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Updated by glassjames2 on Jul 08, 2019
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21st Century Fourth Grade Learners

This is a list of lesson ideas that help 4th grade students learn the "Eight Must Have Skills for the 21st century": Communication, Digital Citizenship, Digital Literacy, Problem Solving, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Teamwork, and Entrepreneurship.



Today most 4th grade students have had an interaction with games like Minecraft, Fortnight, or Roblox. Embedded in these games is a communication tool that allows players to talk with each other. This lesson plan is designed to help children think about positive social interaction within video game worlds. I have also included multiple lesson plans that help students further develop communication skills through formal email and letter writing.

Lesson Plan:
Keeping Games Fun and Friendly
Writing Good Emails
Writing Letters of Gratitude
Writing Letters of Encouragement
Using Letters to Communicate Across Long Distances
Celebrating Unusual Holidays with Letter Writing
Writing Letters to a Favorite Author
Teaching Students How to Address and Mail Letters


Digital Citizenship

In this digital 21st-century world kids are searching, watching, playing, talking, and learning on the internet almost daily. The first lesson plan is designed to help students learn the basics of what it means to be a digital citizen and how to be a digital superhero. The second lesson plan is designed to help kids think through ownership rights of online material.

Lesson Plan:
Super Digital Citizen
A Creator's Rights and Responsibilities


Digital Literacy

As kids engage with the world through the internet, they need to develop skills to analyze the accuracy and reliability of information. These skills are crucial to the development of a student's digital literacy. The first lesson plan is designed to help kids learn to evaluate and locate accurate and reliable sources. The second lesson plan helps students learn how to read online news articles. With the plethora of "fake news", kids need to learn how to evaluate and read reliable information more effectively.

Lesson Plan:
Evaluating Reliable Sources
Reading News Online


Problem Solving

In our modern world, one of the most important problem-solving skills is how to find new information online. The first lesson plan is a multi-day unit that helps kids navigate the research process and solve problems along the way, from brainstorming to an online published paper. The second lesson plan is an online PDF that gives 50 mini-lesson ideas which can be strung together in a variety of ways.

Lesson Plan:
From Brainstorming to Published Paper
50 Mini-Lessons for Teaching Students Research Skills


Emotional Intelligence

It can be a challenge for anyone to control their emotions, but especially for children when they are using technology. The "online wall" allows people to say things that they wouldn't normally say to a person's face. This raw form of communication can be hurtful and this lesson plan helps kids learn how to navigate these situations in an appropriate way. I have included a second lesson plan that emphasizes social-emotional skills such as compassion and empathy.

Lesson Plan:
The Power of Words
The Compassion Project Course Overview
The Compassion Project Information Sheet





When engaging with peers and other individuals in our modern world, students need to develop teamwork skills. I have included two lesson plans to help students develop teamwork skills. Additionally I have included two lists of team-building games and activities for elementary students which could serve as precursors to the formal lesson plans or as post-lesson activities.

Lesson Plans:
Working Effectively in Groups
Building Blocks Team Building Lesson Plan
10 Team-Building Games that Promote Critical Thinking
26 Awesome Team-Building Games and Activities for Kids



It is important for kids to understand the value of money and how a business runs. I have included the info sheet for an economy course for elementary students called Vault: Understanding Money. This online course is free for teachers. I have also included a link to four economic lessons for upper elementary aged students.
In addition I have included an entrepreneurship course designed for upper elementary students with a sample lesson and the link to the website which has the whole collection of 14 lesson plans and the appropriate instructional videos.

Lesson Plan:
Vault: Understanding Money Course Overview
Vault: Understanding Money Information Sheet
Practical Money Skills
Cha-Ching Classroom Lesson Plan Sample
Cha-Ching Home Website