The following standards for grades K–5 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades. Beginning in grade 3, skills and understandings that are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking are marked with an asterisk (*).
Standards in this domain:
Conventions of Standard English
- L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
- Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
- Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
- Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
- Form and use prepositional phrases.
- Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.*
- Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).*
- L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- Use correct capitalization.
- Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
- Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
- Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.
Knowledge of Language
- L.4.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
- Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.*
- Choose punctuation for effect.*
- Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
- 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.
- Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
- Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., telegraph, photograph, autograph).
- 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.4.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
- Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.
- Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
- Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
- 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).