COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
RI.K.3 With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
RI.K.4 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
RI.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
W.K.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Speaking & Listening
SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
SL.K.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
L.K.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.K.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Kindergarten unit titled “How My Family Lives in America” by Susan Kuklin cited on achievethecore.org is intended to be completed in 8 days of ELA/Literacy instruction, 2-3 sessions per day, about 15 minutes per session. In this unit, students listen to an informational picture book read aloud and use literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to identify the similarities and differences between how each of the three families presented preserves their cultural traditions while living in the United States. Lesson activities include having students: answer text dependent questions, discuss and record common categories of traditions among the three children, and review the shared chart in preparation for the culminating task. As a summative task, students individually choose one family and act out/describe with pictures and words the traditions that are specific to that family’s culture, as well as the new traditions they have created.
Connecticut teachers are cautioned to evaluate the text complexity with class make-up in mind and to make adjustments in lesson pacing, suggested activities and questions as warranted. The read aloud book, How My Family Lives in America by Susan Kuklin, is not included with the lesson materials. Detailed assessment guidelines are provided, but an aligned rubric to provide guidance for interpreting student performance on the targeted standards is recommended. The unit is written for Kindergarten, but if used in grade 1, the content would align with the grade 1 Social Studies Frameworks theme of “Community Beyond My Neighborhood” (including International). These social studies standards could be added, and the CCSS standards listed above would have to be adapted to grade 1. For a direct link to these sources, see below.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This unit is a good example of how to integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills. It gradually removes supports, requiring students to demonstrate their independent capacities. Unit activities provide all students with multiple opportunities to engage with text of appropriate complexity. It addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Unit materials include tips for preparing and managing materials, general classroom management, student feedback, accommodations, and extensions.