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unit 5
30 Instructional days (30 hours)

Tricky Spelling, Vowel Sounds, and Decoding


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. Describe how characters in a fiction text that has been read independently respond to major events and challenges;
3. Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading aloud;
4. User information gained from the illustrations and words in a text read independently to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot;
5. Read and understand decodable text of appropriate complexity for grade 2 that incorporates the specific code knowledge taught;
6. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words;
7. Read and write words with the following inflectional endings: –ed, –ous;
8. 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);
9. Read the following Tricky Words: alphabet, kingdom, war, water, schwa, edge, father, ghost, again, bridge, eyes, death, wizard, break, against, friend, sure;
10. Read decodable text that incorporates the letter-sound correspondences taught with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension;
11. Read decodable text that incorporates the letter-sound correspondences taught, with purpose and understanding;
12. Use phonics skills in conjunction with context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary;
13. Plan, draft, and edit a narrative retelling of a fiction read-aloud, 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;
14. With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing;
15. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking;
16. Use collective nouns (e.g., group);
17. Form and use irregular plural nouns orally and in own writing;
18. Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names;
19. Consult the Individual Code Chart and simple dictionaries to check spelling; 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 5. 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.

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