Teach Legends In The Fourth Grade

Robin Hood is a legend most fourth-grade children are familiar with.

Using legends to teach fourth-grade standards is a way to get children interested and learning through fun stories. There are many legends that can be brought into class, such as Paul Bunyan, Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Engage your class with a good legend and use it as a platform to teach similes, metaphors, personification and more.


1. Introduce to the students the definition of a legend. Explain that a legend is a story handed down from generation to generation and includes information about the past. They usually take place during a specific time in history and in a specific place; for example, Robin Hood is set in 12th-century England.

2. Read aloud a legend, such as Johnny Appleseed, to get children familiar with what a legend is. Discuss questions with the class such as what the legend tells you about the time period, what characters of the story were important, what parts of the legend makes it interesting to people.

3. Check your state standards and see what specific standards a fourth grader needs to know. As a class, begin to read together Robin Hood. As the story is read, list on chart paper the structural elements of the legend. Save the chart paper and later, as you read different genres, such as fairy tales, fables and myths, begin the discuss with children the structural differences.

4. Introduce vocabulary words that fourth graders are not familiar with, such as dwell, rogue, wrath and warily. Provide students with a student-friendly definition that they will understand. Have them record it in a vocabulary notebook.

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5. Focus on figurative language that takes place in the story and point it out to the students as you go through the text, such as similes, metaphors, hyperbole and personification. Have the class record them in a notebook.

6. Map the story using a graphic organizer. Have children list the characters, setting the problem and the events that take place in chronological order.