Kindergarten Curriculum

Kindergarten class curriculum

In Kindergarten, children will cover a wide variety of topics. However, each state puts forth academic standards for skills and knowledge kindergarteners should master before moving into first grade. The information below is derived from the kindergarten standards for the state of California.

Click on the headings next to each curriculum section to expand and contract academic areas.

1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development.

Students know about letters, words, and sounds. They apply this knowledge to read simple sentences.

Concepts About Print

1.1 Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.

1.2 Follow words from left to right and from top to bottom on the printed page.

1.3 Understand that printed materials provide information.

1.4 Recognize that sentences in print are made up of separate words.

1.5 Distinguish letters from words.

1.6 Recognize and name all uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Phonemic Awareness

1.7 Track (move sequentially from sound to sound) and represent the number, sameness/difference, and order of two and three isolated phonemes (e.g., /f, s, th/, /j, d, j/).

1.8 Track (move sequentially from sound to sound) and represent changes in simple syllables and words with two and three sounds as one sound is added, substituted, omitted, shifted, or repeated (e.g., vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel, or consonant-vowel-consonant).

1.9 Blend vowel-consonant sounds orally to make words or syllables.

1.10 Identify and produce rhyming words in response to an oral prompt.

1.11 Distinguish orally stated one-syllable words and separate into beginning or ending sounds.

1.12 Track auditorily each word in a sentence and each syllable in a word.

1.13 Count the number of sounds in syllables and syllables in words.

Decoding and Word Recognition

1.14 Match all consonant and short-vowel sounds to appropriate letters.

1.15 Read simple one-syllable and high-frequency words (i.e., sight words).

1.16 Understand that as letters of words change, so do the sounds (i.e., the alphabetic principle).

Vocabulary and Concept Development

1.17 Identify and sort common words in basic categories (e.g., colors, shapes, foods).

1.18 Describe common objects and events in both general and specific language.

2.0 Reading Comprehension

Students identify the basic facts and ideas in what they have read, heard, or viewed. They use comprehension strategies (e.g., generating and responding to questions, comparing new information to what is already known).

The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight (California Department of Education, 1996) illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.

Structural Features of Informational Materials

2.1 Locate the title, table of contents, name of author, and name of illustrator. Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

2.2 Use pictures and context to make predictions about story content.

2.3 Connect to life experiences the information and events in texts.

2.4 Retell familiar stories.

2.5 Ask and answer questions about essential elements of a text.

3.0 Literary Response and Analysis

Students listen and respond to stories based on well-known characters, themes, plots, and settings.

The selections in Recommended Readings in Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Eight illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.

Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

3.1 Distinguish fantasy from realistic text.

3.2 Identify types of everyday print materials (e.g., storybooks, poems, newspapers, signs, labels).

3.3 Identify characters, settings, and important events.

1.0 Writing Strategies

Students write words and brief sentences that are legible.

Organization and Focus

1.1 Use letters and phonetically spelled words to write about experiences, stories, people, objects, or events.

1.2 Write consonant-vowel-consonant words (i.e., demonstrate the alphabetic principle).

1.3 Write by moving from left to right and from top to bottom.


1.4 Write uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet independently, attending to the form and proper spacing of the letters.

The standards for written and oral English language conventions have been placed between those for writing and for listening and speaking because these conventions are essential to both sets of skills.

1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions

Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions.

Sentence Structure

1.1 Recognize and use complete, coherent sentences when speaking.


1.2 Spell independently by using pre-phonetic knowledge, sounds of the alphabet, and knowledge of letter names.

1.0. Listening and Speaking Strategies

Students listen and respond to oral communication. They speak in clear and coherent sentences.


1.1 Understand and follow one- and two-step oral directions.

1.2 Share information and ideas, speaking audibly in complete, coherent sentences.

2.0. Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)

Students deliver brief recitations and oral presentations about familiar experiences or interests, demonstrating command of the organization and delivery strategies outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0.

Using the listening and speaking strategies of kindergarten outlined in Listening and Speaking Standard 1.0, students:

2.1 Describe people, places, things (e.g., size, color, shape), locations, and actions.

2.2 Recite short poems, rhymes, and songs.

2.3 Relate an experience or creative story in a logical sequence.

By the end of kindergarten, students understand small numbers, quantities, and simple shapes in their everyday environment. They count, compare, describe and sort objects, and develop a sense of properties and patterns.

1.0 Students understand the relationship between numbers and quantities

(i.e., that a set of objects has the same number of objects in different situations regardless of its position or arrangement):

1.1 Compare two or more sets of objects (up to ten objects in each group) and identify which set is equal to, more than, or less than the other.

1.2 Count, recognize, represent, name, and order a number of objects (up to 30).

1.3 Know that the larger numbers describe sets with more objects in them than the smaller numbers have.

2.0 Students understand and describe simple additions and subtractions:

2.1 Use concrete objects to determine the answers to addition and subtraction problems (for two numbers that are each less than 10).

3.0 Students use estimation strategies in computation and problem solving that involve numbers that use the ones and tens places:

3.1 Recognize when an estimate is reasonable.

1.0 Students sort and classify objects:

1.1 Identify, sort, and classify objects by attribute and identify objects that do not belong to a particular group (e.g., all these balls are green, those are red).

