English Language Arts Standards for 4-Year-Olds
Printable Version (pdf)
Printable Version (pdf)
Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak, and listen. When students utilize these skills, they begin to express and understand ideas and opinions, make decisions, solve problems, and achieve goals. Achieving literacy is a lifelong learning process. Literacy enables students to participate fully in their community and society.
Language is the basis for understanding and communicating in most aspects of life. The development of language begins in infancy, and by the preschool years, many children have a vocabulary that includes several thousand words and continues to increase at a remarkable rate. One of the best predictors of reading success is the number of spoken words a preschooler understands and uses.
Research has supported the use of evidence-based literacy practices using systematic, explicit, cumulative instruction when teaching the seven essential components of literacy: oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. According to research, it is recommended that preschool teachers prepare children for later reading instruction. They can do so by introducing the five critical building blocks for literacy including phonological awareness, letter identification, vocabulary knowledge, print concepts, and a positive attitude toward reading (Henry, 2019). The lack of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to read (Adams, 1998). Early phonological awareness skills usually develop during the preschool years and include rhyming, alliteration, segmenting words into syllables, and identifying the first sounds in words. Research suggests these early phonological awareness skills facilitate the development of letter sound knowledge (Cardos-Martins et al., 2011). The levels of phonological awareness can build on each other advancing from word awareness to syllable awareness, to onset-rime awareness, to individual phoneme awareness. “Children’s language develops on a continuum and moves from large to increasingly smaller segments of language.” (Cunningham & Zibulsky, 2014).
ADULTS SUPPORT LEARNING IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS WHEN THEY:
- Engage in conversations with children.
- Read daily from a variety of texts, including narrative and informational genres.
- Create a language- and print-rich environment, including reading, listening, writing, and dramatic play centers, eye level alphabet charts, picture/word labels, and samples of children’s work. Modifications and support in children’s primary language may be provided as necessary.
- Provide activities that increase phonological awareness. Phonological awareness includes phonemic awareness, onset-rime awareness, syllable awareness, and word awareness.
- Use a wide variety of media and presentation forms, including animated and engaging storytelling, pictures or drawings, posters, appropriate short multimedia presentations, drama, show and tell, signs, paintings, sculptures, puppets, and hand signs.
- Sing a wide variety of songs, including those that reflect the cultural makeup of the world.
- Provide a variety of texts such as menus, books, magazines, charts, record sheets, recipes, telephone directories, journals, theater programs, newspapers, maps, instruction booklets, movie or music labels, food and product labels (including those in different languages), and store flyers.
- Provide activities that increase awareness of the rhythm of language, such as clapping the syllables in children’s names or other familiar words. ] Provide opportunities for multiple readings/retellings of nursery rhymes or stories.
- While reading to children, ask questions about what may happen next, how the book relates to their own experiences, how the characters in the story are feeling, etc. Encourage children to re-enact stories using dramatic play or puppets.
- Supply a variety of age-appropriate writing tools and materials in all areas of the classroom, including thin short pencils, crayons, markers, whiteboards, glue sticks, magnetic letters, paintbrushes, etc.
- Model proper writing in different ways, such as writing down what children say, labeling their drawings, writing questions that could be asked of a visitor, or making a list of foods.
Core Standards of the Course
Strand 1: ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL LANGUAGE: SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Language development is crucial in the preschool years to establish foundational skills for all future academic and social success. Language skills include the ability to speak as well as listen.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.1
Speak in sentences of varying lengths to communicate wants, needs, experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.2
Use nouns, verbs, prepositions, pronouns, and adjectives when speaking with others.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.3
Begin to ask and answer complex questions (for example, who, what, where, when, why, how).
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.4
Describe attributes of familiar people, places, things, and events.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.5
Use and talk about new vocabulary through rich texts, projects, guided conversation, and play.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.6
Discuss how objects can be sorted into categories (for example, shapes, foods) based on commonalities and differences.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.7
Identify and name opposites (antonyms) (for example, happy/sad, up/down, big/little).
