Understanding the Language Arts Standards for Kindergarten

Oral Language

At the kindergarten level, students will engage in a variety of oral activities in order to develop their understanding of language and enhance their ability to communicate effectively. Of primary importance is the development of phonemic skills that are the precursor for success in learning to decode words. Emphasis will be placed on having the students build and use listening and speaking vocabularies through participation in oral language activities employing poems, rhymes, songs, and stories. Students will also learn rules for conversation and skills for participating in discussions. They will also learn how to formulate basic investigative questions.


At the kindergarten level, students will be immersed in a print-rich environment. They will learn the concepts of print, basic phonetic principles, comprehension of stories, and letter identification skills through systematic direct instruction, individual and small group activities, and time spent exploring and reading books and other print material. Students will learn to identify and name the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet, understand that letters represent sounds, and identify beginning consonant sounds in single consonant words. They will also learn to comprehend and relate stories through drama, retellings, drawing, and their own writing.


At the kindergarten level, students will begin to build a connection between oral and written language. Awareness that spoken language can be written and written language can be read is a fundamental concept in communicating ideas. Students will learn to print the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet as well as their first and last name. Kindergarten writing reflects the students’ oral language. Students will communicate their ideas through drawings, scribbles, letter strings, letter approximations, and dictation to adults.

Tips for Parents:

Parental involvement in schooling can lead to academic benefits for students. Parents are encouraged to:

·         help your child set aside 20 minutes daily to read;

·                            set an example by reading daily;

·                            read aloud to or with your child;

·                            read works of both fiction and nonfiction;

·                            discuss what your child has been reading;

·                            visit the library in order to learn about outstanding literature;

·                            share and define new vocabulary words;

·                            read and discuss newspaper/magazine articles and      historical/current events;

·                            have your child keep a writing journal;

·                            review and discuss your child’s writing, making suggestions for                         revision; and

·                            limit television viewing.



The kindergarten student will be immersed in a print-rich environment to develop oral language skills, phonological awareness, print awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and an appreciation for literature. The reading of fiction and nonfiction texts will enable students to develop an awareness of print materials as sources of information and enjoyment. The kindergarten student will have the opportunity to use words that describe people, places, and events. The student will recognize and print letters of the alphabet, use the basic phonetic principles of identifying and writing beginning sounds, identify story elements, and communicate ideas through pictures and writing.


Oral Language

K.1   The student will demonstrate growth in the use of oral language.

a) Listen to a variety of literary forms, including stories and poems.

b) Participate in a variety of oral language activities including choral and echo speaking and recitation of short poems, rhymes, songs, and stories with repeated word order patterns.

c) Participate in oral generation of language experience narratives.

d) Participate in creative dramatics.

e) Use complete sentences that include subject, verb, and object.

K.2 The student will expand understanding and use of word meanings.

a) Increase listening and speaking vocabularies.

b) Use number words.

c) Use words to describe/name people, places, and things.

d) Use words to describe/name location, size, color, and shape.

e) Use words to describe/name actions.

f) Ask about words not understood.

g) Use vocabulary from other content areas.

K.3 The student will build oral communication skills.

a) Express ideas in complete sentences and express needs through direct requests.

b) Begin to initiate conversations.

c) Begin to follow implicit rules for conversation, including taking turns and staying on topic.

d) Listen and speak in informal conversations with peers and adults.

e) Participate in group and partner discussions about various texts and topics.

f) Begin to use voice level, phrasing, and intonation appropriate for various language situations.

g) Follow one- and two-step directions.

h) Begin to ask how and why questions.

K.4 The student will identify, say, segment, and blend various units of speech sounds.

a) Begin to discriminate between spoken sentences, words, and syllables.

b) Identify and produce words that rhyme.

c) Blend and segment multisyllabic words at the syllable level.

d) Segment one-syllable words into speech sound units including beginning phoneme(s) (onset) and ending (rimes).

e) Identify words according to shared beginning and/or ending sounds. English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools - January 2010 2

K.5 The student will understand how print is organized and read.

a) Hold print materials in the correct position.

b) Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.

c) Distinguish between print and pictures.

d) Follow words from left to right and from top to bottom on a printed page.

e) Match voice with print. (concept of word).

K.6 The student will demonstrate an understanding that print conveys meaning.

a) Identify common signs and logos.

b) Explain that printed materials provide information.

c) Read and explain own writing and drawings.

d) Read his/her name and read fifteen meaningful, concrete words.

K.7 The student will develop an understanding of basic phonetic principles.

a) Identify and name the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

b) Match consonant, short vowel, and initial consonant diagraph sounds to appropriate letters.

c) Demonstrate a speech-to-print match through accurate finger-point reading in familiar text that includes words with more than one syllable.

d) Identify beginning consonant sounds in single-syllable words.

K.8 The student will expand vocabulary.

a) Discuss meanings of words.

b) Develop vocabulary by listening to a variety of texts read aloud.

K.9 The student will demonstrate comprehension of fictional texts.

a) Identify what an author does and what an illustrator does.

b) Relate previous experiences to what is read.

c) Use pictures to make predictions.

d) Begin to ask and answer questions about what is read.

e) Use story language in discussions and retellings.

f) Retell familiar stories, using beginning, middle, and end.

g) Discuss characters, setting, and events.

K.10 The student will demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction texts.

a) Use pictures to identify topic and make predictions.

b) Identify text features specific to the topic, such as titles, headings, and pictures.



K.11 The student will print in manuscript.

a) Print uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet independently.

b) Print his/her first and last names. English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools - January 2010

K.12 The student will write to communicate ideas for a variety of purposes.

a) Differentiate pictures from writing.

b) Draw pictures and/or use letters and phonetically spelled words to write about experiences.

c) Use letters and beginning consonant sounds to spell phonetically words to describe pictures or write about experiences.

d) Write left to right and top to bottom.

K.13 The student will use available technology for reading and writing.