English Language Arts


This area of learning includes big ideas related to childrens early language and literacy. These big ideas support students development of effective communication and literacy skills such as reading and writing.  By clicking on any of the progressions below, activities are provided to help you support your child at home.  Should you wish to print these activities for quick reference, click on the printer icon included with each progression.


Big Idea

A kindergarten student will independently write more than one complete thought on a single topic, using phonetic spelling and key print conventions.   Spelling and basic concepts of writing allow students to communicate ideas.

Beginning

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student describes the difference between print and illustrations while identifying that letters form words in any given print (e.g., environmental print, books, magazines, charts).
Book Study: While reading a picture book or beginning reader book with your child, ask your child to point to the text on the page. Use the pictures to ask your child to predict what the text might say on the page. Pick a letter known to your child and then ask your child to identify that letter in the text. Turn the tables and have your child call out a letter and have you identify that letter on the page. Ask your child if you are correct.


Emerging

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student distinguishes between a letter, a word, and a sentence. Verbally identifies components of a sentence, and identifies that words are separated by spaces in print within their illustration/ writing.
Letter, Word, or Sentence?: When reading books, ask your child to point to a specific word or letter. For example, say let’s find a letter on this page that is the same as the first letter of your name. Ask about a word.  For example, say help me find the word dog. Ask your child t0 use two fingers to point to two different words and comment that there are spaces between words. Ask your child how to identify the start and end of a sentence. Extend this activity in your child’s own writing by asking your child to help write a thank you note, write down your day’s activities, or document through words a picture that your child has drawn.


Developing

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student applies varied spacing between words, experiments with capitalizing the first letter of sentences, and may place a period at the end of line.
Keep a Child/Parent Daily Diary: Provide a small journaling book for your child. Ask your child to write about the most fun, interesting, or exciting thing about his or her day. Add your own statement about your day and ask your child to read both entries to you. Model appropriate capitalization, spacing, and punctuation in your writing to help your child make similar associations in his or her writing.


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student applies consistent spacing between words, uses periods, and capitalizes the first letter of the sentence, and pronoun I.
Schoolwork Review: As your child brings home his or her schoolwork, review your child’s writing. Point out spacing between words, punctuation, and capitalization.
Student uses grade appropriate grammar and usage.
Pen Pals: Provide opportunities for your child to write letters or brief notes to family members or friends. As your child composes these letters or notes, talk about writing conventions such as spacing between words, punctuation, and capitalization.


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student uses consistent spacing and punctuation within their writing. Student may capitalize proper nouns.
I am an Author!: Choose some pictures you might have taken or that your child has drawn and weave them into a make-it-yourself book. Ask your child to provide text about the pictures. Comment on your child’s spacing of words and sentences, punctuation, and capitalization skills.
Beginning

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student uses strings of letters.
It’s All in a Name: Encourage your child to begin to spell using strings of letters. Children are curious about writing their names, names of their siblings and pets, and other key phrases (e.g., love you, places, and labeling drawings). Although your child’s spelling might not be perfect, praise attempts at their spelling.


Emerging

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student uses salient sounds in a word, such as initial sound, to label the illustration.
Creative Captions: As your child produces drawings, ask him to describe in writing what he included in the picture or generate and write a title for the drawing.


Developing

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student uses phonetic spelling with initial and final sound accuracy.
Cub Reporter: Ask your child to write the words and brief sentences that you dictate.  It is helpful to make the words or sentences into a short story.  Once the story is complete, ask her to read the story back to you.​

Student segments onsets of single-syllable spoken words when communicating what he or she has written.


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student uses spelling with initial, medial, and final sound accuracy for one- syllable CVC words, and blends and segments onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words when communicating what he or she has written.
Swap a letter: Create cards with single letters of word families (e.g., cat, mat, sat, pat, flat). Have your child draw cards with the phonemes and write down their selections.

Distinguishes between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ when spelling phonetically.
Student uses invented spelling for words that are more complex and do not follow phonetically regular CVC words.
Story Writing: Encourage your child to compose brief stories. Allow your child to use invented spelling in their writing. Ask your child to read back their writing.


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student uses phonetic spelling as well as final –e, digraphs and/or blends in multi-syllabic words. Student pronounces, blends, and segments syllables into spoken words when spelling phonetically. Phonetic spelling supports communication.
Story Writing: Encourage your child to compose brief stories. Allow your child to use invented spelling in their writing. Ask your child to read back their writing. 
Beginning

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student writes labels for illustrations using a string of letters and dictates an idea.
Creative Captions: As your child produces drawings, ask him to describe in writing what is included in the picture by labeling or writing an idea that comes from viewing the drawing.
Student uses several marks to communicate ideas which may include letters, letter-like shapes, symbols, and/or numbers. Student writes own name.
Home Mailbox: Encourage your child to write notes to other members of the family. Your child can practice writing her name by signing the notes.


