Grade 4 Health Curriculum

Family-facing version of the grade 4 health curriculum

Quarterly Overview of Grade 4 Health

The objectives and outcomes for each unit are common across FCPS and based on the Virginia Standards of Learning. The pacing by quarter and by week provides an example of how the curriculum can be organized throughout the year. Teacher teams may adjust the pacing or order of units to best meet the needs of students.

Lessons and Details

NOTE: Lessons with * are part of the Emotional and Social Health (ESH) unit of the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum and will be included within the health grade. Parents or guardians may choose to opt their child out of any or all lessons in the ESH unit.

Germs and the Immune System

Students will:

  • Identify the major structures and functions of the immune system.
  • Describe causes of communicable disease (e.g., how viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi are spread).
  • Describe the types and causes of noncommunicable/chronic diseases.
  • Describe how the immune system defends the body against germs and disease.
  • Analyze strategies for preventing communicable diseases.
  • Explain the role of heredity in some chronic diseases.
  • Describe the effects of nutrition, personal hygiene, and sleep on the immune system.
  • Develop a plan to prevent the spread of communicable disease.
  • Explore methods to reduce risks associated with noncommunicable/chronic disease.

Proteins and Fats

Students will:

  • Identify foods that contain saturated and trans fat.
  • Describe the importance of protein for growth and development.
  • Describe the effects of saturated and trans fat on overall health.
  • Identify a variety of animal and plant-based protein foods.
  • Identify ways to moderate intake of foods high in saturated and trans fats, including understanding the role of serving sizes.
  • Design snack options that include protein, vegetables, and fruit.

Serving Sizes and Additives

Students will: 

  • Determine how serving sizes, additives, preservatives, sodium, and added sugar content for a variety of foods affect health.
  • Compare serving sizes, additives, preservatives, sodium, and added sugar content of a variety of foods and beverages.
  • Identify ways to moderate intake of foods high in sugars, including understanding the role of serving sizes.
  • Explain how serving sizes, additives, preservatives, and added sugar affect one’s health over time (e.g., increased vulnerability to disease and obesity).

Healthy Behaviors

Students will:

  • Describe the benefits of rest, sleep, and a physically active lifestyle.
  • Explain how physical activity, rest, and sleep affect physical and mental health.
  • Create a plan to meet the daily requirement for physical activity, rest, and sleep, using valid and reliable resources.

Consequences of Using Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Students will: 

  • Compare the short- and long-term consequences of the use of alcohol, tobacco, nicotine products (e.g., vaping), marijuana, inhalants, and other drugs.

Refusal Skills

Students will: 

  • Compare the short- and long-term consequences of the use of alcohol, tobacco, nicotine products (e.g., vaping), marijuana, inhalants, and other drugs.
  • Identify effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to resist/refuse alcohol, tobacco, nicotine products (e.g., vaping), marijuana, inhalants, and other drugs.
  • Examine factors that can influence an individual’s decision to use or avoid alcohol, tobacco, nicotine products (e.g., vaping), marijuana, inhalants, and other drugs.
  • Describe the effects of peer pressure on use of alcohol, tobacco, nicotine products (e.g., vaping), marijuana, inhalants, and other drugs.
  • Determine the importance of resistance/refusal skills in saying "no" to alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, and other drugs.
  • Demonstrate effective refusal skills for situations involving peer pressure to use harmful substances.


Students will: 

  • Recognize the physical changes that occur during puberty and relate these changes to the increased need for personal hygiene.

Emotional, Mental, and Social Needs*

Students will: 

  • Identify basic emotional, mental, and social needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.


Students will: 

  • Identify the need to assume greater responsibility for self as an individual, as well as responsibility within family, peer groups, and larger community.

Recognizing Threatening, Uncomfortable, and Abusive Situations*

Students will: 

  • Recognize threatening or uncomfortable situations and how to react to them.


Students will: 

  • Recognize the values and challenges of friendship.

Being Respectful*

Students will:

  • Develop an awareness of individual differences and the importance of respecting others.

Healthy Self-Concept

Students will:

  • Describe self-concept and how it can be influenced by internal and external factors.
  • Describe how developing a healthy self-concept is an ongoing and essential life skill.
  • Explain how challenges and successes provide learning experiences to help develop a healthy self-concept.

Dealing with Loss and Grief

Students will:

  • Identify feelings and emotions associated with loss and grief and their impact on one's health.
  • Describe healthy coping skills for handling the emotions of loss and grief.
  • Identify strategies and resources, including understanding the role of school counselors, psychologists, and social workers, to manage feelings that may result from loss and grief.

Bullying and Aggressive Behaviors

Students will:

  • Explain the difference between teasing and taunting and when teasing and taunting can be considered bullying.
  • Recognize harmful or abusive relationships.
  • Explain how bullying impacts individuals and affects one’s health.
  • Explain the importance of seeking assistance from a trusted adult when in unsafe or uncomfortable situations.
  • Explain why bullying or teasing someone who may have different needs or abilities is inappropriate.
  • Promote strategies to report bullying and aggressive behaviors and to safely advocate and stand up for others. 
  • Identify trusted adults at home, in school, and in the community who can help with unsafe or uncomfortable situations.

Conflict Resolution and Communication

Students will:

  • Identify effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills (e.g., speaking, listening, eye contact, body language).
  • Recognize that every person is different and has different needs.
  • Describe steps to solve a conflict.
  • Analyze positive strategies for resolving conflict.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills. 
  • Practice initiating, sustaining, and ending conversations.
    Demonstrate strategies to resolve conflict in a variety of situations.

Personal Safety

Students will:

  • Explain appropriate protective gear when engaged in physical activities such as cycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, and water sports.
  • Explain the health consequences of not following safety practices for recreational activities.
  • Promote safe participation in recreational activities.

Internet and Online Gaming Safety

Students will:

  • Describe safe and unsafe use of the Internet, including online gaming.
  • Explain the consequences of unsafe Internet use.
  • Develop strategies for safe Internet and online gaming use.

Water Pollution

Students will:

  • Describe the effects of water pollution on health.
  • Explain the health consequences associated with water pollution.
  • Develop strategies to reduce water pollution.


Students will:

  • Identify community health issues.
  • Discuss the benefits of volunteering, and identify local volunteer opportunities.
  • Describe ways to show compassion for others.
  • Identify possible solutions for a community health issue and volunteer opportunities to address the issue.

Gun Safety

Students will:

  • Identify gun safety rules, to prevent accidents and injuries, and precautions, for making a good choice if a gun is discovered.
  • Develop steps to promote gun safety and prevent gun violence in the community.


Student assessments are part of the teaching and learning process.

  • Teachers give assessments to students on an ongoing basis to
    • Check for understanding 
    • Gather information about students' knowledge or skills.
  • Assessments provide information about a child's development of knowledge and skills that can help families and teachers better plan for next steps in instruction.

For testing questions or additional information about how schools and teachers use test results to support student success, families can contact their children's schools.

In Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), fourth grade tests focus on students’ developing content knowledge and skills.