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unit 3
25 Instructional days (25 hours)

Alternative Spelling for Vowel Sounds


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 nonfiction/informational text read independently;
2. Identify and use text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a nonfiction/informational text;
3. Identify the main purpose of a nonfiction/informational text read independently, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe;
4. Interpret information from diagrams, charts, timelines, graphs, or other organizers associated with a nonfiction/informational text read independently and explain how these graphics clarify the meaning of the text;
5. Describe how reasons or facts support specific points the author makes in a nonfiction text read independently;
6. Compare and contrast (orally or in writing) similarities and differences within a single nonfiction/informational text read independently or between two or more nonfiction/informational texts read independently;
7. Read independently and demonstrate understanding of nonfiction/informational text in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range;
8. 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’ > /a/; ‘e’ > /e/; ‘i’ > /i/; ‘o’ > /o/; ‘u’ > /u/; ‘a_e’ > /ae/; ‘ee’ > /ee/; ‘i_e’ > /ie/; ‘o_e’ > /oe/; ‘u_e’ > /ue/;
9. Read and write words spelled with the following vowel teams: long vowel sounds: ‘ai’, ‘ay’ > /ae/; ‘e_e’, ‘ea’, ‘ey’ > /ee/; ‘oa’, ‘oe’, ‘ow’ > /oe/; ‘ie’, ‘igh’> /ie/; short vowel sounds: ‘ou’, ‘o_e’ > /u/; ‘ea’ > /e/; other vowel sounds: ‘oi’, ‘oy’ > /oi/; ‘aw’, ‘au’, ‘augh’, ‘al’ > /aw/; ‘ow’ > /ou/; r-controlled vowel sounds: ‘er’ > /er/; ‘or’ > /or/; ‘ar’ > /ar/;
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, –s, –es;
12. Read and write words with the following letter-sound correspondences: ‘a’ as /a/ (hat), /ae/ (paper), /ə/ (about), or /aw/ (wall); ‘i’ as /i/ (hit), /ie/ (item), or /ee/ (ski); ‘o’ as /o/ (hop), /oe/ (open), or /u/ (son); ‘e’ as /e/ (pet), /ee/ (me), or /ə/ (debate); ‘u’ as /ue/ (unit) or /u/ (but); ‘y’ as /y/ (yes), /ie/ (try), /i/ (myth), or /ee/ (funny); ‘ir’ (bird), ‘ur’ (hurt), or ‘er’ as /er/ (her); ‘ar’ > /ar/ (car) or /or/ (war); ‘al’ > /ə/ + /l/ (animal); ‘il’ > /ə/ + /l/ (pencil); ‘ul’ > /ə/ + /l/ (awful); ‘el’ >  ə/ + /l/ (travel), ‘le’ > /ə/ + /l/ (apple); ‘tion’ > /sh/ + /ə/ + /n/; ‘ph’ > /f/ (phone); ‘ch’ > /k/ (school); ‘a’ > /o/ (water);
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. Plan, draft, and edit a personal narrative with a title, recounting a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, including details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, using temporal words to signal event order, and providing a sense of closure;
16. With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing;
17. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification;
18. Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names;
19. Consult the Individual Code Chart; and
20. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.


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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 3. 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.

In This Unit