Emerging

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student writes labels for illustrations using salient letters or words, and dictates a sentence.
Name that Picture: Ask your child to compose a caption for his or her drawing. If this is a new skill for your child, your child can dictate the caption to you as you write.


Developing

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student writes a complete thought or phrase and illustrates to communicate ideas.
Leave a Note: Ask your child to leave a note, plan an activity for the day, or write a note for another reason. If the note or story is incomplete, pose some questions for your child to extend the writing. Ask your child to read the text back to you.
The intended message and what the child wrote is congruent (i.e., the child writes something and can read it back to you, and what is written/drawn and communicated matches and makes sense).


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently writes on a single topic and shows a logical sequence or relationship between ideas. Student uses acquired words and phrases. Student illustrates if he or she desires.
Tell Me About Your Day: Ask your child to write a brief story about his or her day. You can prompt your child by asking him or her what the first activity was and then subsequent activities as your child composes the story.


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently produces a piece of writing on a single topic that includes an introduction, key details, and may have a sense of closure. Student illustrates if he or she desires.
A Surprise Story: Ask your child to compose a brief story on one topic for you. Help your child by reminding him or her about a beginning, the middle, and an end to the story. Once complete, read the story together!

Big Idea

A kindergarten student will independently read grade-level texts of different genres with accuracy and demonstrate comprehension by answering text dependent questions.  Students will read different types of text, both fiction and non-fiction, in order to answer questions about what they have read.


Beginning

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student describes familiar people, places, things, and events in conversation and, with prompting and support, provides additional detail.
Same or Different?: Have your child choose a narrative story that he or she likes. As you read the story and learn about the characters within the story, ask your child how alike or different the character’s experiences are when compared to his own experiences. For example, how might a character in the story be similar to a member of your child’s family? How might the location of the story be different from your child’s home or other familiar location?
Student uses finger to follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page-by-page.
Book Rules: As you read a book with your child, talk about how one reads from left to right, from top to bottom, and from page to page.
Student orally identifies or communicates characters, settings, and major events from familiar stories read aloud by others.
Book Walk: Before reading through a familiar text, ask your child to tell you about the characters in the text, where the story takes place, and what happens in the story.  While reading, encourage your child to recite familiar parts of the story that encourage a student to think about what happens next.


Emerging

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student retells key details and major events orally, with pictures, or illustrations from familiar story books read aloud by others.
Book Walk: Before reading through a familiar text, ask your child to tell you about the characters in the text, where the story takes place, and what happens in the story.  While reading, encourage your child to recite familiar parts of the story that encourage a student to think about what happens next. 


Developing

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
With multiple readings of early decodable books, the student answers questions identifying one or more as appropriate: characters, setting, and/or main topic/idea and retells the story.
Book Expert: As your child becomes more familiar with early and decodable books, ask your child more complex questions about the character, setting, or main idea of the story. Focus on key details and unknown words.
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Student answers questions about key details.
Student answers questions about unknown words.
Student identifies the role of author and illustrator.
Playing Librarian: As you read texts, ask your child to identify the author(s) and illustrator(s) of text. Ask your child what the role of the author is and what the illustrator contributes to the book.


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
With multiple independent readings of early emergent-reader text of different genres (storybooks, poems, nonfiction), student describes the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
What This Book Tells Me: As your child repeatedly reads a text (storybooks, poems, nonfiction), ask your child questions about events in the story, how two characters might be related or what they think might happen next or differently if an event in the story changed. Your child can tell you the answers in words or through drawing.
Student compares the beginning and end of a text for character/ individual experiences using words and illustrations.
Student identifies author’s purpose.
Playing Librarian: As you read texts, ask your child to talk about why the author might have written the book the way the author did.
Student describes the similarities and differences of two texts on the same topics using words and illustrations.
What’s the Theme or Trend?: Ask your child to pick two books that have similar characters or themes, and read the two texts. Once the two texts are read, ask about how the two books are similar or different. She can state or draw the differences.


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
With multiple independent readings of emergent-reader text of different genres (storybooks, poems, nonfiction), student infers central message or lesson, determines the meaning of words and phrases, and describes the connections between two individuals, events, or ideas within a text.
Solo Reader: As your child repeatedly reads a text (storybooks, poems, and nonfiction) independently, ask your child to describe the events in the story, how two characters might be related or what they think might happen next or differently if an event in the story changed. Your child can tell you the answers in words or through drawing.
The student self-corrects or confirms text with pictures.

