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Grade 4 | Literacy (Essential Elements)


Note: The Iowa Core Essential Elements are intended only for students with significant cognitive disabilities and who participate in alternate assessments.

Reading Standards for Literature

Key Ideas and Details

  1. Use details from the text to recount what the text says. (EE.RL.4.1)
  2. Identify the theme or central idea of a familiar story, drama or poem. (EE.RL.4.2)
  3. Use details from the text to describe characters in the story. (EE.RL.4.3)

Craft and Structure

  1. Determine the meaning of words in a text. (EE.RL.4.4)
  2. Identify elements that are characteristic of stories. (EE.RL.4.5)
  3. Identify the narrator of a story. (EE.RL.4.6)

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  1. Make connections between the text representation of a story and a visual, tactual, or oral version of a story. (EE.RL.4.7)
  2. (Not applicable to literature) (EE.RL.4.8)
  3. Compare characters, settings or events in stories, myths or texts from different cultures. (EE.RL.4.9)

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

  1. Demonstrate understanding of text while actively engaging in shared reading of stories, dramas, and poetry. (EE.RL.4.10)

Reading Standards for Informational Text

Key Ideas and Details

  1. Identify explicit details in an informational text. (EE.RI.4.1)
  2. Identify the main idea of a text when it is explicitly stated. (EE.RI.4.2)
  3. Identify an explicit detail that is related to an individual, event, or idea in a historical, scientific, or technical text. (EE.RI.4.3)

Craft and Structure

  1. Determine meaning of words in text. (EE.RI.4.4)
  2. Identify elements that are characteristic of informational texts. (EE.RI.4.5)
  3. Compare own experience with a written account of the experience. (EE.RI.4.6)

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  1. Answer questions about information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively. (EE.RI.4.7)
  2. Identify one or more reasons supporting a specific point in an informational text. (EE.RI.4.8)
  3. Compare details presented in two texts on the same topic. (EE.RI.4.9)

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

  1. Demonstrate understanding of text while actively engaged in shared reading of history/social studies, science, and technical texts. (EE.RI.4.10)

Reading Standards: Foundational Skills

Phonics and Word Recognition

  1. Use letter-sound knowledge to read words.
    1. Apply letter-sound knowledge to use first letter plus context to identify unfamiliar words.
    2. Decode single-syllable words with common spelling patterns (consonant-vowel-consonant [CVC] or high-frequency rimes). (EE.RF.4.3)


  1. Read words in text.
    1. Read text comprised of familiar words with accuracy and understanding.
    2. Not applicable.
    3. Use letter knowledge and context to support word recognition when reading. (EE.RF.4.4)

Writing Standards

Text Types and Purposes

  1. Write opinions about topics or text.
    1. Select a topic or text and write an opinion about it.
    2. List reasons to support the opinion.
    3. Not applicable.
    4. Not applicable. (EE.W.4.1)
  2. Write to share information supported by details.
    1. Select a topic and write about it including related visual, tactual, or multimedia information as appropriate.
    2. List words, facts, or details related to the topic.
    3. Not applicable.
    4. Not applicable.
    5. Not applicable. (EE.W.4.2)
  3. Write about events or personal experiences.
    1. Write about a personal experience including two events in sequence.
    2. List words that describe an event or personal experience to use when writing about it.
    3. Not applicable.
    4. Not applicable.
    5. Not applicable. (EE.W.4.3)

Production and Distribution of Writing

  1. Produce writing that expresses more than one idea. (EE.W.4.4)
  2. With guidance and support from adults and peers, plan before writing and revise own writing. (EE.W.4.5)
  3. With guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce writing while interacting and collaborating with others. (EE.W.4.6)

Research to Build and Present Knowledge

  1. Gather information about a topic from two or more sources for a research project. (EE.W.4.7)
  2. Recall and sort information from personal experiences or a topic into given categories. (EE.W.4.8)
  3. Recall information from literary and informational text to support writing.
    1. Apply Essential Elements of Grade 4 Reading Standards to literature (e.g., “Use details from text to describe a character in a story.”).
    2. Apply Essential Elements of Grade 4 Reading Standards to informational texts (e.g., "Use reasons and evidence supporting point in an informational text."). (EE.W.4.9)

Range of Writing

  1. Write routinely for a variety of tasks, purposes, and audiences. (EE.W.4.10)

Speaking and Listening Standards

Comprehension and Collaboration

  1. Engage in collaborative discussions.
    1. Contribute ideas from prior knowledge of a text during discussions about the same text.
    2. With guidance and support, carry out assigned role in a discussion.
    3. Answer specific questions related to information in a discussion.
    4. Identify the key ideas in a discussion. (EE.SL.4.1)
  2. Ask and answer questions about details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. (EE.SL.4.2)
  3. Identify a point that the speaker makes. (EE.SL.4.3)

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

  1. Retell a story or personal experience or recount a topic with supporting details. (EE.SL.4.4)
  2. Add audio recordings or visuals to a presentation about a personally relevant topic. (EE.SL.4.5)
  3. Differentiate between communication partners and contexts that call for formal and informal communication. (EE.SL.4.6)

Language Standards

Conventions of Standard English

  1. Demonstrate standard English grammar and usage when communicating.
    1. Use possessive pronouns.
    2. Combine common nouns with verbs, nouns, or pronouns in communication.
    3. Not applicable.
    4. Use comparative and superlative adjectives to describe people or objects.
    5. Use common prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, by, with).
    6. Combine three or more words in communication.
    7. Not applicable. (EE.L.4.1)
  2. Demonstrate understanding of conventions of standard English.
    1. Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
    2. Not applicable.
    3. Not applicable.
    4. Spell words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of letter-sound relationships, and/or common spelling patterns. (EE.L.4.2)

Knowledge of Language

  1. Use language to achieve desired outcomes when communicating.
    1. Use language to express emotion.
    2. Not applicable.
    3. Communicate effectively with peers and adults. (EE.L.4.3)

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of word meanings.
    1. Use context as a clue to guide selection of a word that completes a sentence read aloud by an adult.
    2. Use frequently occurring root words (e.g., talk) and the words that result when word endings are added (e.g., talked, talking, talks).
    3. Not applicable. (EE.L.4.4)
  2. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and use.
    1. Not applicable.
    2. Use common idioms (e.g., no way, not a chance, you bet).
    3. Demonstrate understanding of opposites. (EE.L.4.5)
  3. Use words acquired through conversations, being read to, and during shared reading activities including domain-specific words. (EE.L.4.6)