April 1

4th Grade English Language Arts

Earth Changes Unit 8

Essential Question:

How do Earth’s natural processes impact our lives?

In this unit, students will read informational texts, such as firsthand accounts of writers’ experiences with Earth’s natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Students will build schema around the following concepts:

  • Earthquakes and volcanoes change Earth’s landscape and impact the lives of human beings
  • Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur due to plate tectonics
  • Metamorphic rocks are formed when rock is heated by magma
Social-Emotional Understanding
  • Humans must draw on their physical strength and emotional resolve when facing natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Enduring Understanding

Studying the forces that cause Earth changes results in a better understanding of the effects of these changes.


Define key terms related to earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, and other seismic events and/or natural

disasters that result from tectonic shifts; use them orally and in writing.

Language Forms and Functions

Ask and answer who, what, when, where, why, how questions orally and/or in writing before, during

and after reading.

Annotate texts while reading to identify key facts or details; Explain orally and/or in writing why specific

information is important, or what connections, ideas, or inferences can be drawn from the text.


Understand the meaning of prepositions and use prepositional phrases to add details in oral and written expression.

Form and use simple, complex, and compound oral and/or written sentences.

Academic Language Skills

Describe the overall structure of events in a text using drawings, pictures, labels, gestures, cause/effect charts and/or orally and in writing.

Interpret and explain information presented in visual sources, orally and/or in writing.

Unit 2

In this unit, students will read firsthand accounts of writers’ interactions with nature and novel excerpts in which characters encounter nature. They will build schema around the following concepts:

  • Plants and animals, including humans, interact with and depend upon each other and their environment to satisfy their basic needs.
  • Plant and animal characteristics can be affected by environment.
  • Knowledge of the natural world is based on observation and inquiry.
  • Nature’s beauty and conflicts with nature are recurring themes in literature. Characters reveal themselves through their responses to nature.

Enduring Understanding

The natural world elicits strong feelings and emotions in people.