Grade Level Expectations in Reading and Writing Skills

The following is a list of the reading and writing skills your child should achieve at each grade level.   In order for children to become proficient readers, they should receive instruction in each of the four components of reading: word recognition, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

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Pre-Kindergarten
Kindergarten
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade
Eighth Grade
Pre-Kindergarten

Pre-Kindergarten

Word Recognition

Children begin learning the sounds and symbols of their written language. They recite the alphabet, and learn to recognize the letters and to make the sound of each letter.  They learn that letters and their sounds go together to make words and they learn to recognize rhyme.  They begin to recognize some sight words such as the, and, can, etc.  They begin to read simple sentences and stories. 

Vocabulary

Children learn the meanings of words as they hear them in a variety of texts that are read to them and discussed. 

Fluency

Children begin to recognize the letters, their own name, their friends’ names and common sight words accurately and automatically. 

Comprehension

Children understand the features of print such as reading from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom, and turning the pages from right to left.  They remember details in texts, retell stories, and answer questions about characters and events in stories. 

Writing

Children learn to print their names, letters, and some words.  They draw pictures about stories they have heard or read and may dictate words or sentences that go with their pictures.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten

Children hear diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text. They read simple sentences and stories. All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Word Recognition

Children recite the alphabet and learn to recognize upper and lower case letters. They learn to make the sound of each letter including the short vowel sounds. They learn that letters and their sounds go together to make words. They learn to blend and count syllables in spoken words and begin to use phonics to recognize and decode unknown words. By the end of kindergarten, children recognize all of the sight words.

Vocabulary

Children learn new vocabulary from listening to, reading, and discussing a variety of narrative and informational texts. They learn the meanings of all of the sight words and use them in sentences and stories.

Fluency

With practice, children read the sight words and simple text with accuracy and at the appropriate rate and begin learning to read with expression.

Comprehension

By the end of kindergarten, children read, remember, and retell simple stories and answer questions about literary and informational text. They discuss and answer questions about books that have been read to them. They learn to orally compare and contrast the characters and events in different stories.

Writing

Children continue learning to print the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. They also write the sight words, and write and spell familiar words such as Mom and Dad. They write sentences about stories they have heard or read and draw pictures to go with them.

First Grade

First Grade

Children read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text. All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Word Recognition

Children learn long and short vowel sounds and to blend sounds to decode unknown words. They learn the beginning and final sounds in words. They begin to recognize blends such as bl, cr, etc. They read words of two or more syllables and words with inflectional endings such as plural s, es, ed, ing, and er.

Vocabulary

Children learn to pronounce and learn the meanings of new vocabulary from listening to, reading and discussing a variety of narrative and informational texts.

Fluency

With practice, children read the sight words and grade appropriate text with accuracy, and with appropriate expression, rate, and understanding.

Comprehension

Children listen to, read, and respond orally to questions about literature and informational text. They respond orally to questions about the characters, settings, and main events in stories. They orally retell stories and include key details in the retellings. They tell the who or what a selection is about.

Writing

Children practice writing upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. They write sentences and simple paragraphs about a topic and they write and illustrate simple stories. They participate in the class writing of experience stories and write their own stories about experiences they have had.

Second Grade

Second Grade

Children read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text. All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Word Recognition

Children use phonics and word analysis to decode or sound out two syllable words such as playful. They read and understand the meanings of the prefixes (re, un) and suffixes (ful, est,and less) when they are added to words. They use their knowledge of blends (pl, gr, fr, bl, etc.) and digraphs (th, ch, sh) to decode unknown words.

Vocabulary

Children expand their word knowledge by learning the meanings of the vocabulary words in each subject area and by reading and discussing a variety of narrative and informational texts.

Fluency

Children read the sight words and required grade appropriate text with accuracy and with appropriate phrasing, expression, rate, and understanding. Children begin to read chapter books fluently in the second half of second grade.

Comprehension

Children read and respond orally to questions about characters, plot, and setting in literary texts. They ask and answer who, what where when, why, and how questions about texts they have read, and they recognize main ideas and the details that support the main ideas. They orally retell stories and include key details in the retellings.

