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Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Grade K

A Workshop Curriculum

By Lucy Calkins, Natalie Louis, Amanda Hartman, Elizabeth Franco, Katherine Wears, Rebecca Cronin, Angela Báez, Marjorie Martinelli, Christine Holley, Elizabeth Moore, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

The first unit in the kindergarten units begins by helping students build foundational reading skills, including print and phonemic awareness. In the second unit, the youngsters learn “super power” strategies that help them search for meaning and use picture clues. Unit 3 invites children to attempt more difficult books and work on fluency, and by Unit 4, kindergartners begin to establish their identities as readers in Becoming Avid Readers.

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Full Description

About the Kindergarten Units

In kindergarten, your students begin to establish their identities as readers while they build the foundational skills for reading. In the first unit, We Are Readers, children will develop concepts of print, phonemic awareness, phonics, and the knowledge necessary to use story language to support their approximations of reading. The second unit, Super Powers: Reading with Print Strategies and Sight Word Power, glories in children’s love of play as they learn “super power” strategies that help them search for meaning, use picture clues, work on fluency, and communicate meaning. In the third unit, Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles, children attempt more difficult books with greater independence and use reading strategies to read with more accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. The last kindergarten unit, Becoming Avid Readers, helps youngsters role-play their way into being the readers you want them to become. They pay close attention to characters, setting, and plot while reading fictional stories, become experts in nonfiction topics as they read together in clubs, and play with rhyme and rhythm while reading poetry

About the Series

Drawing on learning gleaned from decades of research, curriculum development, and working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, and school leaders, Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project have developed the Units of Study for Teaching Reading. Designed to meet ambitious 21st century global standards, this reading series offers grade-by-grade curricula rooted in the Project’s best practices and newest thinking. It includes state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading skills and strategies, grounded in the Project’s learning progressions for narrative and informational reading. 

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)

Product Recommendations and Options

Purchase Recommendation: Choose the Kindergarten Units of Study with the Trade Book Pack if your library does not already include the mentor texts referenced in the Units. If you do not need the trade book pack, purchase the Kindergarten Units of Study without the Trade Book Pack (as shown in this product bundle).

Save when you purchase related cost-saving bundles, with or without trade book packs:

Select the Grade-Level Units you need most, available both with and without the trade book packs

To learn more about the Units of Study for Teaching Reading series, visit


Four Units of Study

  • comprised of one foundational unit and three other units to address reading fiction and informational texts
  • lay out 4-5 weeks of instruction (16-18 sessions) in each unit
  • include all of the teaching points, minilessons, conferences, and small-group work needed to teach a comprehensive workshop curriculum
  • model Lucy and her colleagues’ carefully crafted teaching moves and language

A Guide to the Reading Workshop, Primary Grades

  • crystallizes the essential principles, methods, and structures of effective reading workshop instruction (The Guidenow available for separate purchase, can be an essential manual for principals, curriculum coordinators, coaches, and others who are supporting implementation of Units of Study—or for anyone wanting to learn more about reading workshop).

If… Then… Curriculum

  • offers additional units of study
  • presents if/then conferring scenarios that support targeted instruction and differentiation

    Large-Format Anchor Chart Sticky Notes

    • Large-format preprinted Anchor-Chart Sticky Notes with illustrated teaching points help teachers create and evolve anchor charts across each unit

    Online Resources

    • Video Orientations
    • Spanish translations of important resources—includes Spanish translations of Anchor Chart Sticky Notes and Learning Progressions. Also available are lists of Spanish-language mentor texts and translated Teaching Points.
    • Downloadable and printable files for the anchor charts, figures, student exemplars, homework assignments, and checklists in every session
    • Digital files for resources provided in Reading Pathways, including Learning Progressions, sample student work, and charts 


    Companion Resources

    Mentor Texts

    The Kindergarten Trade Pack includes age-appropriate texts that feature heavily in the units. They are teaching texts, meant to be used in read aloud or shared reading to model effective reading strategies and provide background knowledge. 

    • The Beetle Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
    • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
    • The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
    • Can You See The Eggs? by Jenny Giles
    • Dragonflies by Margaret Hall
    • Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
    • Honey Bees by Martha E. H.Rustad
    • Honey for Baby Bear by Beverly Randell
    • In the Garden by Rigby
    • Mouse Has Fun by Phyllis Root
    • Mrs. Wishy-Washy by Joy Cowley
    • My Bug Box by Pat Blanchard & Joanne Sur
    • Not Norman by Kelly Bennett
    • So Much! by Trish Cooke
    • The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone
    • Wake Up Dad! by Beverly Randell

    Independent Reading for Students:

    The following TCRWP Classroom Libraries shelves were curated to specifically align with the Kingergarten Units of Study.

    Supporting Materials

    Also in this series