A7 After running this lesson in Pam's grade 4/5 class, she developed this sheet to reinforce the concept before my next lesson  A Remainder of one. Thanks Pam for sharing! 
French versions of the student sheets 

Division Lesson Two  This time work on arrays with division using Elinor J. Pinczes book A Remainder of One B.C. PLOs A4 and A7 With this lesson in Pam's grade 4/5, we established using the 'Goesinta' to work towards symbollically calculating division questions. Pam developed this sheet to reinforce that. Thanks again for sharing! 
Divide Think Board with mixed problems A Remainder of One problem sheet French versions 

Division Lesson Three Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett or Chers maman et papa (French Version) provides the context for further division practice. B.C. PLO A4 and A7 
French versions of the student sheets


I have Who Has?
This is an excellent classroom or small group game to reinforce a concept, from basic fact recall to much more complex concepts such as fractions. Mathwire has compiled a list of classroom tips as well as a collection of downloadable premade games. Thanks Jocelyn for bringing this new site to our attention. B.C PLOs  varies dependent on game selected. 

Multiplication Fact Practice We use the tracking multiplication and multiplication journal in conjunction with Greg Tang's book, The Best of Times to assist with strategy practice.


Story Problem Tools Think Board  a useful tool for helping children to work through story problems. We printed these on 11 by 17 card stock, laminated them and used dry eraser and sponges for working on them. The children enjoyed using them. We like how the students slowed down and attached an equation to the story problem when working with them. They are available at the print shop. 
Photo from flickr French 

You Can't Buy a Dinosaur with a Dime This lesson focuses on result unknown story problems which involve money. I used the money partpart whole cards to warm the students up before using the Think Boards to solve these problems. I focused on recording the equation semantically.
Diversity tip: Address the diversity in your class by making available the next level of problems (grade 4) so that they can work up to more challenging numbers. The story problem think board also addresses diversity because students have choice about how they may tackle the problems: from words, pictures, manipulatives or numbers (equations). 
Shape and Space
Puzzle  Math Strands I use this puzzle either to introduce students to problem solving, math communication or as an introduction to area or even geometry unit. Each child is given a piece (excluding the problem solving square). The task is to form a group with students who have 'different' pieces. Using the 4 pieces, they are to build a square. An important rule is that they may not touch or move anyone elses square. After the first 4 piece square is built  I give them the 5th piece  problems solving to add to their collection and make a new square. This is quite challenging and requires them to look at the problem in a different way! Encourages clear communication skills and specific math language. 
Puzzle sheet  
In Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! by Marilyn Burns, Mr. and Mrs. Comfort host a family dinner. With this fun story students can explore perimeter and area. Have them follow along using coloured tiles to build the table arrangements. Focus on the mathematical terms, perimeter and area. Explore with lots of 'What ifs ...' For example, what if there were exactly 16 guests, how many different ways could the be seated on one large table? The tables can be built from tile units (card tables) for area and guests, for perimeter. Thanks Julia for translating! B.C. PLO C3 
Statistics and Probability
Bar Graphs  Use concept attainment with the first set of graphs to help students develop criteria for a bar graph. After some graphing practice, have them assess the IF the World Were a Village Graphs before self assessing their own work. Data for the graphs came from David Smith's book, If the World Were a Village. A DVD of the same title, at the Learning Resource Centre is also available. 
Patterns and Relations
Equal Shmequal  Explore equality with the concepts covered in this book by Virginia Kroll. B.C. PLOs A1, B5 and B6 Link to a Smart Board activity 

The Rabbit Problem by Emily Gravett presents Fibonacci's Sequence in a visually appealing way. B.C. PLO A2 and B1 

Uno's Garden by Graeme Base is an intriguing book with an opportunity to explore algebraic reasoning. Thanks to SD68 for supplying us with this lesson. 
Grid Paper People Plant  Green 

Equations, Balance and Variables This lesson shows how students can represent and solve for unknown numbers by using the idea of balance (same as / equality), concrete shapes and then algebra tiles to build their understanding about algebra. 