Lower School English Curriculum

Please read the English Curriculum to learn what competencies are taught per grade.  This curriculum is for English in grades first through fourth.  Please click on the folders to the left to learn about the curriculum and projects for each grade.  For information about English instruction in Pre-K and ES, please contact your child's teacher.
 
** Please note this area is still being developed.
 

English Curriculum gr. 1 - 4

Grade 1

**These competencies vary depending on the class.

Competencies

Reading Skills

Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds.
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Reads first grade-level sight words.
Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
Follows one step written directions


Writing Skills 

Print all upper and lowercase letters.
Capitalize the beginning of each sentence.
Use end punctuation for sentences.
Completes modeled writing tasks.
Writes independent sentences.
Writes grade level sight words.


Vocabulary Skills

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
Sort words into categories to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
Identify real-life connections between words and their use.


Speaking and Listening Skills 

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and large groups.
Follow agreed upon rules for discussions.
Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.
Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
 

Methods

Thematic Approach 

Modeled and group writing
Participate in shared language experience.
Choral, modeled, and independent reading

Materials

Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary workbooks
Treasures textbooks
Leveled readers
ESL Backpack Series
Scholastic News
Words Their Way workbooks

Grade 2

**These competencies vary depending on the class.

Competencies

Reading Skills

Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
Reads and recounts stories from a variety of genres.
Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
Follows two step written directions.
Reads grade-level sight words.
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topics or subject area.


Writing Skills

Write short informative/explanatory texts.
Writes short narratives based on personal experiences.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing (parts of speech).
Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns and past tense verbs.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling of grade level sight words.
Capitalize proper nouns in writing.
Uses descriptive language and detail.
Writes grade-level sight words and practiced vocabulary.


Vocabulary Skills

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
Identify real-life connections between words and their use.
Speaking and Listening Skills:

Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and large groups.
Follow agreed upon rules for discussions.
Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
Adds drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when speaking (parts of speech).
Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns and past tense verbs.

Methods


Thematic Approach

Modeled and group writing
Participate in shared language experience.
Choral, modeled, and independent reading
 

Materials

McGraw Hill Language Arts workbook
Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary workbooks
Treasures textbooks
Leveled readers
ESL Backpack Series
Scholastic News

Grade 3

**These competencies vary depending on the class.
 

Competencies

Reading Skills

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Determine the main idea of a text and recount the key details.
Use information gained from illustrations in a text to demonstrate understanding.
Recount stories from a variety of genres.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language and vocabulary.
Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
Follows multi-step directions.
Read grade-level sight words.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature covered in class.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts.
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Decode multi-syllable words.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.


Writing Skills

Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing (parts of speech).
Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
Form and use the simple verb tenses.
Ensure subject-verb agreement.
Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
Use conjunctions correctly.
Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Capitalize appropriate words.
Form and use possessives.
Use spelling patterns and generalizations.
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
Write informative/explanatory texts.
Write short narratives.
With guidance and support, edit and revise to strengthen writing.
Write grade-level sight words and practiced vocabulary.


Vocabulary Skills

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words.
Identify real-life connections between words and their use.
Speaking and Listening Skills:

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to the discussions prepared, having read required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
Follow agreed upon rules for discussion.
Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats.
Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace during presentations.
Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situations in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when speaking.
Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns and verbs.
Form and use simple verb tenses and subject-verb agreement.

Methods

Thematic Approach

Modeled and group writing
Participate in shared language experience
Choral, modeled, and independent reading
Partner and small group work
Independent work and presentations
 

Materials

McGraw Hill Language Arts workbook
Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary workbooks
Treasures textbooks
Leveled readers
ESL Backpack Series
Scholastic News
Class Literature


 

Grade 4

**These competencies vary depending on the class.
 

Competencies

Reading Skills

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Describe in depth of character, setting, or event in a story.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text.
Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature.
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts.


Writing Skills

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and concrete details.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
With guidance and support, edit and revise to strengthen writing.
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge of a topic.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing.
Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns and verbs.
Form and use simple verb tenses and subject-verb agreement.
Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two).
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Write grade level sight words and practiced vocabulary correctly.


Vocabulary Skills

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly rom a range of strategies.
Use content as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, thesauruses) to clarify the precise meaning of words.
Speaking and Listening Skills:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when speaking.
Form and use verb tenses correctly.
Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns and verbs.
Form and use simple verb tenses and subject-verb agreement.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come the discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussions and link to the remarks of others.
Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas an understanding in light of the discussion.
Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace during a presentation.

Methods

Thematic Approach

Modeled and group writing
Participate in shared language experience.
Choral, modeled, and independent reading
Independent work and presentations
Book Challenge (reading project)
 

Materials

McGraw Hill Language Arts workbook
Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary workbooks
Treasures textbooks
Leveled readers
ESL Backpack Series
Scholastic News
Class Lit