Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 4: Wildfires

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Common Core Standards

Reading Informational Text

RI.4.1  Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RI.4.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

RI.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

RI.4.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

RI.4.7 Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

RI.4.9 Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

RI.4.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

W.4.2(a) Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

W.4.2(b) Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.

W.4.2(c) Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another,for example, also, because).

W.4.2(d) Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

W.4.2(e) Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.4.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

W.4.8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

W.4.9(b) Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text").

W.4.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.


L.4.2(b) Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.

L.4.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

L.4.3(a) Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.

L.4.3(b) Choose punctuation for effect.

L.4.3(c) Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).

L.4.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

L.4.4(a) Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

L.4.4(b) Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., telegraph, photograph, autograph).

L.4.5(c) Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

L.4.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g.,wildlife, conservation, and endangered when discussing animal preservation).

Speaking and Listening

SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Description of Unit

This Grade 4 unit titled “Wildfires” developed by the Fresno Unified School District is the first of three units in a module. It is comprised of twenty learning tasks which integrate literacy and science content through a series of interactive reading, writing, speaking processes, text dependent writing, and speaking activities. In the authentic summative assessment, students write an article for a science magazine citing evidence from a variety of sources.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials will require familiarity to be used effectively. The main text, WILDFIRES by Seymour Simon is not included but could be replaced with another informational text.  For planning purposes, teachers should be aware that each of the twenty tasks in the unit lists the specific Common Core Standards targeted in that task.

Rationale for Selection

This unit is an exemplary example of how to address all of the key shifts in the CCSS: Reading Text Closely, Text-Based Evidence, Writing from Sources, Academic Vocabulary, Increasing Text Complexity, Building Disciplinary Knowledge, Balance of Texts, and Balance of Writing.  The unit tasks build students’ science content knowledge and their understanding of reading and writing through the coherent selection of texts. The tasks provide all students with multiple opportunities to engage with text of appropriate complexity and integrate supports in reading, writing, listening and speaking for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band. The unit materials provide extensions opportunities. A Common Core aligned rubric provides sufficient guidance for interpreting individual student performance.

The video cited in the unit can be accessed by selecting this link: