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Lower School

4th Grade

Student: Teacher Ratio
Field Experiences Annually
4 to 6
Languages Studied (Mandarin/Spanish)
Recesses Daily

4th Grade

Fourth grade is focused on applying skills learned in the primary years and acquiring effective study habits, including management of materials and personal responsibilities. Curiosity, an essential skill for critical thinking and success, is fostered through inquiry based lessons across the curriculum. Musical and dramatic talents are showcased in a class performance that emphasizes a piece of the Fourth Grade curriculum.  Fourth Graders are active and inquisitive and enjoy a great deal of action-oriented activities in all areas. Field experiences may include a drama performance, a day trip to Philadelphia, canoeing and hiking at the Anita Leight Estuary Center, and sailing on a Skipjack through the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Living Classrooms. As the first year that students earn letter grades, students gain more independence, take on increased responsibilities, and hone leadership skills.  In addition, the students serve as Big Buddies to Harford Day School K-Prep students.
Questions? Call 410-838-4848
“We have been consistently impressed with the quality of education and opportunities for personal growth that HDS provides to its students, both as displayed during the application process and during the start of this school year.”
– Fourth Grade Parent

Enriched Course Offerings



Students reinforce their knowledge and use of the fundamental elements of art: line, shape, color, pattern and texture. Yearlong focus is on American art history with an emphasis on maritime related art, which correlates with their studies of the Chesapeake Bay in other subject areas. Fundamental layout and design are introduced in relation to creating interesting and balanced posters, reports, and other visuals.


Fourth Graders apply their knowledge of rhythms and pitches in order to improvise and compose. They continue to accompany singing and play ensemble pieces on the xylophone. They sing in multiple parts and work on choral skills like singing in their head voices and blending. West African percussion gives them the opportunity to learn about other cultures, while challenging them with new rhythms. Their performances include the Holiday Program and Fourth Grade Musical.
Media Studies

Media Studies

Students continue to work with the Dewey Decimal System and learn to recognize different genres of literature, expand reference skills, and use of the automated library catalog system. They evaluate criteria for quality in books and participate in the Black-Eyed Susan Award Program, reading and evaluating picture books. Students gain experience using various websites. Students are exposed to proper care and use of computers, equipment, and software. There is a strong emphasis on logical thinking, etiquette and manners, including those involved with email and password protection. Using primarily Google Suite, Wixie, ABC ya, Education.com and various web resources, students begin to master keyboarding, graphic design, presentations, desktop publishing, and word processing. Internet safety activities are used to demonstrate safe use of communication technologies.
Physical Education

Physical Education

Team sports may include: field hockey, soccer, basketball, Newcombe volleyball, flag football, kickball, and ultimate Frisbee. Teamwork, good sportsmanship, and fitness are stressed.
Questions? Call 410-838-4848

Core Courses

Language Arts

Language Arts skills are presented through reading a variety of trade books. Comprehension is taught and reinforced through the study of literature including setting, plot, theme, character development, conflict, and cause/effect as they develop higher level thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are cultivated through the reading and discussion of a variety of novels. Analytical writing in response to texts read in class is introduced, as well as practice in writing narratives, descriptive pieces, persuasive essays, poems, and comparisons. Students also engage in lessons focusing on grammar concepts: sentence structure; parts of speech - nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions; usage - nouns/verbs - irregular plural forms, subject-verb agreement; irregular verb forms; adjectives; pronouns; mechanics (capitalization, punctuation). Vocabulary is taught in context using words chosen from current novels. Spelling patterns are reinforced and applied in written composition.


In math, students continue to gain a strong foundation of skills including place value, operations with whole numbers, and operations with fractions and decimals. Students examine number patterns and expressions to begin the study of pre-algebraic concepts. Measurement and geometry are also integral units in the course.


The major themes in science are studied each year in the lower school including: classification, change over time, energy, engineering design, forces and interactions, measurement, problem solving/process/scientific methods, structure and function, systems, and collaborative discovery through hands-on explorations. In fourth grade, the course begins with the introduction to the scientific method and the processes used by scientists and includes an in-depth study of the Chesapeake Bay, a unit on astronomy, and an overview of the systems of the human body.

U.S. History

U.S. History is a survey course that transitions students into their first study of history as a discipline. Studies begin with a review of the basic elements of geography, mapping, and direction. Students then study Native American tribes and progress through the Age of Exploration and the early colonization of America. The course culminates with a focus on the Revolutionary War.


Spanish instruction includes the core elements of language instruction: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary acquisition and correct grammar are practiced through target language conversation, games, songs, and projects. Units include days of the week, months of the year, numbers, colors, greetings, holidays, family, and classroom objects. Students begin the study of Spanish language syntax including the conjugation of verbs. Students also study Hispanic cultural events such as the Day of the Dead and La Navidad.

Harford Day is the only PK3 to Grade 8 independent school in Harford County accredited by AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland/DC Schools) and a member of NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools).
Non-discrimination Statement
Application to Harford Day School is open to all students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin,
 sexual orientation, or disability. Harford Day School does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, financial policies, financial aid programs, and other administered extra-curricular or administrative programs.

The Harford Day Mission
At Harford Day School, learning is a joyful process rooted in respectful relationships, strong traditions, and an innovative program that fosters confidence, imagination, curiosity, and engagement with the world.