Language Arts

The goal of the Language Arts curriculum is to teach children to use language thoughtfully and to express and receive information and ideas.

Children learn to read and write in the same way that they learn to speak-that is, by using their emerging literacy in meaningful situations. In school, we provide children with numerous opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write. The necessary details of reading and writing are taught most effectively in contexts meaningful to the student.

This curriculum is a guide for teaching all the language arts. It includes listening and speaking as necessary parts of reading and writing. It presents a variety of literary experiences to foster a sense of meaning and enjoyment in learning to read and write.

Listening
  • Exhibit good listening/attending skills
  • Discriminate sounds, rhyming words
  • Understand letter/sound correspondence
  • Discriminate volume, pitch and similar sounds
  • Listen to obtain information
  • Listen critically
  • Listen for enjoyment
  • Understand speaker’s message
  • Identify feelings expressed by others
  • Follow three step directions
Speaking
  • Use concept words (above, under)
  • Recall and share information
  • Describe feelings of a character in a story
  • Categorize and classify words
  • Ask questions; answer questions appropriately
  • Share experiences in group (in logical sequence)
  • Call objects by name
  • Initiate and respond to conversation
  • Use eye contact
  • Speak clearly with appropriate volume
  • Speak in complete sentences
  • Stay on topic in group discussions
  • Use descriptive language
  • Speak in logical sequence
  • Clearly articulate information and own thoughts
  • Enjoy using language: drama, choral reading, singing, plays, chanting of poems
Print Awareness
  • Understand that a spoken word can be printed
  • Recognize letters of the alphabet
  • Recognize words that begin with the same letter
  • Recognize that print is read from left to right
  • Locate parts of a book (front, back)
  • Recognize: pages of a book are ordered
  • Interpret picture clues
  • Recognize: printed words are separated by spaces
  • Identify corresponding upper- and lower-case letters
  • Recognize: a sentence is made up of words
  • Recognize: capitalization and punctuation mark the beginning and end of a sentence
  • Understand concepts of letter, word, sentence
  • Locate words in well-known text read aloud
  • Recognize quotation marks as indicator of dialogue
Reading

Students will progress through the developmental stages of oral and silent reading. Students will read for meaning.

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness

  • Identify and make oral rhymes
  • Identify and work with syllables in spoken words (clapping syllables)
  • Identify and work with onsets and rimes in spoken syllables (r-an, k-ind)
  • Identify and work with individual phonemes in words (identifies first/last/middle sounds in words)
Vocabulary/Word Recognition
  • Identify own name in print
  • Name common opposites
  • Develop a sight vocabulary
Word Analysis
  • Use consonants, long and short vowel sounds, consonant clusters, beginning and ending sounds
  • Use r-controlled vowels
Word Analysis: Structural
  • Introduce words, prefixes, suffixes, root words, contractions, compound words, and syllables
  • Introduce possessives, plurals, abbreviations
Word Analysis: Contextual
  • Use reading strategies-e.g., illustrations, self- correction, semantics, phonetic clues and syntax
  • Use context of a story to read unfamiliar words
Comprehension: Literal
  • Attend to punctuation when reading aloud
  • Recall facts and details
  • Recall sequence of events in a story
  • Introduce written directions
  • Recognize beginning, middle, and end of story
  • Identify characters and settings of a story
Comprehension: Interpretive
  • Identify character emotions
  • Draw conclusions, predict outcomes and begin to make inferences
  • Relate text to personal experiences (make text-to-self connections, text-to-text connections and text-to-world connections)
  • Recognize main idea of a story
  • Place self in story and tell how he/she would think, feel, act
  • Differentiate between fiction and non-fiction
  • React to the mood of a story
  • Understand cause and effect
  • Generate questions to promote understanding of the story
Writing

