Instructional Timeline – Kindergarten Elementary Language Arts – 4th Nine Weeks

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Instructional Timeline – Kindergarten Elementary Language Arts – 4th Nine Weeks

Unit 12: Reading – Theme & Genre; Writing – Writing Process; Open Choice

Suggested Time Frame: 3 weeks


The Instructional Timeline, as required by RRISD Local Board Policy (EG – Local, 246909), breaks down the content of each nine-week period into smaller, more manageable units of instruction. Each timeline includes opportunities for teachers to extend instruction and/or to re-teach as necessary; this unit has _______ Instructional Days and ________ Days to re-teach and/or extend Instruction.
The following Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the accompanying Knowledge & Skill Statement (KSSs), and Student Expectations (SEs) are listed in this document where they should be taught initially; it is the expectation that the TEKS, KSSs, and SEs will continue to be reviewed so that students master their grade level TEKS, KSSs, and SEs. Figure 19 appears recursively throughout these documents because the TEKS/SEs serve to support the instruction of Figure 19.


Theme & Genre

During this unit, students will gain a deeper understanding of the structures of folktales, fairytales, and fables. Students should be able to make connections from story to story. Students should also be able to analyze the similarities and differences among character types in order to see common characteristics of characters across folktales, fairytales, and fables. Students should be able to identify repeated phrases and understand their significance. At this point in the year, students should be more skilled in picking out the main theme of each folktale, fairytale, and fable. Students need to be familiar with both contemporary versions and traditional versions of folktales, fairytales, and fables. Students should also recognize the similarities among these types of stories as told across various cultures; it is important to ensure that students read a diverse collection of folktales and fairytales from a wide variety of cultures, including Latin America, Asia, and Africa. It is important that students are able to apply the Figure 19 metacognitive strategies to folktales, fairytales, and fables. Attending to sensory details in these kinds of stories is also an important point of emphasis. In addition to the forms of text noted above, students should read from a variety of genres throughout this unit.

Open Choice

Although not a required genre, per se, students may wish to try their hand at writing folktales, fairytales, and fables of their own. Students should focus on the character types found in stories of this type as well as recurring phrases. During this period of time, students should be given time to write across a wide variety of genres. It is critical that teachers conference with students each week and model writing for students on a daily basis.

Assured Experiences

Throughout the unit, students:

  • read for a minimum of 20 minutes per day in both independent and instructional level text;

Pacing Suggestions

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Reading Workshop

Writing Workshop

TEKS/SE taught during this period and eligible for testing on district assessments
Bold and underlined TEKS/SE are high stakes for our district (less than ___% mastery on TAKS)
Bold TEKS/SE are assessed on TAKS

Reading TEKS/SEs

Daily: Independent & Guided Reading

Unit: Theme & Genre
KSS K.6 analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from text to support understanding

K.6(A) identify elements of a story including setting, character, and key events

Figure 19 (A) discuss the purposes for reading and listening to various texts (e.g., to become involved in real and imagined events, settings, actions, and to enjoy language)

Fig. 19 (B) ask and respond to questions about text

K.6(B) discuss the big idea (theme) of a well-known folktale or fable and connect it to personal experience
Fig. 19 (D) make inferences based on the cover, title, illustrations, and plot

K.6(C) recognize sensory details

K.6(D) recognize recurring phrases and characters in traditional fairy tales, lullabies, and folk tales from various cultures

Fig. 19 (C) monitor and adjust comprehension (e.g., using background knowledge, creating sensory images, rereading a portion aloud)

(E) retell or act out important events in stories

(F) make connections to own experiences, to ideas in other texts, and to the larger community and discuss textual evidence

Writing TEKS/SEs

Daily: Writing Process


Unit: Open Choice: Students may write using any style they wish, about any topics they wish, including letters, stories, nonfiction writing, diary/journal entries, etc.

K.5(B) recognize that compound words are made up of shorter words

Oral and Written Conventions
K.16(B) speak in complete sentences to communicate

K.16(C) use complete simple sentences

K.17(A) form upper- and lower-case letters legibly using the basic conventions of print (left-to-right and top-to-bottom progression)

K.17(B) capitalize the first letter in a sentence

K.17(C) use punctuation at the end of a sentence

K.18(B) use letter-sound correspondences to spell consonant vowel- consonant (CVC) words (e.g., cut)


Theme & Genre

  • Stories are made of characters, settings, problems, and solutions.

  • Characters have problems that are usually solved during the story.

  • Folktales, fairytales, and fables are types of stories, so the characters will have problems that are usually solved.

  • Folktales, fairytales, and fables have a big idea called a “theme.”

  • Themes are often big ideas like friendship, sharing, caring for others.

  • Themes are big ideas that the reader can relate to.