1.0 Students understand the concept of time and units to measure it; they understand that objects have properties, such as length, weight, and capacity, and that comparisons may be made by referring to those properties:

1.1 Compare the length, weight, and capacity of objects by making direct comparisons with reference objects (e.g., note which object is shorter, longer, taller, lighter, heavier, or holds more).

1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of concepts of time (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening, today, yesterday, tomorrow, week, year) and tools that measure time (e.g., clock, calendar).

1.3 Name the days of the week.

1.4 Identify the time (to the nearest hour) of everyday events (e.g., lunch time is 12 o'clock; bedtime is 8 o'clock at night).

2.0 Students identify common objects in their environment and describe the geometric features:

2.1 Identify and describe common geometric objects (e.g., circle, triangle, square, rectangle, cube, sphere, cone).

2.2 Compare familiar plane and solid objects by common attributes (e.g., position, shape, size, roundness, number of corners).

1.0 Students collect information about objects and events in their environment:

1.1 Pose information questions; collect data; and record the results using objects, pictures, and picture graphs.

1.2 Identify, describe, and extend simple patterns (such as circles or triangles) by referring to their shapes, sizes, or colors.

1.0 Students make decisions about how to set up a problem:

1.1 Determine the approach, materials, and strategies to be used.

1.2 Use tools and strategies, such as manipulatives or sketches, to model problems.

2.0 Students solve problems in reasonable ways and justify their reasoning:

2.1 Explain the reasoning used with concrete objects and/or pictorial representations.

2.2 Make precise calculations and check the validity of the results in the context of the problem.

By the end of kindergarten, students understand small numbers, quantities, and simple shapes in their everyday environment. They count, compare, describe and sort objects, and develop a sense of properties and patterns.

Students in kindergarten are introduced to basic spatial, temporal, and causal relationships, emphasizing the geographic and historical connections between the world today and the world long ago. The stories of ordinary and extraordinary people help describe the range and continuity of human experience and introduce the concepts of courage, self-control, justice, heroism, leadership, deliberation, and individual responsibility. Historical empathy for how people lived and worked long ago reinforces the concept of civic behavior: how we interact respectfully with each other, following rules, and respecting the rights of others.

1.0 Students understand that being a good citizen involves acting in certain ways:

1.1 Follow rules, such as sharing and taking turns, and know the consequences of breaking them.

1.2 Learn examples of honesty, courage, determination, individual responsibility, and patriotism in American and world history from stories and folklore.

1.3 Know beliefs and related behaviors of characters in stories from times past and understand the consequences of the characters' actions.

2.0 Students recognize national and state symbols and icons such as the national and state flags, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty.

3.0 Students match simple descriptions of work that people do and the names of related jobs at the school, in the local community, and from historical accounts.

4.0 Students compare and contrast the locations of people, places, and environments and describe their characteristics.

4.1 Determine the relative locations of objects using the terms near/far, left/right, and behind/in front.

4.2 Distinguish between land and water on maps and globes and locate general areas referenced in historical legends and stories.

4.3 Identify traffic symbols and map symbols (e.g., those for land, water, roads, cities).

4.4 Construct maps and models of neighborhoods, incorporating such structures as police and fire stations, airports, banks, hospitals, supermarkets, harbors, schools, homes, places of worship, and transportation lines.

4.5 Demonstrate familiarity with the school's layout, environs, and the jobs people do there.

5.0 Students put events in temporal order using a calendar, placing days, weeks, and months in proper order.

6.0 Students understand that history relates to events, people, and places of other times.

6.1 Identify the purposes of, and the people and events honored in, commemorative holidays, including the human struggles that were the basis for the events (e.g., Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Washington's and Lincoln's Birthdays, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day).

6.2 Know the triumphs in American legends and historical accounts through the stories of such people as Pocahontas George Washington, Booker T. Washington, Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Franklin.

6.3 Understand how people lived in earlier times and how their lives would be different today (e.g., getting water from a well, growing food, making clothing, having fun, forming organizations, living by rules and laws).

1. Properties of materials can be observed, measured, and predicted. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know objects can be described in terms of the materials they are made of (e.g., clay, cloth, paper) and their physical properties (e.g., color, size, shape, weight, texture, flexibility, attraction to magnets, floating, sinking).

b. Students know water can be a liquid or a solid and can be made to change back and forth from one form to the other.

c. Students know water left in an open container evaporates (goes into the air) but water in a closed container does not.

2. Different types of plants and animals inhabit the earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know how to observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of plants and animals (e.g., seed-bearing plants, birds, fish, insects).

b. Students know stories sometimes give plants and animals attributes they do not really have.

c. Students know how to identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems, leaves, roots, arms, wings, legs).

3. Earth is composed of land, air, and water. As a basis for understanding this concept:

a. Students know characteristics of mountains, rivers, oceans, valleys, deserts, and local landforms.

b. Students know changes in weather occur from day to day and across seasons, affecting Earth and its inhabitants.

c. Students know how to identify resources from Earth that are used in everyday life and understand that many resources can be conserved.

4. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

a. Observe common objects by using the five senses.

b. Describe the properties of common objects.

c. Describe the relative position of objects by using one reference (e.g., above or below).

d. Compare and sort common objects by one physical attribute (e.g., color, shape, texture, size, weight).

e. Communicate observations orally and through drawings.