Pre-Writing

  • Brainstorm ideas for possible topics for writing
  • Express ideas aloud
  • Draw pictures to illustrate ideas
  • Select a topic to develop
  • Plan story structure
Composing
  • Draw a picture to label and discuss
  • Spell first and last name correctly
  • Begin using phonetic spelling
  • Use correct beginning consonants
  • Begin using conventional spelling of high frequency words
  • Draw a picture and and write a related story of several sentences
  • Write a story with a beginning, middle, and end
Introduce revising strategies such as:
  • Giving constructive feedback to peers, as modeled by the teacher
  • Responding to suggestions to revise own work
  • Rereading own work to assure the meaning is clear
  • Expanding his/her own story
  • Deleting unwanted portions of own story
  • Substituting new words for words in the first draft
  • Using a variety of sentence patterns
Introduce editing strategies such as:
  • Use complete sentences
  • Capitalize proper nouns and beginning of a sentence
  • Use correct end punctuation
  • Correct selected spelling errors using classroom word lists, spelling dictionary or adult assistance
  • Spell grade-level high frequency core words correctly
  • Commas in a series
  • Correct pronoun usage
  • Abbreviations
  • The possessive form
Sharing Work
  • Participate in the writing process to publication
  • Read own stories to classmates regularly
  • Write a message that makes sense to an audience
  • Respond to the reactions of an audience
  • Gain confidence in sharing finished work
Grammar

Introduce the usage of:

  • Nouns (Naming words)
  • Verbs (Action words)
  • Adjectives (Descriptive words)
  • Phrases vs. sentences
Mechanics

Capital Letters:

  • Sentence beginnings and the word “I”
  • Names of people and places
  • Days, months, holidays
  • Titles for people
  • Titles of books, poems
Introduce Abbreviations:
  • Titles for people
  • Time and dates
  • Measurements
Punctuation Marks:
  • Periods
  • Question marks
  • Exclamation marks
  • Introduce quotation marks for dialogue
  • Introduce apostrophes in contractions, possessives

Spelling


Learning to spell is a developmental process. Phonetic spelling is an important stage in this process. Spelling instruction includes helpful strategies and some useful rules that can help children learn to spell. The goal of the spelling program is to help students become competent, independent spellers and encourage them to apply their spelling skills across the curriculum in meaningful writing experiences.
  • Students learn to use resources such as dictionaries, word lists, word walls, and word banks
  • Words most frequently used in writing
  • Words governed by reliable or phonic generalizations
  • Content area words
  • Students learn a variety of techniques to help learn new spelling words such as:
    • Learning to spell words as whole unit
    • Developing visual imagery
    • Trying alternate spellings to see which one looks correct
    • Sounding out word
    • Learning to spell in clusters or by “chunking” (t-each-er)
    • Using mnemonics
    • Thinking of related words
    • Thinking of word parts
  • Students learn and use proofreading skills that may enable the writer to distinguish between correct and incorrect spelling.
Handwriting/Zaner-Bloser
  • Use proper writing position and correct pencil grip
  • Write left-to-right and top-to-bottom
  • Use upper-and lower-case manuscript correctly
  • Establish left or right dominance
Library Skills
  • Recognize that the library is a multimedia center
  • Borrow materials from library using proper borrowing procedures
  • Take proper care of books and library materials
  • Know parts of a book: cover, title, author, illustrator, table of contents
  • Locate easy-reader and “everybody” books in library according to author’s last name
  • Build confidence in using the library
Information/Research Skills
  • Organize information
  • Know how to find appropriate information
  • Utilize prior knowledge
  • Use pictures to find and record information
  • Introduce the use of dictionary skills-e.g., alphabetizing, guide words
  • Begin to interpret maps, graphs, charts
  • Locate and use a variety of appropriate nonfiction materials in library/media center
  • Introduce non-fiction conventions such as: captions, headings, table of contents, index
  • Begin to record information using key words
Literature
  • Look at books independently
  • Recognize work of a variety of authors and illustrators
  • Recognize versions of the same story
  • Recognize a variety of literary genres