  • When readers read folktales, fairytales, and fables, they are able to connect big ideas like friendship and sharing to their own lives.
  • Folktales, fairytales, and fables are written using sensory details that help readers picture what is happening in the story.

  • Folktales, fairytales, and fables use recurring phrases such as once upon a time and in a land far, far away. Characters also often repeat signature phrases like I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down!

  • Folktales, fairytales, and fables have character types that repeat as well. Most stories have a villain and a hero. Most stories also have magical creatures.

Essential Questions

Theme & Genre

  • What kinds of problems do characters have in stories? (character against character, character against self, character against nature, etc.)

  • Why do folktales, fairytales, and fables have themes or big ideas?

  • How do readers determine the theme of a folktale, fairytales, or fable?

  • How do the themes help readers connect folktales, fairytales, and fables to their own lives?

  • What kinds of sensory details are found in folktales, fairytales, and fables?

  • How can sensory details help the reader understand the story better?

  • Why do folktales, fairytales, and fables use recurring phrases? How do these phrases help a reader understand the story better?

  • What kinds of character types are found in most folktales, fairytales, and fables?

Core Components

College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) – [the STAAR test (2011-12) will be based upon these CCRS, in addition to the related TEKS/SEs]

Foundational Skills

A.1. Use effective pre-reading strategies.

A. 4. Identify the key information and supporting details.

B.1. Write clearly and coherently using standard writing conventions.

B.2. Write in a variety of forms for various audiences and purposes.

B.3. Compose and revise drafts.

Core Components

TEKS/SEs Clarification:

TEKS/SEs Clarification:

  • An important pre-writing technique of emphasis is the importance or oral storytelling as a way for children to work out detailed versions of stories prior to writing stories on paper. It is far easier for children to tell stories to several listeners and make oral revisions as they practice telling each version. As a result, the written version that is recorded after oral storytelling is more polished and easier to write.

  • Make the link for students that folktales, fairytales, and fables all began as oral storytelling traditions designed to teach people morals and rules to live by. When sharing folktales, fairytales, and fables with students, take time to examine the author information. Most stories are listed as “retold by” as opposed to “written by” because these authors are not the original creators of these stories.

Core Components


The vocabulary noted below is derived from this grade level’s TEKS/SEs. Related definitions come from the TEA Glossary. Please visit the following TEA links for additional information: English / Spanish.




In literature, conflict is the opposition of persons or forces that brings about dramatic action central to the plot of a story; conflict may be internal, as a psychological conflict within a character, or external (e.g., man versus man, man versus nature, or man versus society).

contemporary folktale

A folktale that is set in a contemporary context (e.g., Cinder Edna).

elements of fiction

Narrative elements including setting, characters, plot, and theme.


Reading text at an appropriate rate, and with accuracy, expression, and appropriate phrasing; not hurried reading. Accuracy is reading words in text with no errors. Oral reading accuracy is the ability to identify or decode words with appropriate pronunciation and is measured as a percentage of words read correctly.

magic helper

A stylistic element used by the author in the genre of fantasy to introduce magic into the story (e.g., the fairy godmother in Cinderella).

rule of three

A principle that states that things grouped or presented in threes create a more effective, satisfying, and memorable pattern. Examples include the three little pigs, the three Musketeers, etc. The rule of three is typically found in folktales, fairytales, and sometimes in fables. Usually a series of three events occur during the course of the story. The number 13 is also often used.

sensory language

Words an author uses to help the reader experience the sense elements of the story. Sensory words are descriptions of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.


The time and place in which a narrative occurs. Elements of setting may include the physical, psychological, cultural, or historical background against which the story takes place.


The central or universal idea of a piece of fiction or the main idea of a nonfiction essay.

traditional literature

Stories that were originally oral and later became written text.

Curricular Connections

Required Lessons

Recommend-ed Lessons

Mini-Lesson Ideas

Use of graphic organizers and online versions of folktales, fairtales, and fables (scroll down to “folktales” section)


English Language Proficiency Standards Student Expectations with Sentence Stems and Activities to support implementation of the Standards  (Note: when you open the link, it may ask you for a certificate or if it is OK to open the file, click OK each time you see the screens.)

Instructional Resources


    • Story Online – Online-streaming video program featuring actors from the Screen Actors Guild reading children’s book aloud

    • Story Nory - Online podcasts and audio streaming of fairy tales

Textbook Resources
Note: The resources below are suggested as possible shared reading and/or writing experiences. Please use your judgment to determine if these selections are appropriate for use with your students.




    • Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2000). Strategies that work: teaching comprehension to enhance understanding. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers. (193 copies, iBistro)

    • Ray, K. W. (2006). Study driven: a framework for planning units of study in the writing workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. (69 copies, iBistro)

Assessment Resources

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