Fourth grade science curriculum focuses on nature, such as plant, weather, pollution, and the earth’s place in the solar system. The following list of lessons was adapted from the list at World Book Encyclopedia. I am adding suggestions you can use to teach these lessons.
Scientific method and scientific inquiry: If you saw my previous guides, you know that scientific method and scientific inquiry is taught yearly. For this reason, I feel that it is not necessary to teach this topic in length yearly, but to reinforce what was taught in previous years. Just about every science textbook or resource book that you get your hand on will have a chapter on scientific theory. The most important thing you can do however to teach scientific theory is to do regular experiments using the steps set forward in the scientific method and inquiry lessons.
Environment of the local region: In exploring the environment of the local region, it makes sense to explore the local region pointing out things that are unique to your area. A well-planned trip to your local zoo and local historic gardens can provide some very informational tours.
Biological organization: Teach students that the body (all-biological organisms) is made up of smaller independent systems. For example, the human body starts with individual cells, which makes up tissue, which makes up organs, which makes up the body’s system. For my kids, many of these lessens were learned viewing ‘Bodies, the Exhibition” which is a traveling scientific exhibition that features actual human specimens. The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia also does an excellent job of teaching this in the chapter on biology.
The human body: This should be included in learning about biological organization.
Classification systems: Teach students how each living thing is classified such as mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, bacterial algae, and plants. (These are just a few classifications.) BioEd Online website does a great job of demonstrating these systems.
Living Creatures: The following subjects can be taught with individual book found at the library or in chapters in any science book:
The insect world
The reptilian world
Plants and animals of the past
Structure of plants
Ecosystems: teaches student about different climates such as the rain forest, food chains, and ocean life.
Balance of nature: is an important part of teaching about ecosystems.
Oceans and the hydrosphere: is also an important part of teaching about ecosystems.
Weather: Children should have been taught about weather from the beginning of their school years. To this, you will want to add:
Cause of seasons
Earth and its history: These lessons will of course depend on whether you want to focus on creationism or evolution. For Christians who prefer to teach creationism, it is also important to inform children of the other theory and to equip them to defend their beliefs about the history of the earth.
Other science topics you will want to teach in the fourth grade are:
Air and water pollution
Magnets and electricity
Light and color
Solar system and the universe and living in space.
During the time when I taught my children science, (as they now take homeschool classes), our science curriculum followed our history lessons. So as we taught history in chronological order, we also taught inventions in chronological time an also the effect history had on the earth, plants and animals. We also taught about each scientist of the time period and his theories and discoveries.