Setting Purpose: From Engagement Text to Decodables | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:S3:C18:L92

Setting Purpose: From Engagement Text to Decodables

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can retell the events from the story "Baseball."
  • Opening B (optional): Using evidence from the text, I can answer questions about the story "Baseball."
  • Work Time A: I can read high-frequency words and words that "don't play fair." (RF.1.3)
    • I can read first-grade words that "don't play fair" in isolation.
    • I can decode regularly spelled one-syllable words by mapping graphemes to phonemes.
  • Work Time B: I can read the decodable text: "Baseball." (RF.1.3)
    • I can decode regularly spelled one-syllable words by segmenting phonemes and blending them to pronounce a word whose meaning I recognize.
    • I can use what I know about the types of syllables to decode (read) a two-syllable word.
    • I can read first-grade words that "don't play fair" (irregularly spelled words) in text.
    • I can decode a word with a vowel in the middle and a silent "e" at the end.
    • I can read words with "-s," "-ed," and "-ing" endings.
    • I can read and understand grade-level texts.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during Work Time.
    • Determine whether they can independently find a given word.
    • Determine whether they can decode CVCe words with and without suffixes "-s," "-ing," and "-ed" and two-syllable VCCV and VCV words.
    • Determine whether they can identify familiar sounds in or automatically read high-frequency words.



1. Opening (3-5 minutes)

A. Engagement Text Read-aloud: "Baseball"

B. Comprehension Conversation (optional)

2. Work Time (10 minutes)

A. High-Frequency Words: "watch," "ago," "time," "long"

B. Decodable Reader: Partner Search and Read

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Group Instruction and Rotations (40 minutes)

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Comprehension Conversation questions (if different from suggested questions)
    • High-Frequency Word Cards (teacher-created; one of each)
    • Interactive Word Wall (one to display)
    • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)
  • Predetermine partnerships for retelling during Opening A and Partner Reading during Work Time B.


Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • base word, decode, high-frequency, proficient, suffix (L)
  • cooking tools, disaster, tornado (T)


  • Enlarged Decodable Reader: "Baseball" (one to display)
  • Engagement Text: "Baseball" (one for teacher read-aloud)
  • Movable letters (magnetic letters, Letter Cards in a pocket chart, or other letters that can be displayed and moved; one each for teacher modeling: letters to build the words: "watch," "ago," "time," "long"; from Lesson 62)
  • High-Frequency Word Cards (teacher-created; one of each)
  • Interactive Word Wall (one to display)
  • Decodable Reader: "Baseball" (one per student)
  • Highlighters (one per student and one for teacher)
  • Highlighter tape (optional; for the teacher to use to highlight the Decodable Reader)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engagement Text Read-aloud: "Baseball"

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"Gather round together, together, together. It's time to hear a story, a story, a story. It's time to hear a story and say what you've learned."

  • Display Enlarged Decodable Reader: "Baseball."
  • Begin a read-aloud of the Engagement Text: "Baseball":

1. Teacher reads the story aloud once or twice without interruption, pointing to the accompanying illustrations for each section.

2. Students turn to a partner and retell the story in their own words.

  • Consider providing a copy of the Decodable Reader to students who need help retelling the story. The illustrations show the sequence of the story; the student can simply retell the details based on what they see in the illustrations.

B. Comprehension Conversation (optional)

  • Teacher asks the following suggested comprehension questions:
    • Recall:

"Where can baseball be played?" (on a playground, in the street, on a baseball field)

    • Vocabulary and Language:

"What is a pastime?" (something a person or people do for enjoyment, a hobby) "What in the word itself can help us understand what it means?" (is a compound word: "pass" and "time"--tells us it's a way to pass time)

    • Digging Deeper: Extension Questions:

"Why do you think the author wrote this text?" (Responses will vary. Example: to teach us about baseball.)

"What from the text makes you think that?" (Responses will vary. Example: text tells us some of the rules of baseball.)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. High-Frequency Words: "watch," "ago," "time," "long"

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"Now it's time to learn high-frequency words together, it's time to learn about words readers and writers use a lot."

  • Begin the High-Frequency Words instructional practice. See Setting Purpose: From Engagement Text to Decodables lessons from Modules 1-2 for a more detailed description of the procedure.

1. Teacher builds the word "watch" with moveable letters.

  • For ELLs and students who need help: Consider providing picture cards of nouns in Decodable Reader: "Baseball" to support comprehension.
  • Consider extending the work with the word "time" to review decoding that word with suffixes "-s," "-ing," and "-ed." Write the words "times," "timing," and "timed" on the board and review the Suffix Sleuth strategy from Lesson 91:

A. Locate the suffix and draw a box around it.

B. Underline the base word.

C. Decode the base word to hear if it sounds right.

D. Determine whether or not the "e" is "invisible" in the base word yet still casting its spell to make the vowel long.

  • The /u/ sound made by the "a" in the word "ago" may confuse some students. Remind them that "a," when written as a word all by itself, is pronounced /u/ when spoken, as in the sentence: "I see a big dog."

