K-5 Language Arts Curriculum: K-2 Module Lessons

How do the module lessons teach and assess the reading, writing, language, speaking & listening standards? How do to module lesson incorporate the Characteristics of Primary learners?

Created By

EL Education

In the K-2 curriculum, there are four modules over the course of a school year. In K-2, Module 1 is a bit shorter (six weeks rather than eight), so that teachers have time to do the other important work of getting classroom routines and culture in place, which often takes more time and deliberate attention for primary-aged students. Each module has a consistent structure of three units, each of which includes one formal assessment, that primarily assesses either reading, writing or speaking and listening.  Module 3 and 4 have a similar compelling topic allowing students to dig deeper into the topic and connect to their community (contributing to a better world).  

This page of the PD Pack begins with a wide lens, looking at how the modules unfold over the course of the year, and then drills down into a specific module, then further into a specific unit, and lastly into a single lesson from the curriculum.  When looking at the lesson you will consider how to best meet the needs of your individual students. This is a lot of unpacking!  But this kind of preparation, including understanding how the pieces build to a cohesive whole, will allow you to take an already strong curriculum and make it the best you can for your students.

Created By

EL Education

In the K-2 curriculum, there are four modules over the course of a school year. In K-2, Module 1 is a bit shorter (six weeks rather than eight), so that teachers have time to do the other important work of getting classroom routines and culture in place, which often takes more time and deliberate attention for primary-aged students. Each module has a consistent structure of three units, each of which includes one formal assessment, that primarily assesses either reading, writing or speaking and listening.  Module 3 and 4 have a similar compelling topic allowing students to dig deeper into the topic and connect to their community (contributing to a better world).  

This page of the PD Pack begins with a wide lens, looking at how the modules unfold over the course of the year, and then drills down into a specific module, then further into a specific unit, and lastly into a single lesson from the curriculum.  When looking at the lesson you will consider how to best meet the needs of your individual students. This is a lot of unpacking!  But this kind of preparation, including understanding how the pieces build to a cohesive whole, will allow you to take an already strong curriculum and make it the best you can for your students.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Steve Jobs, Entrepreneur

Learning Targets 

  • I can explain how the module lessons teach and assess the reading, writing, language, speaking & listening  standards.  
  • I can use key curriculum documents (Curriculum Plan, Curriculum Map, Module Overviews, Unit Overviews, and Lesson Plans) to begin to inform my planning.
  • I can explain how the Characteristics of Primary Learners are embedded throughout the module lessons.

Watch It: K-2 Module Lessons Screencast

Watch this introductory screencast on the K-2 Module Lessons to learn about the structure, assessments, and key features of the module lessons.  As you watch, consider:

  1. How do you see “backward design” at work in the modules?
  2. How are the modules supportive of primary learners?


Try It: Orienting to the Year

The documents below provide an overview of the yearlong content-based literacy blocks, the Module lessons and Labs.  

The Curriculum Plan, which is the widest-angle lens, will orient you to how the four modules will unfold across the year at your grade level, as well as the grade levels that precede and follow.

The Curriculum Map zooms a little closer into the four modules for your grade level, detailing the texts, assessments, and standards across the entire year. This document is critical to your understanding of the flow of the modules, how each module builds on the preceding module, and when and how often each standard is assessed.

Use the Orienting to the Year Task Card to guide you as you review the documents and help you see the big picture of how the curriculum unfolds across the year.  

Try It: Orienting to a Module

Now you will take a closer look at the first of the four modules for your grade level.  Please go to one of the following Modules:

Then use the Orienting to a Module Task Card to help you analyze the important overview documents for the module.  

Try It: Orienting to a Unit

Now you will dig in even further by looking at the three units that comprise a module. 

Each unit contributes to the story of the module by focusing instruction around the specific literacy skills necessary to holistically study the module topic. Reviewing the Unit Overviews and the will bring more of the details into focus as you continue the process of “zooming in” closer and closer to daily lessons.

It is important to read all three Unit Overviews to get a sense of the big picture of how the three units build on each other and how they fit together to tell the story of the module. The Unit-at- a-Glance charts are an especially important component of the Unit Overviews. Most teachers reference these charts frequently to understand the arc of each unit, how lessons build toward assessments, the recommended scaffolding (including key anchor charts), the protocols used across the unit, and when each text is introduced and how much time is recommended to spend on each.  

Open the Unit-at-a-Glance chart for Module 1 of your grade level.  Then locate below on this page the Orienting to a Unit Task Card to dig into a unit. 

Try It: Orienting to a Lesson

You will now zoom into a single day’s lesson plan to see how it fits within the arc of a module and begin to prepare for teaching.   

Please open lesson number one as appropriate for your grade level (or select a lesson you are preparing to deliver):

Then locate at the bottom of the page the Module Lessons Planning Task Card to guide your review of the lesson.  We recommend collaborating with a colleague as you dig into this for the first time.

Watch It: Close Read-Aloud in the Primary Grades

Watch this two part video series of Sara Metz and her Kindergarten students as they engage in an analysis of the book Come On, Rain!  Notice how the text-dependent questions support student engagement and understanding of the focus question.  In the final video, listen to Sara as she explains her process of analyzing the curriculum’s Close Read-Aloud guide and how she plans based on the needs of her students. 

Dig Deeper

  • “How Will the Curriculum Support My Students to Read Complex Text”: Close Read Alouds are an important instructional practice in the module lessons that support all students as they deepen their content knowledge and meet CCSS.  At the bottom of the page, locate and read ”How Will the Curriculum Support My Students to Read Complex Text”, an excerpt from Chapter 5 of the book Curriculum Companion. 

Synthesis:

For Teachers:

  1. How would you explain the structure of the module lessons to a parent or colleague?  
  2. Write down a few key steps for planning.  What do you want to remember to do before beginning a module?  

For School Leaders:

  1. How would you explain the structure of the module lessons to a parent or a new teacher?  
  2. How will you support teachers in further unpacking the modules, units, and lessons? Consider using the full Task Card (used in sections through this page) during a professional development session with your teachers in which they collaborate and learn together.

Suggested Use

Orienting To The Year Task Card

Orienting To A Module Task Card

Orienting To A Unit Task Card

Module Lessons Planning Task Card

How Will The Curriculum Support My Students To Read Complex Text