Writing

Children write stories and essays of several paragraphs, but may be asked to write five paragraph essays and longer stories. They may also be asked to research and write about a topic they have studied. Their writings include a beginning sentence or sentences about the topic (introduction). They also write details about the topic (essay body), and a sentence or sentences that conclude the essay.

Third Grade

Third Grade

Children read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text. All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Word Recognition

Children continue to expand their knowledge of phonics and word analysis. They sound out (decode) multi-syllabic words such as ac-ci-dent and dan-ger-ous -ly. They use their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to sound out words.

Vocabulary

Children expand their word knowledge by learning the meanings of the vocabulary words in each subject area and by reading and discussing a variety of narrative and informational texts. They use their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to obtain meanings of words.

Fluency

Children read the required grade appropriate text with accuracy, and with appropriate phrasing, expression, rate, and understanding.

Comprehension

Children read literary and informational text with understanding of the main idea and key details. They participate in literary analysis by describing the characters, settings, and main events in a story. They use the knowledge and vocabulary gained from their subject area reading to respond to questioning about literary and informational text. They retell stories and include key details. They summarize in writing what they have read. They read and understand longer and more difficult chapter books.

Writing

Children read literary and informational text with understanding of the main idea and key details. They participate in literary analysis by describing the characters, settings, and main events in a story. They use the knowledge and vocabulary gained from their subject area reading to respond to questioning about literary and informational text. They retell stories and include key details. They summarize in writing what they have read. They read and understand longer and more difficult chapter books.

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Children read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text. All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Word Recognition

Children use word analysis skills such as syllabication, knowledge of roots, suffixes, and prefixes, and their knowledge of phonics to decode unfamiliar words in grade appropriate text.

Vocabulary

Children expand their word knowledge by learning the meanings of the vocabulary words in each subject area and by reading and discussing a variety of narrative and informational texts. They also use word analysis skills to obtain meanings of words. They distinguish and understand words with multiple meanings.

Fluency

Children read the required grade appropriate text with accuracy, and with appropriate phrasing, expression, rate, and understanding.

Comprehension

Children read literary and informational text with understanding and identify the main idea and key details. They draw inferences and conclusions when asked about specific parts of the text. They summarize what they have read. They distinguish between cause and effect and between fact and opinion. They identify, compare and contrast themes, events, and characters across different stories. They identify and understand figurative language (similes, metaphors, alliteration, and personification).

Writing

Children write narrative, informational (expository), and persuasive essays of multiple paragraphs that include an introduction, body and conclusion. They write persuasive essays in which they support the reasons for their opinion with facts, details, and their own experiences. They write research papers using more than one source to obtain their information. They use subject vocabulary such as science, social studies, in their own writing. They use Standard English rules of grammar and composition.

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade

Children read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text.  All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Word Recognition

Children use word analysis skills such as syllabication, knowledge of roots, suffixes, prefixes, and their knowledge of phonics to decode unfamiliar words in grade appropriate text. 

Vocabulary

Children expand their word knowledge by learning the meanings of the vocabulary words in each subject area and by reading and discussing a variety of narrative and informational texts.  They also use word analysis skills to obtain meanings of words.  They distinguish and understand words with multiple meanings.

Fluency

Children read the required grade appropriate text with accuracy, and with appropriate phrasing, expression, rate, and understanding.   This includes fluently reading the multi-line sentences found in grade appropriate text.

Comprehension

Children read literary and informational text with understanding and identify the main idea and key details.  They draw inferences, conclusions, and make generalizations about text and support them with evidence from the text and prior knowledge.  In literary and informational text, they identify themes and summarize what they have read.  They compare and contrast themes, events, and characters across different stories. They distinguish between cause and effect and between fact and opinion. They identify and understand figurative language (similes, metaphors, alliteration, and personification). They identify the main problem or conflict and explain how it is resolved. 

Writing

Children write clear, focused, and organized narrative, informational (expository), and persuasive essays of multiple paragraphs that include an introduction, body, and conclusion.   They write multiple paragraph persuasive essays in which they support the reasons for their opinion with facts, details, and their own experiences.  They write research papers using more than one source to obtain their information.  They use the subject vocabulary they have learned.  Children use Standard English rules of grammar and composition and write with an awareness of the audience and purpose.

