Preparing Boys for Life.

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade teachers construct lessons that encourage boys to develop independence and take ownership in their learning. Each boy becomes more proficient as a reader, writer, mathematician, and researcher. Hands-on activities, inquiry-style lessons, and differentiated instruction allow our teachers to maximize the learning of each boy.

It is also during this time that boys begin to experience biological changes preluding adolescence; our teachers help guide both boys and their parents in learning what to expect and how to best support their son.


Our Language Arts curriculum is heavily integrated with Social Studies units. Through the lens of Modern Mexico, Ancient Greece, and the United States in the 1800s, students learn and practice a variety of comprehension skills. Highlights include:

  • Practicing note-taking as they learn about the migration of Monarch butterflies
  • Implementing research skills and non-fiction writing as they delve into Westward Expansion
  • Investigating Greek myths, legends, and heroes

Boys read both fictional literature and biographies that align with the topics of study, allowing them to deepen reading comprehension, build empathy, and further their understanding of the world around them.

Boys also practice writing fictional narratives, non-fiction informational essays, opinion and persuasive writing, and historical fiction. Studies include style and voice, grammar and mechanics, and the celebration of writing as an ongoing practice.


Haverford utilizes the Everyday Math curriculum, a spiraling system that allows teachers to cover math facts, operations, fractions and decimals, geometry, and problem solving, while deepening student understanding. Our differentiated instruction for 75 minutes each day allows us to reach every student, while still offering ability-appropriate challenges and enrichment. We emphasize the process of solving problems, working cooperatively, and thinking mathematically.

Social Studies

Fourth grade boys are immersed in rich experiential trimester themes that study modern Mexico , Ancient Greece, and Western Expansion of the 1800s. Boys are immersed in their learning units, including a trimester of Spanish language during their cultural study of Mexico. They also take on the role of actor, both in a biographical research project and during two performances: "Odysseus and the Cyclops" and "Oregon Trail."


Science offers active, experiential, and collaborative learning engagement. Boys employ a hands-on, minds-on approach to learning the scientific method. Areas of study include:

  • Technology and Design: Engineering and Robotics
  • Life Science: Animal Behavior and Anatomical Structures
  • Earth Science: Rocks and Minerals, Earth’s Movement and Astronomy
  • Physical Science: Phases of Matter, Acids/Bases, Forensic Chemistry, Electricity and Magnetism


Fourth grader boys have advanced capability to manipulate materials, enabling them to create a variety of inspiring work. Their artistic endeavors incorporate both three-dimensional and two-dimensional creations. Boys are challenged to cultivate their verbal skills and artistic awareness as they speak about their own work and discuss the work of others. They refine their mastery of pencil, graphite, painting, and ceramic mediums.


Haverford uses the Kódaly approach to teach boys to read increasingly more intricate melodic and rhythmic notation through a rich variety of authentic folk music from America and around the world. Boys continue their study of reading music and performing in the Treble Choir. In fourth grade, boys may elect to receive a year of study on a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. Ensemble opportunities include Treble Choir, Fantastic Fords, String Ensemble, and Chime Choir.

Learn more about our music program >

Physical Education

Our Athletic Department and sports programs not only promote athleticism, but also camaraderie, sportsmanship, fair play, and good competition. The major areas of focus in the fourth grade program include:

  • cardiovascular endurance
  • muscular strength, endurance & flexibility
  • foot-eye and hand-eye coordination
  • swimming and pool safety
  • cooperative games implementing physical skills

All activities in our curriculum are designed to foster the skills necessary for our boys to be successful in their athletic interests, develop character through sportsmanship and cooperation, and promote participation and enthusiasm.


Favorite characters come to life in the Lower School library, where our boys develop a love of reading. While reading and responding to stories, the boys practice a number of important skills, including how to:

  • Locate and select a variety of materials for reading pleasure
  • Use the library’s resources to satisfy classroom assignments and personal inquiries
  • Research topics with understanding of strong sources
  • Use information technology responsibly

Fourth grade at The Haverford School has been a year of tremendous growth for my son. The faculty at the school has challenged him to reach his full potential in academics, but they have also taught him important lessons in character, ethics, and decision making. These life skills are shaping him as a young man, and he will carry them with him for the rest of his life. Deb Putter, parent