Skills Block: Module 2 (Cycles 5-11) | EL Education Curriculum

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Skills Block: Module 2 (Cycles 5-11)

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Kindergarten Module 2 continues the focus on "getting to know letters" (letter name, formation, and sound) and phonological awareness begun in Module 1. The broader phonological awareness instruction begins to move toward phonemic awareness as students prepare to decode and encode words in Module 3. Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness and is the most important phonological element for the development of reading and spelling. Phonemic awareness is the ability to focus on the separate, individual sounds in words (the phonemes). Research demonstrates that letter identification, along with phonemic awareness, is essential to early reading and spelling development.

By the end of the module, students will be familiar with the name, formation, and sound for each letter of the alphabet. They should be very comfortable identifying rhyming words and syllables in words as well as the onset (beginning sound) and rime (ending chunk).

Cycle Details

  • Cycle 5: Introduces "v" and "s."
  • Cycle 6: Introduces "g" and "i."
  • Cycle 7: Introduces ""d," "f," and "l."
  • Cycle 8: Introduces "k" and "y."
  • Cycle 9: Introduces "q," "u," and "x."
  • Cycle 10: Introduces "b," "o," and "w." Also introduces the new instructional practices Interactive Sentence Building (a precursor to Interactive Writing), Make a Match, and a temporary instructional practice used for review, Question Cards. Feel the Beats, a current instructional practice, begins to incorporate work with onset and rime as well as syllables.
  • Cycle 11: Introduces "j," "e," and "z" and continues the new instructional practices from the previous cycle.

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).

Module 2 introduces several new instructional practices: Interactive Sentence Building, Make a Match, Question Cards, and a new version of a current practice (Feel the Beats). Students are also challenged to develop phonemic awareness, moving from syllable identification to onset and rime and, finally, individual phonemes. As a result, consider using one or more Flex Days to reinforce the new instructional practices and/or the new, more challenging skills introduced, if necessary.

If the majority of students have become comfortable with the routine and skills in Getting to Know the Letters and Rhyme Time, consider accelerating. For example, teachers might introduce more letters in a cycle (using letters from the following cycles) and/or begin to decode and encode the words used during Rhyme Time.

Middle-of-the-Year Benchmark Assessments can be administered at the discretion of the teacher, school leader, or school district. If they are administered between Modules 2 and 3, consider using a few Flex Days from each module to make up for this time, 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 Assessment Overview In the K-2 Skills Resource Manual details. 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) to prepare for differentiated small group instruction.

Cycle Assessments

  • Beginning in Module 3, at the end of each cycle, students are also assessed on decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) 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.

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 document for details.

Within the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block, specifically, there is a strong focus on building students' growth mindset: noticing that 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 will contribute to helping them become more proficient readers.

As students acquire knowledge and understanding of spoken language and its representation in print, the reflection routine in Module 2 guides them to make steadily more specific connections between lesson content and how it may contribute to reading and writing proficiency. This lays an important foundation for growth mindset: the concept that, with effort and practice, one can take control of the learning process. In other words, it is not something that happens "to" them but rather something they participate in.

Engagement Texts and Decodable Readers

Poems (no purchase necessary; included in the module materials)

  • "Victor the Sleepy Vulture" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 5)
  • "The Grumpy Iguana" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 6)
  • "An Afternoon Swim" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 7)
  • "Can a Yak Jump Up?" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 8)
  • "A Fox and a Quail in the Rain" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 9)
  • "Would You Ever?" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 10)
  • "My Camera" (written by EL Education for instructional purposes) (Cycle 11)

CCS Standards Taught and Assessed

Reading-Foundational Skills

  • RF.K.1: Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.

A. Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.

B. Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.

C. Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.

D. Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

  • RF.K.2: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).

A. Recognize and produce rhyming words.

B. Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

C. Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.

D. Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVC words ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)

E. Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.

  • RF.K.3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

A. Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.

B. Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

C. Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g. the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).

D. Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.

  • RF.K.4: Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.


  • L.K.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

E. Print many upper- and lowercase letters.

  • L.K.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

C. Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).

D. Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Module at a Glance

Cycle 5

Introduced: "v" and "s"

High-frequency word: "he"

Cycle 6

Introduced: "g" and "i"

High-frequency word: "on"

Cycle 7

Introduced: "d," "f," and "l"

High-frequency word: "and"

Cycle 8

Introduced: "k" and "y"

High-frequency word: "up"

Cycle 9

Introduced: "q," "u," and "x"

High-frequency word: "a"

Cycle 10

Introduced: "b," "o," and "w"

High-frequency word: "you"

Cycle 11

Introduced: "j," "e," and "z"

High-frequency word: "see"

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

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