In fourth grade, all students will take the Nebraska State Writing Test.  It is a two-day test that every fourth grade student in Nebraska must take.  The prompt is different each year, but the story must be true and it must be written in personal narrative form.   Scores range from 0 (nothing done) to 8 (exceptional).


We will have two Omaha Public Schools practice tests that will be graded by teachers across the district.  The first is usually in late September or early October, and the second is in December.  These tests are excellent opportunities for the students to see their improvements in writing.





Sentence Fluency

Word Choice





Sound Effects -(Describes the sounds heard by the main character)

Ex: "Boom! Boom! Ka-Boom! My brother thundered down the stairs."

Begin with Dialogue -(Conversation between two of the main characters)

Ex: "I can't wait for summer," shouted my best friend Shelly!

Hyperbole- (Comparing two things that are not alike)

Ex: The pumpkin was as big as a shool bus!

Start with a Question- (Begin by asking your reader a question)

Ex: Have you ever been afraid to fly? Well I was!




A Memorable Ending-

Ex: I'll always remember the day I fell down the stairs.


The Main Character's Feelings-

Ex: I was so happy to see my dog again after that frustrating day when I lost her in the dark, gloomy forest.

The Main Character's Hopes/Wishes-

Ex: I hope I never have to look for a lost dog again. It was a sad day I will always remember.


A Decision or Defining Action-

Ex: I will never again take my eyes off my parents at Walmart because I was so afraid that day I got lost.

 Figurative Language


Personification-a figure of speech that gives human qualities to animlas, objects, or ideas

Idioms-an expression that cannot be translated into another language

Alliteration- the repeated consonant at the beginning of words

Onomonopeia-words that mimic sounds

Imagery-language that appeals to our five senses

Metaphor-a figure of speech, that compares two unlike things not using like or as

Simile-a figure of speech, that compares two unlike things using the words like or as

Hyperbole-an exaggerated phrase to heighten effect



brainstorming, getting ideas onto paper, graphic organizer (4 square, word web)


use graphic organizer to create rough draft, form paragraphs

Revising and Editing

polish draft using traits, conventions check-up, use colorful writing


change rough draft into a publishable copy, double check final draft, create title, practice reading aloud


share published copy, compliment and critique, portfolios