Big Idea

A kindergarten student will understand the relationship between letters and sounds and recognize high-frequency words with speed and accuracy.  More than reciting letters of the alphabet, students use what they know about letters and sounds to read unknown words.


Beginning

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student produces rhymes, counts, and pronounces syllables in spoken words.
Syllable Symphony: As you and your child think about the parts of words, clap the syllables. Say the word again by syllable and count the number of syllables (hap-py, 2 syllables). Use familiar words such as your child’s name, familiar words from stories, or ask your child to say a word to break apart into syllables. As your child becomes familiar with the task, ask your child to produce the letter sounds at the beginning of the syllable for which the syllables are isolated.
Student isolates initial sounds in spoken words.


Emerging

Activities

Suggestions for Families
Student segments onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
What Sounds Does this Letter Make?: As your child reads easily decodable text, spend some time focusing in on specific words. For example, help your child isolate the sounds for each letter in a word (cat, C-A-T). Replace phonemes (bat, B-A-T).
Student isolates final sounds in spoken words.


Developing

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student blends and segments syllables in spoken words.
Letters Speaking Together: Using words with letters that blend (e.g., stop, spot), model how the letters blend together. Ask your child to think of some words that have similar blends. To extend the activity, ask your child to isolate the other letter sounds in the word. Use helpful tools like letter tiles or simple flash cards to assist with the task.

Student blends onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
Student isolates medial sounds in spoken words.


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student blends and pronounces the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) spoken words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/).
Predictable Words: Help your child think about short words that have a predictable consonant-vowel-consonant (C-V-C) pattern (e.g., dog, run, cat). Extend the activity by asking to substitute letters to make new pattern C-V-C words. As you read together, have your child point out this type of word in the text and then pronounce the word.


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student adds individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
Predictable Words: Help your child think about short words that have a predictable consonant-vowel-consonant (C-V-C) pattern (e.g., dog, run, cat). Extend the activity by asking to substitute letters to make new pattern C-V-C words. As you read together, have your child point out this type of word in the text and then pronounce the word. 
Student substitutes individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
Beginning

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently recognizes and names upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
Find that Letter!: Using environmental print in the community or your home, play a “find that letter” game. For example, say I am looking for the letter, P, see who is the first to locate one! Let your child take the lead in calling out the letter to find!


Emerging

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently produces one-to-one letter-sound correspondences for each consonant.
Oh, the Sounds Letters Make!: As you read texts with your child, have him point to a letter. Ask your child what sound the letter makes. Focus on consonants first, then short vowel sounds, and then long vowel sounds.
Student produces short vowel sounds.


Developing

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student produces long vowel sounds.
Oh, the Sounds Letters Make!: As you read texts with your child, have him point to a letter. Ask your child what sound the letter makes. Focus on consonants first, then short vowels sounds, and then long vowel sounds. 
​​


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student isolates and pronounces the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) printed words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/).
Predictable Words: Help your child think about short words that have a predictable consonant-vowel-consonant (C-V-C) pattern (e.g., dog, run, cat). Extend the activity by asking to substitute letters to make new pattern C-V-C words. Have your child point this type of word out in texts you read together and have your child pronounce the word.


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student decodes final -e and common vowel team within texts.
Blends and Ends: Focus on words within the text that end with a final –e (e.g., like) or that blend (e.g., stop, who). Support your child as he learns rules associated with the final –e (i.e., other vowels in the word become long vowels) or blends of consonants.
Student decodes consonant digraphs within texts.
Beginning

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student identifies and names high-frequency words by sight.
Find that Sight Word!: Using environmental print in the community or your home, play find that sight word. For example, say I am looking for a sight word (of, the, I, at), see who is the first to locate one! Let your child take the lead in calling out the next sight word to find.


Emerging

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently reads common high-frequency words by sight in decodable books (e.g., and, the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
Sight Word Complexity: As your child reads increasingly more challenging texts and reads those texts independently, ask your child to point out common high-frequency words (e.g., and, the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).


Developing

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently reads common high-frequency words by sight in emergent reader texts.
Sight Word Complexity: As your child reads increasingly more challenging texts and reads those texts independently, ask your child to point out common high-frequency words (e.g., and, the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).


Demonstrating

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently reads common high-frequency and increasingly difficult words by sight (with increasing difficulty) in emergent reader texts.
Sight Word Complexity: As your child reads increasingly more challenging texts and reads those texts independently, ask your child to point out common high-frequency words (e.g., and, the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).​​


Exceeding

Activities

​Suggestions for Families
Student independently reads common high-frequency words by sight in early reader texts.
Sight Word Complexity: As your child reads increasingly more challenging texts and reads those texts independently, ask your child to point out common high-frequency words (e.g., and, the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).​​