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teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelization in the Modern World,
Pope Paul VI, #41). In the Curriculum that follows, please note that a Truth of the Faith that is being introduced will be bolded.
When introducing a new aspect of a teaching, present a brief overview of the truth of the Faith in the context of the Big
Picture which is developed in the Overview pages 2-6, helping the students to simply understand the teaching and to see
how it is connected to their life.
All other teachings of the Faith, which are not bolded, were introduced in a previous grade and are to be reinforced,
leading to greater understanding and integration into the students’ lives. August 6th, 2005
Transfiguration of our Lord Diocese of La Crosse Page 2 of 28 Grade 4
Profile of a Fourth-Grade Child
Enthusiasm, self-confidence and activity characterize this year. This is a period of steady growth in both
physical and mental ability. Athletic skill is very important in the development of nine-year-olds for it affects
their concept of success in winning and maintaining a coveted place among peers. Intellectually, nine-yearolds are sharpening study skills and becoming capable of a longer attention span. They continue to be
interested in living creatures and how they are made.
Fourth-graders are more concerned about right and wrongdoing at this stage. They want to live by rules, and
they want others to live by them too. They want to be accepted and to be part of a community. They
experience conflict and need to know how to deal with or resolve conflict. Faith Development Needs
Children at this level are in transition beyond childhood, therefore, they may exhibit behavior that is
inconsistent and disorganized. They are prone to quick emotional shifts. They may cry when emotions are
overtaxed. They need guidance, understanding, patience and encouragement from adults.
Older persons grow in importance to nine-year-olds, who are inclined toward hero-heroine worship, especially
people of action. They need to hear stories about missionaries, saints and contemporary persons involved in
living out the call of God in their lives. This is a good age to introduce the idea of vocations to the priesthood
and/or religious life.
Related to their need for freedom to make personal choices is the awareness that this freedom carries the
personal responsibility for acting in a Christian way. The understanding and formation of conscience begins to
take on a more significant role. Conscience becomes the call or invitation of Jesus to follow Him.
Their interest in law and rule keeping lays the foundation for studying Christ’s Law of Love and the Ten
Commandments. They need to understand that disobedience weakens the entire community and that Christians
need to forgive and seek forgiveness. They can gradually realize that each person is to be respected and loved
because of his/her inherent goodness and dignity as a child...
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