Grades K-2 Language and Foundational Skills Scope and Sequence (Phonics and Word Study)
The Winnetka Public Schools Language Arts Committee reviewed and revised this document as of January 2016. The kindergarten, first, and second grade Phonics and Word Study Scope and Sequence was the result of meaningful conversations about reading instruction in relation to child development, skill integration, and progressive education. During thoughtful conversations, key points continually surfaced.
Learning how to read is an ongoing and complex process that takes place over time and varies for each child. Teaching a child how to read requires explicit and systematic phonics instruction. Skills build upon each other as a child moves through a natural progression within his or her own development. As skills are introduced, children are able to repeatedly practice through games, independent work, and integrated units of study. Eventually, children will be able to integrate these decoding skills along with other important literacy components such as fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
Phonemic awareness activities in which children manipulate and identify sounds and words auditorily and orally are an important precursor to explicit phonics instruction. Much of this phonemic awareness work occurs in kindergarten and transitions into first grade (examples include rhyming games, omission, and substitution games, and listening activities).
Effective phonics instruction uses a multisensory approach to teaching in which children are encouraged to move their fingers, make hand motions, write in sand or other tactile materials, and manipulate letters and sounds. Teaching a child how to read in this way inherently respects the concept of multiple intelligences throughout each lesson. This multisensory approach is a critical component when determining sound/symbol connections, which is the foundation of word segmentation. Word segmentation plays a critical role in a child’s later academic career in regards to prefixes, suffixes, and even in second language acquisition.
These phonics skills are the foundation of a child’s reading tool kit. All learners should be a part of each reading ‘mini-lesson’ regardless of what they can or cannot read. Children need to connect the sounds to the letter symbols in their very first encounters with direct reading instruction. This will influence their success as readers and writers. Specific skills should be individually practiced with each child and differentiated according to the individual child’s needs.
The primary resource used by kindergarten teachers is Dr. Michael Heggerety’s, 2020 Phonemic Awareness: The Skills That They Need to Help Them Succeed!
First and Second Grade teachers use a variety of research-based materials to implement the word study curriculum such as Project Read, Explode the Code, and Words Their Way.