Grade K: Writing for Understanding – YOU CAN’T TASTE A PICKLE WITH YOUR EAR


4 apple rating


Reading Informational Text

RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.


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.


This Kindergarten lesson set titled “WRITING FOR UNDERSTANDING – YOU CAN’T TASTE A PICKLE WITH YOUR EAR” posted on has an intended instructional time of 1-2 weeks. In order to answer the question, “Why are my senses important?”, students learn to identify the five senses and to use the senses to identify objects in their environment. They listen to an interactive read aloud YOU CAN’T TASTE A PICKLE WITH YOUR EAR by Harriet Ziefert and use text evidence in their discussions. Evidence is recorded on a large chart using words/phrases and pictures. To scaffold student writing activities, students: orally practice what sentences should sound like; use a template daily to write down and/or create drawings of information from the text; reread the corresponding piece from the days before; use a checklist for organization. As a culminating activity, each student creates an informational/explanatory book about the five senses using the focus statement and the conclusion provided by the teacher. The student response may include dictation as well as some attempt at writing words; they draw at least one example from the text.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that depending on when this is done in the year, students will need different accommodations and scaffolding to support their best learning. While there is a sample of the writing that students are expected to produce, an aligned rubric is not provided to elicit direct, observable evidence of the degree to which each student can independently demonstrate foundational skills and targeted grade level literacy CCSS. Speaking & Listening standards are not listed, but they should be since discussion is an important part of most lessons. The text used in the read aloud, YOU CAN’T TASTE A PICKLE WITH YOUR EAR by Harriet Ziefert, is not provided and will have to be secured.

CLICK HERE for a sample rubric for an Informational/Explanatory Task in Kindergarten (from Literacy Design Collaborative).


This lesson set is a good example of how to sequence opportunities for students to present ideas and information through discussion, writing, drawing, and speaking experiences. It facilitates text-based discussions and writing through specific text-dependent questions. The text builds students’ literacy, as well as content knowledge in science. There is a clear and explicit purpose for instruction that is easy to understand and use. The instructional plan provides some suggestions to support students who may need additional time and attention.