Unit 2: Noticing Patterns in Stories
Students become engaged in reading through a variety of familiar stories with predictable patterns and illustrations that allow them to anticipate words, phrases, and events on their own.
In this unit, students are exposed to familiar stories with predictable patterns and illustrations. Exposure to predictable texts is incredibly important for beginning readers as they begin to explore the world of reading independently. Predictable texts are incredibly engaging for students, allowing them to anticipate words, phrases, and events on their own and better follow the storyline sequence of a story. The story patterns also allow students to try and read the stories on their own, using the repetitive texts and pictures as a guide for either reading or pretending to read the story. Predictable texts are also incredibly important for exposing students to phonological awareness concepts in context, particularly rhyme, rhythm, and fluency. In order for students to reap these benefits, however, they need to deeply engage with the stories. This means that the stories need to be read, reread, retold, and reread some more so that students are able to build the confidence they need to pretend to read or read the text on their own. Within the context of this unit, students are only exposed to the text once; therefore, it is the responsibility of the teacher to find ways to bring the stories to life in other parts of the day so that students are able to reap the rewards of engaging with predictable texts or, if necessary, to slow down the pacing of the unit in order to include multiple readings of a text.
In reading, students will continue to be challenged to ask and answer questions about the texts they read daily. Students will begin to work on retelling what happens to the characters in the story, using key details from the text and illustrations. Because the stories are repetitive in nature, this unit provides a strong foundation for teaching how to retell a story. Another focus of this unit is on understanding how authors and illustrators use illustrations and repetition to help a reader understand the main events in a story. Students will learn how to closely “read” illustrations for subtle clues about character feeling or foreshadowing clues for what is going to happen next in a story. In order to engage deeply in the content, students will continue to develop active participation and discussion habits, allowing them to learn from and with one another.
In writing, students will continue to write daily in response to the text. In Unit 1, the focus was on establishing the routines and procedures necessary for daily writing about reading. In this unit, students will continue to write daily in response to the text with a focus on using words and pictures to correctly answer the question.
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Book: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (Philomel Books, 1985)
Book: Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan (Greenwillow Books, 1989)
Book: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen (Alladin Paperbacks, 2003)
Book: We’re Going on a Lion Hunt by David Axtell (Square Fish, 2007)
Book: Sitting Down to Eat by Bill Harley (August House, 2005)
Book: The Napping House by Audrey Wood (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2009)
Book: Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles – Think of That! by Leo Dillon (Blue Sky Press, 2002)
Book: Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho (Scholastic Inc, 2000)
Book: Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business, by Esphyr Slobodkina (Harper Collins, 1987)
Assessment Text: “Hot Pot Night!” by Vincent Chen and illustrated by Vincent Chen (Charlesbridge)
These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
Download Content Assessment
Download Content Assessment Answer Key
Download Cold Read Assessment
Download Cold Read Assessment Answer Key
Suggestions for how to prepare to teach this unit
Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the texts, themes, and core standards. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.
The central thematic questions addressed in the unit or across units
In this unit, students begin to practice retelling a story, including what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Students also begin to explore characters by identifying who characters are and describing details about the characters in order to build a deeper understanding of the text.
Specific skills to focus on when giving feedback on writing assignments
In Unit 1, students learned the routines and procedures for daily writing about reading. In this unit, students will continue to write daily in response to the text with a focus on using a combination of drawings and words to correctly answer the question.
In this unit students begin to explore opinion writing by writing about which book from the unit is their favorite.
In this unit, students continue to learn how to use discussion and oral discourse to show their understanding of texts. Students build on the work they did in Unit 1 and continue to focus on the structures needed for successful academic discourse. The focus areas and discourse in this unit align with Tier 1 of the three tiers of academic discourse and rows 1 and 3 of the Academic Discourse Rubric. See the Teacher Tool on Tiers of Academic Discourse to help support students with the focus areas for this unit.
Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and word parts to be taught with the text
To see all the vocabulary for Unit 2, view our Kindergarten Vocabulary Glossary.
In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.
Fishtank ELA units related to the content in this unit.
Explain why the spider has a very busy day by retelling key details in a text.
Retell what happens in Jump, Frog, Jump! using the illustrations and key details.
Explain what happened when they saw the bear at the end of the bear hunt and why.
Explain how the characters feel at the end of the story and why.
Retell what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Retell what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of The Napping House.
Explain what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of Hush! A Thai Lullaby.
Explain what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles – Think of That!
Retell what happens in the beginning, middle, and end of Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business.
Explain how the peddler feels in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
Discussion & Writing – 2 days
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to state an opinion about which book was their favorite.
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The content standards covered in this unit
— Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.
— Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
— Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.
— With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
— With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
— Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
— 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.
— Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
— Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is…).
Standards that are practiced daily but are not priority standards of the unit
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
— With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
— Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
— With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
— With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
— Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
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