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unit 2
16 Instructional days (16 hours)

Basic Code, Grammar, and Narrative Writing


The Skills strand of the Core Knowledge Language Arts program teaches students the decoding skills needed for (future) independent reading. Each Skills lesson begins with a warm-up, reviewing previously taught content in reading, writing, and/or grammar.

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Ask and answer questions (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how), orally or in writing, requiring literal recall and understanding of the details and/or facts of a fiction text read independently;
2. Recount fables and folktales read independently, identifying specific features of the genre represented in the story, as well as the central message, lesson, or moral;
3. Describe how characters in a fiction text that has been read independently respond to major events and challenges;
4. Describe the following story elements: characters, setting, and plot, including how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action;
5. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud;
6. Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a text read independently to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot;
7. Read and understand decodable text or appropriate complexity for grades 2–3 that incorporates the specific code knowledge taught;
8. Describe the connection between a series of historical events in a nonfiction/informational text read independently;
9. Use knowledge of the letter-sound correspondences that have been taught to distinguish and correctly read long and short vowels in one-syllable words: ‘a_e’ > /ae/; ‘ee’ > /ee/; ‘i_e’ > /ie/; ‘o_e’ > /oe/; ‘u_e’ > /ue/;
10. Decode two-syllable words with any combination of the following syllable types: closed syllables, magic –e syllables, vowel digraph syllables, r-controlled syllables, open syllables, consonant –LE syllables; 
11. Read and write words with the following inflectional endings and suffixes: –ed, –ing;
12. Read the following tricky words: I, you, your, street, my, by, have, all, who, no, go, so, are, were, some, they, their;
13. Read decodable text that incorporates the letter-sound correspondences taught with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension;
14. Read and understand decodable text that incorporates letter-sound correspondences taught with purpose and understanding;
15. Read decodable text that incorporates the letter-sound correspondences taught with increased accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings;
16. Use phonics skills in conjunction with context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary;
17. Plan, draft, and edit opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section;
18. Plan, draft, and edit a narrative retelling of a fiction text, including a title, setting, characters, and well-elaborated events of the story in proper sequence, including details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, using temporal words to signal event order, and providing a sense of closure;
19. With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing;
20. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including collaboration with peers;
21. Use both regular and irregular past-, present-, and future-tense verbs orally and in own writing;
22. Use adjectives appropriately orally and in own writing;
23. Use and expand complete simple and compound sentences orally and in own writing;
24. Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names;
25. Use and apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives;
26. Spell and write one-syllable words using the letter-sound correspondences taught in grade 2, using the Individual Code Chart as needed; and
27. Consult the Individual Code Chart and simple dictionaries to check spelling.


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Bilingual Language Progressions

These resources, developed by the New York State Education Department, provide standard-level scaffolding suggestions for English Language Learners (ELLs) to help them meet grade-level demands. Each resource contains scaffolds at multiple levels of language acquisition and describes the linguistic demands of the standards to help ELA teachers as well as ESL/bilingual teachers scaffold content for their English learning students.


From of the New York State Education Department. Grade 2 ELA Skills Unit 2. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29.
This work is based on an original work of the Core Knowledge® Foundation made available through licensing under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This does not in any way imply that the Core Knowledge Foundation endorses this work.