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unit 4
25 Instructional days (25 hours)

Tricky Spelling, Reading Fluency, and Grammar


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. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud;
3. Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a text read independently to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot;
4. Read and understand decodable text of appropriate complexity for grades 2–3 that incorporates the specific code knowledge taught;
5. 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;
6. 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/;
7. 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/;
8. 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; 
9. 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);
11. Read the following tricky words: people, walk, grownup, building, statue;
12. Read decodable text that incorporates the letter-sound correspondences taught with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension;
13. Read and understand decodable text that incorporates letter-sound correspondences taught with purpose and understanding;
14. 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 opinions and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section;
15. With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing;
16. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification;
17. Use collective nouns (e.g., group);
18. Form and use irregular plural nouns orally and in own writing;
19. Use both regular and irregular past-, present-, and future-tense verbs orally and in own writing;
20. Use adjectives appropriately orally and in own writing;
21. Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names;
22. Use commas in greetings and closings of letters;
23. Consult the Individual Code Chart and simple dictionaries to check spelling;
24. Compare formal and informal uses of English; and
25. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

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 4. 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.