Reading,Language Arts, and Writing in the Fourth Grade

What better way to read or tell a story than through a combination of words and pictures? Students can use multireference disks to help students brainstorm ideas for their essays and compositions. See the Software page for programs to help you incorporate reading through the computer.

A book report can be improved with electronic references, by reading about the author's life and times, exploring others who have written books on similar topics, or learning more about the setting in which the book takes place. Current CD-ROM collections of literature, annotated inventively with hypertext links and valuable commentary, enable any student to easily understand the various allusions, metaphors, and cross references that make literature fully enjoyable and understandable.

Websites (student search engine)!/ (web search for kids by librarians) (student search engine) (student search engine) (digital teaching and learning search engine) (topics to inform and educate) (student search engine) (student search engine) (start your own book club (for kids))


Students use the computer as a tool to stimulate and organize the brainstorming process as the first step toward creating a well-written document. Kid Pix is a software tool available to help in thinking and brainstorming.

Word Processor

For some projects, a better brainstorming tool might be the simple word processor.As ideas come to mind, type them down line by line on a page in the word processor. New idea, new line. The important thing to remember is that you are brainstorming, not composing sentences for the assignment itself. The talking word processor and rebus features of Kid Works can help students collect their thoughts. They can also listen to their oral reports while writing the essence of the idea. ESL (English as a Second Language) students may benefit from a talking word processor.

Idea Web

Many teachers use an idea web to help students with the first stages of the writing process. An idea web links brainstormed ideas graphically.A computer drawing program can help a student generate, compose, and revise a web moving elements from place to place, making new links, and so forth.


A spreadsheet can help in the writing process. At this stage it can help in the recording and ordering of ideas.

Slide Show

To make a quick storyboard, upper elementary students can use the Slide Show function of programs like Microsoft Power Point. Let each page or each slide represent one event or one idea that you've brainstormed. Use words or images to represent each idea. Images can come from your drawing or from a collection of clip art that accompanies slide show programs.

Student Sample:,1,Slide 1


Storybook creation programs such as Storybook Weaver from MECC and Imagination Express from Edmark can also help get the creative juices flowing when a student is called upon to do creative writing. All the elements of a classic fairy tale, legend, fable, or science fiction story are available in the program, including great scenery, classic and not-so classic charcaters, and all sorts of props.


Have your students

Software provided by MCPS

Arthur's Reading Race

Bailey's Book House

Imagination Express

Kid Phonics

My First Dictionary

Reader Rabbit's Math 6-9

Stanley Sticker Stories

Typing Tutor 7

Sample Lesson Friends Poem Matching Game

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