Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

The  English Language Arts  Program of the  schools of the Diocese of Ogdensburg is based on the National Common Core  Standard.  As with all of our educational  programs, all instruction is centered in our Catholic Faith foundation.

In the context of all ELA instruction, students are expected to use the  following practices which include:

  • read and  work with a balance of informational and literary texts
  • apply  reading writing skills in science and social studies
  • develop  skill to read, analyze, evaluate texts that are increasing complex
  • support and  make inferences based on text based information
  • writing that  emphasizes the use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument
  • build  transferrable vocabulary to access grade level texts across disciplines

The content of grade four ELA is clearly outlined on  the Diocesan Report Card.  In addition to  the content and skills, writing is highly emphasized not only in ELA  but in all subject areas.  The Common  Core requires 4 types of writing – argument, informative/explanatory and  narrative.  Below you will find a strong writing  sample for this grade level that is the expected performance on a narrative  writing task.

Glowing Shoes             One quiet, Tuesday morning, I  woke up to a pair of bright, dazzling shoes, lying right in front of my bedroom  door. The shoes were a nice shade of violet and smelled like catnip. I found  that outbecause my cats, Tigger and Max, were rubbing on my legs, which  tickled.             When I started out the door, I  noticed that Tigger and Max were following me to school. Other cats joined in  as well. They didn’t even stop when we reached Main Street! “Don’t you guys have somewhere  to be?” I quizzed the cats. “Meeeeeooooow!” the crowd of  cats replied.             As I walked on, I observed many  more cats joining the stalking crowd. I moved more swiftly. The crowd of cats’  walk turned into a prance. I sped up. I felt like a rollercoaster zooming past  the crowded line that was waiting for their turn as I darted down the sidewalk  with dashing cats on my tail.             When I reached the school  building . . . SLAM! WHACK! “Meeyow!” The door closed and every single cat flew  and hit the door.             I walked upstairs and took my  seat in the classroom. “Mrs. Miller!  Something smells like catnip!  Could you open the windows so the smell will  go away? Pleeeeaase?” Zane whined. “Oh, sure! We could all use some  fresh air right now during class!” Mrs. Miller thoughtfully responded. “Nooooooo!” I screamed.             When the teacher opened the  windows, the cats pounced into the building. “It’s a cat attack!” Meisha  screamed             Everyone scrambled on top of their desks.  Well, everyone except Cade, who was absolutely obsessed with cats. “Awww! Look at all the fuzzy  kitties! They’re sooo cute! Mrs. Miller, can I pet them?” Cade asked, adorably. “Why not! Pet whichever one you  want!” she answered. “Thanks! Okay, kitties, which  one of you wants to be petted by Cade Dahlin?” he asked the cats. None of them  answered. They were all staring at me. “Uh, hi?” I stammered.             Rrriiiiinng! The recess bell  rang. Everyone, including Mrs. Miller, darted out the door. “Hey! Look over there!” Lissa shouted. Formed  as an ocean wave, the cats ran toward me.         Luckily,  Zane’s cat, Buddy, was prancing along with the aroma of catnip surrounding his  fur. He ran up to me and rubbed on my legs. The shoes fell off. Why didn’t I  think of this before? I notioned.

“Hey  Cade! Catch!” Cade grabbed the shoes and  slipped them on.             The cats changed directions and  headed for Cade. “I’m in heaven!” he shrieked.

Criteria used to evaluate this piece  as a strong writing sample include:

  • orients  the reader by establishing a situation and introducing the narrator and  characters.
  • organizes an  event sequence that unfolds naturally
  • uses dialogue  and description to develop experiences and events
  • 4 uses concrete  words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events  precisely
  • provides a  conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events
  • demonstrates  good command of the conventions of standard written English