The central theme of U.S. History is a key component of Fourth Grade social studies, literature, and writing and a diverse pallet of activities engages and challenges students throughout the year. The class gains an in-depth understanding of the important events that helped shape the U.S.’ rich history as well as the people who form modern society, as they ask big questions about history and are guided to identify the varied perspectives that lead to meaningful answers. Fourth Grade regularly takes advantage of our close proximity to Philadelphia and other sites of national importance to make history come alive for students. Students learn about math with the school curriculum, supplemented by teacher Will Starr’s book Circus Math. Making such concrete connections between math and the circus that students prepare during the year strengthens students’ investment in both. Students are challenged in different moments to work independently and collaboratively, and find the value in both. Add to this already rich curriculum the study of 20th Century American Music, a four-day trip to the nation’s capital, and a year long study of circus that culminates with three performances in the spring; Fourth Grade is a very active and productive year.  

Area of Study


In the Fourth Grade study of Mathematics, students build tenacity as they approach a variety of topics according to the Math in Focus model and through a real-world context for problem solving. Learn more.

Language Arts

The Fourth Grade Language Arts curriculum is enriched by its relation to the class’ emphasis on U.S. history, with activities that expand reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Learn more.

Social Studies

The study of U.S. History is central to most aspects of the Fourth Grade classroom. From daily reflections on current events, to creating vivid connections to the past through our historic surroundings, history is ever present. Learn more.


In Fourth Grade, teachers interact with students individually and in groups to build self-awareness and elasticity relative to one’s environment. Learn more.


Washington DC (four-day experience) – Students explore monuments, parks, and museums and bring all their learning about U.S. history to life. Fourth Graders experience guided independence, choosing foods and learning how to tip and budget their cash. Staying in a Quaker “hostel”, students have time to reflect on their experiences daily.

The Mold Symposium: a Fourth Grade Central Experience

Students use the scientific method to carefully design and conduct a one-variable experiment involving how mold grows on food. They create boards to share their hypotheses and conclusions in a semi-formal scientific symposium of four local Quaker schools. Designing an original “Mold T-shirt” and creating a “Mold Song” for this forum create a full STEAM experience.

And let’s not forget… The Circus

At three performances in March, students put on a polished show for a packed house, complete with unicycling, juggling, skits, songs, wire walking, and trapeze (and more!). Many months of physical preparation are obvious, but equally important is the collaboration and planning that have gone into students’ writing the various skits, imagining the set, and breaking down physical challenges into manageable pieces. Read more about the unparalleled skills learned with the Circus.