Sixth Grade

Sixth Grade

Children read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, rhymes, and prose) and informational text.  All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Vocabulary

Students acquire and expand their vocabulary through word study and extensive reading of diverse and varied literature and informational text.  They learn Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes to aid in the understanding of the meaning of words.

Fluency

Students read the required text with accuracy and with appropriate phrasing, rate, expression, and understanding.  This includes fluently reading the multi-line sentences found in grade appropriate text.

Comprehension

Students analyze literature and informational text.  They analyze, identify, explain, integrate information from two or more texts.  They compare, contrast, and determine theme or thesis and cite evidence to support conclusions and evaluations.  Students use text structure, author’s point of view, visual elements, and figurative language to determine the meaning of text.  They identify the structural features of informational text such as headings, maps, graphs, etc.,), and of literature such as punctuation, headings, pictures, etc.  They develop research skills for media presentations. 

Writing

Students write clear, organized, and focused narrative, informational (expository) and persuasive essays of multiple paragraphs that include an introduction, body, and conclusion.  They use the technical and specialized vocabulary they have learned in their subject areas. They use Standard English rules of grammar and composition and write with an awareness of the audience and purpose. They write research papers using multiple sources of evidence.

Seventh Grade

Seventh Grade

Students read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, and prose) and informational text.  All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Vocabulary

Students acquire and expand their vocabulary through word study and extensive reading of diverse and varied literature and informational text.  They learn Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes to aid in the understanding the meaning of words.

Fluency

Students read required text with accuracy and with appropriate phrasing, rate, expression, and understanding.  This includes fluently reading the multi-line sentences found in grade appropriate text.

Comprehension

Students identify the theme or thesis in literary and informational text.  They analyze literary text to determine author’s point of view or tone and how this affects the plot, characters, setting, and important events. They analyze the use of characters’ thoughts, actions, and speech to determine characterization.  Students identify the different types of figurative language in grade appropriate material and how these elements contribute to the development of the theme or thesis. These include metaphors, similes, idioms, alliteration, and analogies in literature and poetry. Students summarize both literary and informational text. Students cite several sources of evidence when analyzing literary or informational text, in response to a specific task.  

Writing

Students write clear, organized, and focused narrative, informational (expository), and persuasive essays of multiple paragraphs that include an introduction, body, and conclusion. They use the technical and specialized vocabulary they have learned in their subject areas. They use Standard English rules of grammar and composition and write with an awareness of the audience and purpose.  They write research papers using multiple sources of evidence.

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade

Students read diverse and varied literary text (stories, poetry, and prose) and informational text.  All reading texts are grade appropriate.

Vocabulary

Students acquire and expand their vocabulary through extensive reading of diverse and varied literature and informational text. They learn Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes to aid in the understanding of the meaning of words. They use the knowledge of word origins and  historical and literary context to understand technical and specialized subject vocabulary.  

Fluency

Students read the required text with accuracy and with appropriate phrasing, rate, expression, and understanding.  This includes fluently reading the multi-line sentences found in grade appropriate text.

Comprehension

Students analyze literature and informational text.  They evaluate the plot, subplot, climax, conflicts, and major events in literary text. They compare and contrast the characters, relationships, and themes of literary text with other written work. They analyze the use of characters’ thoughts, actions, and speech to determine characterization.  They also use this analysis to determine the importance of the characterization to the plot. They analyze figurative language to infer the meaning used in literary text, such as metaphors, similes, analogies, alliteration. Students summarize both literary and informational text and they determine the author’s point of view or tone. They identify the structural features of informational text such as headings, maps, graphs, etc.,), and of literature such as punctuation, headings, pictures, etc. They develop research skills for media presentations.

Writing

Students write clear, organized, and focused narrative, expository (informational), and persuasive essays of multiple paragraphs including an introduction, body, and conclusion. They use the technical and specialized vocabulary they have learned in their subject areas. They write research papers using multiple sources of evidence.  Students use Standard English rules of grammar and composition and write with an awareness of the audience and purpose.