The Hierarchy of Reading

What every student should know from grades K-5

Kindergarten

Phonics-


  • Alphabetic knowledge and sequence (knowing that letters are different than numbers, recognize all upper and lower case letters of the alphabet).
  • Letter sounds
  • Concepts of print (letters make up a word, there is space between each word in a sentence, you read from left to right, etc.)
  • Visual discrimination of letters and words
  • Rhyming and word families, recognition of syllables
  • Compound word and syllable deletion
  • Sight word recognition, letter sounds
  • Blending phonemes, consonants, and word parts
  • Short Vowel sounds


Vocabulary Skills-


  • Use context clues
  • Recognize and understand analogies and synonyms, homonyms, and multi-meaning words

First Grade

Phonics-


  • Phoneme segmentation, isolation, blending, substitution, and manipulation
  • Syllable and sound deletion
  • Short and long vowel sounds
  • Consonant blends and digraphs
  • Word building, families, and rhyming
  • Sight word recognition


Vocabulary Skills-


  • Structural analysis (e.g. recognizing that a compound word is one word made up of two words, understanding contractions)
  • Recognize synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and multi-meaning words
  • Using context clues for decoding purposes


Comprehension and Constructing Meaning-


  • Understand text features
  • Identify and understand sequence and main idea
  • Make predictions, draw conclusions
  • Compare and Contrast


Analyzing literary text-


  • Identify and understand setting, characters, genre, and plot
  • Distinguish between fiction and non-fiction; fantasy and reality


Understanding author’s craft-


  • Understand literary devices such as tongue twisters, rhyme, rhythm, etc.; understand figurative

Second Grade

Phonemic Awareness Skills-

  • Vowels- Long, Variant, R-controlled
  • Consonant blends

Vocabulary Skills-

  • Structural analysis (using grade appropriate words to form compounds and contractions and to predict their meanings, affix recognition and use)
  • Use context clues to clarify meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Understand analogies, homonyms and multi-meaning words

Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning-

  • Understand comparison and contrast and cause and effect
  • Identify author’s purpose
  • Make predictions and generalizations, and draw conclusions
  • Use repair strategies

Analyzing Literary Text-

  • Identify the narrator, point of view, plot and theme

Understanding Author’s Craft-

  • Understand figurative language and sensory detail

Third Grade

Vocabulary Skills-


  • Understand analogies
  • Recognize and understand synonyms
  • Use context clues, such as embedded word definitions, to decode grade level appropriate words
  • Structural analysis- using knowledge of syllables to decode increasingly difficult multisyllabic words
  • Using knowledge of affixes and familiar base words to predict the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Understand idioms
  • Recognize connotation and denotation


Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning-


  • Recognize an accurate summary of a text


Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text-


  • Evaluate reasoning and support
  • Identify and understand persuasion

Fourth Grade

Vocabulary Skills-

  • Understand analogies and idioms
  • Recognize and understand synonyms in grade level appropriate text
  • Distinguish between homonyms and use context clues to decode multisyllabic words and predict their meaning
  • Recognize connotation and denotation

Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text-

  • Evaluate credibility
  • Evaluate reasoning and support

Fifth Grade

Vocabulary Skills-

  • Understand analogies and idioms
  • Recognize and understand synonyms
  • Use context clues, such as knowledge of word relationships, to determine the overall meaning of the text
  • Structural analysis- knowledge of Greek and Latin roots as well as grade level appropriate affixes to predict the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Recognize and understand homonyms and multi-meaning words at the appropriate grade level
  • Recognize connotation and denotation

Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text-

  • Identify bias and analyze text for “logical fallacies”

Things to note...



  • After 3rd Grade, Phonics is not listed in the hierarchy of Reading skills as most students have ideally mastered these types of skills by the time they reach the third grade.
  • Many of the Vocabulary Skills, Analyzing Argument and Evaluating Text, Comprehension Strategies and Constructing Meaning, Analyzing Literary Text, and Understanding Author’s Craft in 3rd -5th Grade are the same however, the difficulty level of the text in which they have to apply the skills increases.
  • If a new skill is added in one of these areas, it is noted in the Grade level skill hierarchy; if it has already been noted in a previous grade, it is not listed again.

References

Core Progress for Reading: Skills List. (2012). Renaissance Learning Advanced Technology for Data-Driven Schools. Retrieved from: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/procurement/student_growth_assessments/renaissance/Core-Progress-for-Reading-Skills.pdf


Moates, L. & Tolman, C. (2009). The development of phonological skills. Retrieved from: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/28759


Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. (2004). K-10 grade level expectations: a new level of specificity. Retrieved from: https://www.k12.wa.us/reading/pubdocs/ReadingEALR-GLE.pdf