Skills Block: Module 4 (Cycles 20-26) | EL Education Curriculum

You are here


Skills Block: Module 4 (Cycles 20-26)

You are here:

In Grade 2, Module 4, the introduction of new spelling patterns is continued, as is the focus on homophones, including those with silent letters. Generalizations are taught for spelling patterns that sound the same, such as "-us" and "-ous" endings, and students continue to build understanding that they must learn these types of words through repeated readings and spellings and rely on context when a word is read in connected text.

Students continue to use their knowledge of syllable types to decode unfamiliar words. They are also introduced to the high-leverage vowel sound schwa, which occurs in a large number of English words. As students explore words with this unique vowel sound and other related patterns, they gain a deeper understanding of spelling/sound patterns.

By the end of Module 4, students should have a solid understanding of a broad array of spelling patterns and generalizations, such as newly introduced "-cal" vs. "-cle," and including words with the schwa vowel sound. Students continue to decode and encode words with common affixes, such as "im-," "-ment," and "-ness," including some three-syllable words. Lastly, students continue to work and reflect on their growing ability to fluently read Grade 2 texts, specifically nonfiction texts.

Cycle Details

  • Cycle 20: Introduces "-y" generalization for plural endings and "-ment" and "-ness" word endings.
  • Cycle 21: Introduces schwa with "a" and prefixes "dis-" and "de-."
  • Cycle 22: Introduces schwa with "o" and prefixes "in-" and "im-."
  • Cycle 23: Introduces "-ate" words (schwa and CVCe), homophones with silent letters, and contractions with "are."
  • Cycle 24: Introduces compound words.
  • Cycle 25: Introduces "-cal" vs. "-cle" words and possessives.
  • Cycle 26: Reviews "-ous" vs. "-us" words.

Module Pacing Considerations

Flex Week: All modules in the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block include a Flex Week for teachers to use at their discretion. When determining how to use these days, consider scheduling challenges (examples: holidays or teacher work days) and students' needs (example: reteaching).

Now that students are likely comfortable and familiar with the instructional practices, consider using Flex Days for goal setting if it is difficult to meet with every student on the Assessment and Goal Setting days in Cycle 23.

End-of-the-Year Benchmark Assessments can be administered at the discretion of the teacher, school leader, or school district. Consider using a few Flex Days at the beginning or end of Module 4 as needed. Because of the Benchmark Assessments, there is not a Cycle Assessment and Goal Setting lesson in the last cycle of the module. Instead, there is an additional review lesson. Consider also using this day for End-of-the-Year Benchmark Assessments as well, if necessary.


There are two forms of assessment in the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block curriculum.

Benchmark Assessments

  • Students complete Benchmark Assessments at the start of the year, mid-year, and at the end of the year (see Grade Assessment Overview in the K-2 Skills Resource Manual). Ideally, Baseline Benchmark Assessments should be administered before Cycle 1, but the Flex Week and/or differentiated small group time can be used to complete the first round, if necessary. Group students based on results (see Assessment Conversion chart in the K-2 Skills Resource Manual) to prepare for differentiated small group instruction.

Cycle Assessments

  • At the end of two cycles per module (and one cycle in Module 1), students also are assessed on decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) of words made up of taught graphemes and phonemes as well as taught high-frequency words. It is suggested that the teacher scores the assessment and reviews the results with each individual student to facilitate a goal-setting conversation. If time is a concern, the teacher may consider only meeting with one or two groups for each cycle for a goal-setting conversation. Guidance is provided to differentiate the assessments based on each student's Phase of Reading Development. Refer to the Review and Cycle Assessment lesson in each cycle for details.
  • Brief, optional decoding and spelling assessments are also provided for cycles that do not include a full Cycle Assessment. These optional assessments are found in the supporting materials of the first lesson of the cycle and can be used at any point during the cycle.
  • Beginning in Module 3, choose from any of the review "exercises" taught in Modules 1-2 for the weeks that are not set aside for Assessment and Goal Setting. Consider that some exercises may be a better fit for the focus of a given cycle. Taught review exercises from Modules 1-2 are as follows:
    • Identify and Match
    • Count It Out
    • Question Boxes
    • Word Stars
    • Same Sounds
    • Make a Word

Habits of Character / Social Emotional Learning Focus

Across EL Education's curriculum, there is a specific focus on students building habits of character. See K-5 Curriculum Overview for details.

Within the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block, specifically, there is a strong focus on building students' growth mindset: noticing their ability grows with their effort. This is addressed during a daily Closing routine where students reflect on how the content of the lesson and specific learning or actions they've taken contribute to helping them become more proficient readers.

In Module 4, students reflect on their journey toward independence and proficiency as readers. They have learned to internalize relationships between phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (spelling patterns). They have learned to generalize that knowledge to read words made up of various combinations of those sound and spelling patterns. Students take time to reflect on their growth over time in the highly complex process of reading.

Engagement Texts and Decodable Readers

No purchase necessary. Engagement texts and decodables are included in the module materials.

  • "Babies"; "I Spy" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 20)
  • "The Life Cycle of Moths and Butterflies"; "Come Along" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 21)
  • "All about Maps"; "Map of America"; "Nighttime Fun" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 22)
  • "The Tale of the Knight's Nose"; "The Chocolate on My Plate" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 23)
  • "It's Raining!" ("It's Raining!" Click. Apr. 2013: 10-15. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 10 May 2016.); "Solid, Liquid, or Vapor"; "Tree House Sleepover" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 24)
  • "Recycle!"; "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"; "Tropical Island" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 25)
  • "Dino Sized" ("Dino Sized." Click (Vol. 13, No. 5). May/Jun 2010: 16-17. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 10 May 2016); "Animals, Big and Small"; "I'm Not Feeling Well" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 26)

CCS Standards Taught and Assessed

Reading-Foundational Skills

  • RF.2.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

A. Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.

B. Know spelling-sound correspondences for additional common vowel teams.

C. Decode regularly spelled two-syllable words with long vowels.

D. Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.

E. Identify words with inconsistent but common spelling-sound correspondences.

F. Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

  • RF.2.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

A. Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

B. Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

C. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.


  • L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

C. Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.

D. Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage-badge; boy-boil). 

Module at a Glance

Cycle 20

Introduced: "-y" generalization for plural endings and "-ment" and "-ness" word endings

High-Frequency Words: "usually," "eight," "animal," "people," "around," "they're," "that's," "you've"

Cycle 21

Introduced: schwa with "a" and prefixes "dis-" and "de-"

High-Frequency Words: "similar," "process," "another," "usually," "inside," "isn't," "you're"

Cycle 22

Introduced: schwa with "o" and prefixes "in-" and "im-"

High-Frequency Words: "across," "America," "could," "entire," "I've," "once," "they've," "we'd"

Cycle 23

Introduced: "-ate" words (schwa and CVCe), homophones with silent letters, and contractions with "are"

High-Frequency Words: "brought," "piece"

Cycle 24

Introduced: compound words

High-Frequency Words: "everyday," "everybody," "everyone," "we're," "you're"

Cycle 25

Introduced: "-cal" vs. "-cle" words and possessives

High-Frequency Words: "material," "purpose," "community," "person"

Cycle 26

Introduced: "-ous" vs. "-us" words

High-Frequency Words: "animal," "between," "favorite," "let's," "that's"

See each Cycle Overview for more details, including information about what to prepare in advance, and extension opportunities.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up