Literacy for ME: Sample Learning Targets for
Students in Grades K-2

This collection of literacy targets represents a set of skills that students are working on during this age or grade span. It is important to remember that these are learning and instructional targets that should serve as reference points. Each learner is unique and learns skills in different ways and at different times. Use the targets in this document to communicate with caregivers and educators and to support literacy at home and in the community.

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Reading Targets

When reading any text, students are learning to...

  • recall one main idea and important details.
  • answer basic questions (who, what, when, where, how).
  • recognize unknown words and start to use clues to figure out their meanings.
  • recognize that pictures in texts are important and tell how they support the main ideas.
  • identify similarities and differences in two texts about the same topic.

When reading literature, students are learning to…

  • identify the different types and parts of stories.
  • identify different characters and recognize that different characters have different points of view.

When reading informational texts, students are learning to…

  • identify parts of a book.
  • use features like bold words or headings to help find information.
  • tell how authors use reasons to support the main idea.
  • describe the connection between different ideas.


Reading Foundations Targets

When they are learning to read, students are learning to…

  • follow words left to right and top to bottom when reading.
  • identify and say the letters in the alphabet.
  • use capital letters to begin a sentence, and punctuation to end it.
  • understand the use of spoken language as whole words, syllables, and sounds.
  • blend sounds to produce short words.
  • know short and long vowel sounds.
  • point to or say vowel sounds in the beginning, middle, and end of words.
  • break words apart into sounds.
  • use letter-sound skills to decode simple one and two syllable words.
  • decode words with common suffixes and prefixes.
  • read grade appropriate text fluently and accurately.
  • use context clues to confirm word meanings.


Writing Targets

When writing, students are learning to…

  • write opinion pieces that introduce a topic, state an opinion about it, and give reasons to support it.
  • write informational pieces that use facts to develop the main idea.
  • write narrative pieces that retell a detailed event or sequence of events.
  • revise and edit writing with the support of an adult.
  • use digital tools to write and publish/share writing with the support of an adult .
  • work with peers to research and write about topics.
  • gather information from sources to answer a specific question.


Speaking and Listening Targets

When speaking and listening, students are learning to…

  • participate in conversations in small and large groups.
  • listen and take turns in conversations.      
  • ask and answer questions about a text read aloud.
  • ask and answer questions of a speaker to better understand a topic.
  • tell a story or retell an event or an experience.
  • speak in complete sentences when appropriate.


Language Targets

In the area of language, students are learning to…

  • print upper and lower case letters.
  • use past, present, and future verbs correctly.
  • use capital letters for names of people, places, and holidays.
  • use context clues and word parts to learn the meaning of new words.
  • use beginning dictionaries and glossaries to look up unknown words.
  • sort common words into categories and explore relationships between words. 
  • use words learned from conversations and texts.