• Grades K-3 English Language Arts


    The Nazareth Area School District’s K-3 English Language Arts Program encourages all students to become readers, writers, speakers and listeners. All grade levels are aligned to the PA Academic Standards for English Language Arts and includes instruction in Reading, Writing, Grammar, Phonics or Word Study, Speaking, Listening, and Conducting Research. Instruction in English Language Arts occurs daily for 120 minutes in Grades K-3.

    Each grade level’s curriculum is comprised of three main parts: Reading, Writing and Phonics (K-2) or Word Study (3).


    Reading: Instruction exposes students to literature (fiction) and content-area (informational or non-fiction) leveled texts and books. The program framework pair instruction on a metacognitive strategy that can be applied to any text with a literary element. In addition, students are exposed to different genres of books throughout the year. Whole group and small group instruction occurs daily. Students in Grades K-3 read texts in small groups, utilizing texts selected specifically for their reading level and interests. Students participate in at least two language arts-based center activities daily, which is based on the Daily 5 framework. These activities may include Read to Self, Read with a Partner, Listening to Reading, Word Work, Writing, Small Group Reading with the Teacher and/or a Technology-based ELA activity. Students are assessed each month using a variety of formative and summative assessments, which measure their progress in reading and understanding grade level texts.


    The District utilizes Benchmark Literacy as its core resource in Grades K-3.


    Writing & Handwriting: Students learn to write in different genres, including narrative, informational and opinion. Students are assessed using On Demand Writing Prompts and Working Pieces that have been edited, revised and polished throughout the unit of instruction.

    In addition, students are taught grade appropriate conventions, which includes language usage and grammar skills. These skills are assessed in isolation and/or when embedded in their writing. Kindergarten students begin their introduction to writing using the Kid Writing approach before transitioning to writing narrative, informational and opinion texts.

    Finally, students learn the basics of cursive writing, beginning in the third trimester of Grade 2. During Grade 3, these skills continue to be practiced throughout the year. In addition, teachers are encouraged to write in cursive periodically for students to become familiar with the reading of cursive handwriting.


    The District utilizes Units of Study for Writing as its core resource in Grades K-3 and uses Sadlier’s Grammar Workshop (Grade 3 only) and Benchmark Education’s Writing to Sources as supplemental resources.




    Grades K-2 Phonics Workshop:


    Instruction teaches students the relationships between sounds of the letters and written symbols and focuses on the areas of phonemic awareness (the ability to understand that the sounds of spoken language work together to make words) and phonics (the ability to use these sounds and symbols to read and write words) to develop children’s ability to recognize phonemic elements and decode words, along with instruction of sight words (commonly used words that may not follow the rules of decoding).


    K: Instruction focuses on phonological awareness (awareness of sounds), letter discrimination, letter recognition, letter formation (print) and the sound/symbol relationships for consonants and short vowels.


    1: Instruction focuses on long vowels, blends, consonant clusters, digraphs, variant vowels, and dipthongs in one syllable words (usually).


    2: Instruction focuses on digraphs, syllable patterns, contractions, regular and irregular plurals, ending, comparatives, prefixes and suffixes in multi-syllabic words.


    Grade 3 Word Study: Instruction focuses on supporting students in their development to categorize, integrate, compare and analyze words as they decode them. Students develop strategies to analyze multi-syllabic words and word elements, such as prefixes, suffixes, and root words. This will support students in their ability to read and spell words. Students are assessed weekly on words that use that pattern or feature.


    The District utilizes Benchmark Education’s Start Up Phonics in Kindergarten, Build Up Phonics in Grade 1, Spiral Up Phonics in Grade 2 and Word Study/Vocabulary in Grade 3 as its core resources.


    Speaking & Listening: Students in each grade level are expected to participate, present, listen and ask questions throughout the school year. They are assessed using a common rubric in each grade level.


    For more specific information about content expectations in a specific grade, please click on the links below that are organized by grade level.


    Click here for Kindergarten English Language Arts.


    Click here for First Grade English Language Arts.


    Click here for Second Grade English Language Arts.


    Click here for Third Grade English Language Arts.