Manchester Public Schools
Office of Equity and Partnerships
Kindergarten English Curriculum Information
Here are the things your child will be expected to accomplish during the school year…

  • Kindergarteners will be engaged in time to reread and storytell familiar storybooks as well as time to study the pictures and figure out words (as best they can) in concept books and other nonfiction books. Children will develop concepts of print (that is, an understanding that books are read from cover to cover, left to right, top to bottom), phonemic awareness (learning to rhyme, to hear component sounds in a word), phonics (learning letter names and sounds), and the knowledge necessary to use story language to support their approximations of reading.
  • Kindergarten students will write to capture true stories from their lives. They will draw what happened first, then touch the page and tell the story, then write the story of that one time. Your children will be eager to learn the tricks of the trade, so you’ll teach some early lessons in narrative craft. Children will select a few stories to publish. Children will use letters as well as pictures to represent meaning. They will develop phonemic awareness as they stretch out, listen to, distinguish and record the sounds in a word. Children will be encouraged to fill up all the pages in their book into a willingness to label more of their pictures, represent more sounds in a word, and make two­word labels. Children will be introduced to the writing checklists that will be used in every unit of study. They’ll add detail, fix spelling, and get more sounds into their words. Then, to culminate the unit, students will celebrate by reading selections from their writing to a circle of classmates.
  • This unit glories in children’s love of play. Teacher’s will dramatize the idea that to read, people call on super powers, just like superheroes do! Children will be encouraged to use their super­strength, extra special powers to read this book!” This is also the age where children are begging anyone and everyone to “Read it again!” . Kindergartners’ introduction to paying attention to print will be with familiar and beloved texts, and this will allow them to bring their energy and enthusiasm to the work of one­to­one matching. Teachers will l invite students to draw on all of their superpowers as they work to make their voices smoother (fluency), and to communicate their understanding of the text (meaning). Partners will share favorite parts of books during book talks.
  • Children will review their stories as readers, making a pile of the ones that are clear and another pile of the ones that still need work. As the teacher reviews the piles, they will discover ways to tailor the lessons to meet the individual needs of students. Teachers will encourage children to draw on all they know about writing stories. As children work, teachers will encourage them to write words in more conventional ways, use drawing to plan, write in sentences, and reread their work as they write. Teachers will give children additional tools and opportunities to make their writing more powerful and clearer for their readers. Teachers will begin by teaching children how to use a checklist to reflect on what they have learned so far this year. Lessons will be crafted to strengthen children’s word­writing skills by spotlighting the use of vowels and sight words. The power of partnerships will be emphasized as they aim to make their writing clearer, using everything they have learned to make writing that is easy for readers to read. Children will work on creating more satisfying endings and on making their pieces beautiful and ready for a larger audience. This is also an opportunity for writers to assess the work they have done. The final celebration of this unit might be making a bulletin board or reading work out loud to an audience.
  • At this time of the school year, Kindergarten readers are at an important juncture. They are moving from rereading mostly familiar texts to attempting more difficult books with greater independence. In this unit they’ll be shopping for unfamiliar books, and doing so on their own from the classroom library. Many will have made the leap from reading levels A/B books to reading books at levels C/D, and some will be beyond. Teachers will help students to grow their banks of super­power reading strategies to help them face the challenges of their new books. As the unit progresses, teachers will teach readers that as their books get even bigger, their regular super powers need to get bigger, too. Teachers will teach them that they can use their knowledge of how patterns go—their pattern power—to read texts with longer, more complex patterns. Children will learn strategies for tackling breaks in patterns, and teachers will teach them to use their pattern power to think more deeply about what a book is really saying. Children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of letters and sounds—their sound power—to read tricky words. Children will be taught to attend to the initial letter, then to look to beginning consonant clusters (blends and digraphs), and finally to move their eyes to attend to the end of unknown words.
  •  Although the instructional focus changes a bit as children progress through the unit, teachers will continue to expect them to write lots and lots of how­to texts. Because children will be writing what they know how to do, they’ll bring their areas of expertise into the classroom. Teachers will discover the hidden talents of young writers as they write books on everything from How to Make an Ice Cream Sundae to How to Change a Diaper,” to “How to Hit A Home Run,” to “How to Do Yoga. There will be lessons on drawing and writing one step at a time and writing with enough clarity and detail that others can follow the directions. Writing partners will play an important role as pairs of children test their directions to make sure everything makes sense and get ideas from each other. Teachers will encourage children to write a series or collection of How­To books for their classmates.

  • In this unit, children will begin to talk deeply about books, envisioning the drama of a story, sharing responses with friends, and pursuing ideas to become avid readers. Avid readers are people who love reading so much they can hardly bear to stop reading. They read not just during reading workshop, but at home, too, and all day long—even during line­up for gym time! Teachers will move children further toward independence by helping them create their own super powers charts based on self­selected goals as they read fictional stories, paying close attention to characters, setting, and plot. Teachers will support children in becoming avid readers of nonfiction texts. They will become experts on a chosen topic as they read alongside others. Students explore poetry, play with rhyme and rhythm, and innovate upon existing poems and songs. All the while, they’ll be developing their fluency as they continue to read alongside others. 
  • In this unit children do lots of lots of persuasive writing. They may begin by writing signs, songs, petitions, and letters about problems they see in their classroom, then in their school, then in the larger world of their neighborhood. From the very start of this unit, teachers will ask children to look at the world, seeing not just what is but what could be. Children will learn to reflect on problems, think about what could make things better, and then write to help make a change. Teachers will help children publish their work by posting signs in the hallways, reading pieces to schoolmates in other classrooms, reciting songs, etc. Children will learn that including facts and information in this kind of letter helps make it more persuasive, and they will be given an opportunity to publish their work. Children will plan with their partners a presentation on their topic with the purpose of sharing opinions and convincing others to make a change.
  • This unit encourages students’ creative thinking through imitation and role­playing a variety of characters within texts. While reading, children will activate their prior knowledge, their understanding of characters, and their inferring skills to identify with the characters’ relationships, situations, and experiences. Readers will utilize these skills to determine how to portray the characters within books. Throughout this process of role­playing, students will inevitably deepen their understanding of the characters.
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