B. Decodable Reader: Partner Search and Read

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "The More We Get Together"):

"Now you will read a story, a story, a story. Now you will read a story with words that you know."

  • Begin the Decodable Reader: Partner Search and Read instructional practice. See Setting Purpose: From Engagement Text to Decodables lessons from Modules 1-2 for a more detailed description of the procedure.
  • If students in the Pre-Alphabetic or Early Partial Alphabetic phases need help identifying letters/digraphs, consider providing letter cards as support. The students can hold the letter next to each page and find the letter shape that matches.
  • If students in the Pre-Alphabetic or Partial Alphabetic phase need additional help finding the high-frequency words, consider allowing a student in the Full or Consolidated Alphabetic phase to help them. Or consider asking them to find the beginning letter of the word instead of the whole word.
  • Consider having students locate and highlight suffixes "-s," "-ing," and "-ed." This supports them in being suffix sleuths to decode those words in the text.
  • As an extension for students in the Late Full Alphabetic or Consolidated Alphabetic phases, consider providing a whiteboard. Direct them to write a word that begins with the letter being searched or a sentence with the high-frequency word being searched.
  • If students need help with words that "don't play fair," direct them to the Interactive Word Wall. Or have them read the rest of the sentence and think about which high-frequency word would make sense in the blank.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that successful learners keep track of and reflect on their own learning. Point out that they are doing this each time they consider how what they did today helps them become more proficient readers.
  • Invite students to reflect and share with a partner (or whole group). Ask:

"What did you do today that is helping you become a more proficient reader?" (Responses will vary. Examples: "I looked for the vowels in longer words so I could divide them into syllables." "I looked for the magic 'e' and remembered that it uses its magic on the other vowel.")

  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Examples:
    • "When I heard a word, I knew it was a _____."
    • "When I see an '-s' on the end of the word, I know _____."
    • "When my partner _____, I _____."

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with students in the Pre-Alphabetic, Partial Alphabetic, and Full Alphabetic groups. Students in the Consolidated Alphabetic group do not work with the teacher today.

Note: Groups not working with the teacher at a given time should be engaged in purposeful independent rotation work. Refer to the Independent Student Work Guidance document for more details (see K-2 Skills Resource Manual).

All Groups
Either today or another day this week after the Decodable Student Reader has been introduced, follow the Decodable Student Reader routine with each group. Differentiate the routine as needed based on students' microphase. Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work guidance document (see K-2 Skills Resource Manual) for full routine and Decodable Student Reader Planning and Recording Template.


  • Aim small group instruction at building students' knowledge and skills of letter identification and phonological awareness.
  • Use the Assessment Conversion chart to determine appropriate Kindergarten lessons and Activity Bank ideas to use in daily small group instruction.
  • Consider using the Decodable Reader from the whole group lesson as a resource during this time. Example:
    • Teacher identifies a grapheme or phoneme (from the current cycle or based on the needs of the group). Students look for the grapheme. Student volunteer identifies the grapheme, makes the sound, and possibly practices proper formation (skywriting or whiteboard).

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Students in Partial Alphabetic (PA) phase may need more time to apply the Syllable and Suffix Sleuth strategies in the Decodable Reader than the whole group lesson provides. If so, small group work may include extended practice of work time.
  • Suggestions for working with students at the early to middle PA phase:
    • Spend time on lessons and/or patterns from a previous cycle needing more practice. Consider using the Assessment Conversion chart to determine an appropriate cycle.
    • Prepare short decodable sentences with a mix of single-syllable CVC and CVCe words. Example: "The cat has a cap and a cape."
    • Teacher cuts up decodable sentences and has students reconstruct them.
    • Cut up words from the decodable sentences, separating the onset from the rime. This supports visual analysis of VC or VCe chunks (rime). Identifying the correct onset supports decoding of CVC and CVCe words. Example: "The c/at h/as a c/ap and a c/ape."
  • Related Activity Bank suggestions:
    • An Activity Bank Activity from the Affix category (A) or from the Vowels category (V)

Full Alphabetic:

  • Suggestions for working with students at the early to middle Full Alphabetic phase:
    • Check in with Accountable Independent Reading.
    • Follow up with Word Lists and exit tickets. Analyze words that were more challenging and discuss why.
    • Follow up with the Decodable Reader: "Baseball," highlighting successful decoding strategies and working on any words that may have presented particular challenges.

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