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.8
Engage in conversations with peers and adults by talking about activities, personal stories, pictures, topics, and text.
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.9
Follow agreed upon rules for conversation (for example, listening to others, staying on topic, and taking turns speaking).
Standard ELA 4 yr.1.10
Follow two-step directions to complete a task or routine (for example, “Please find your coat and wait for me at the door.” “Time to wash your hands and find a seat at the table to get ready for a snack.”).
Strand 2: READING
By exposing children to a wide variety of texts, and surrounding them with a print-rich environment, they begin to develop foundational reading skills. These skills are divided into five sub-strands: concepts of print, phonological awareness, word recognition, recall information, and comprehension.
Sub-strand: CONCEPTS OF PRINT
Foundational reading skills include learning how a book is properly held and manipulated, understanding print carries meaning, and that illustrations/photographs add meaning to stories.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.1
Correctly hold a book.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.2
Discuss that print conveys meaning and how the illustrations/ photographs relate to the text.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.3
Identify print in everyday life including numbers, alphabet letters, letters in their own name, and environmental print.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.4
With prompting and support, demonstrate that print is read from top to bottom, left to right, and from front to back.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.5
Demonstrate that spoken words are represented in written language (for example, point to written words while reciting a known nursery rhyme or reading a recipe together during a cooking activity).
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.6
With prompting and support, begin to recognize that letters are grouped to form words.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.7
With prompting and support, discuss the role of the author and illustrator/photographer in presenting the ideas or information in a text.
Sub-strand: PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
Phonological Awareness refers to a child’s ability to recognize the many ways that sounds function within words. This includes rhyming, identifying parts of words such as syllables, segmenting individual sounds (also called phonemes), and exploring how audible sounds blend to make words. It is important to note that phonemic awareness practice is auditory and does not include text or written letters.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.8
Identify and discriminate between sounds (phonemes) in spoken language (for example, point to a picture that begins with the same sound as dog).
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.9
Recognize rhyming words in familiar songs/books (for example, provide rhyming words, show a thumbs up if the words rhyme or thumbs down if the words do not rhyme).
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.10
With prompting and support, count syllables as words are being spoken (for example, clap, stomp, jump, use hand signals).
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.11
With prompting and support, blend (put together), and segment (take apart) single-syllable words into individual phonemes auditorily (for example, segment: bat= /b/ /a/ /t/, blend: /b/ /a/ /t/ = bat).
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.12
Begin to recognize the beginning sounds of words and progress towards recognizing ending sounds of words.
Sub-strand: WORD RECOGNITION
Word recognition in preschool includes the knowledge that words are made up of letters and sounds.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.13
With prompting and support, recognize that written words are made up of letters and sounds.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.14
Identify the names and sounds of some upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet, including those in their own name.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.15
Begin to recognize some printed words that are seen frequently (for example, their own name, the names of classmates, labels in the classroom environment).
Sub-strand: RECALL INFORMATION
When students practice recalling names of objects that they are familiar with, they can begin to build a bridge to fluency.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.16
With prompting and support, rapidly recall the names of a series of objects or pictures (for example, dog, cat, horse, mouse, fish, monkey, lion).
Comprehension refers to the ability to derive meaning from written and spoken language.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.17
With prompting and support, listen attentively to and retell simple texts, including event sequence and characters, through conversation, art, movement, or drama.
Standard ELA 4 yr.2.18
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions and make connections about text, media, or information presented orally.
Strand 3: WRITING
Writing refers to how children represent spoken words with written language. The development of fine motor control in early childhood is essential for early writing skills. Fine motor skills develop at different rates for each child. Forming legible letters is an emerging expectation for 4-year-olds. Refer to Strand One: Fine Motor within the Physical Education Standards for more information
Standard ELA 4 yr.3.1
Represent ideas visually (for example, scribble with letter-like formations, simple drawings).
Standard ELA 4 yr.3.2
Represent spoken words with written language using letter-like marks and scribbles.
Standard ELA 4 yr.3.3
Print some letters of the alphabet, including those in their own name.
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