Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 2: Friends of Henry Ford – Speaking and Listening Unit

Rating: Five apple rating

Common Core Standards

Reading Informational Texts

RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RI.2.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Reading Foundational Skills

RF.2.3(a) Distinguish long and short vowels when reading regularly spelled one-syllable words.

RF.2.3(d) Decode words with common prefixes and suffixes.

RF.2.3(f) Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

RF.2.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

RF.2.4(a) Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.

RF.2.4(b) Read grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

RF.2.4(c) Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

Speaking and Listening

SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.2.1(a) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

SL.2.1(b) Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

SL.2.1(c) Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.

SL.2.2 Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.

SL.2.4 Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.


L.2.1(e) Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

Description of Unit

This Grade 2 unit titled “Friends of Henry Ford – Speaking and Listening Unit” by Dr. Melissa Collins, Stephanye Jimerson, Adrianne Sublett and cited on is intended to be completed in fifteen 50-60 minute ELA/Literacy instructional sessions. The focus of the unit is to teach students to communicate in order to gain deeper meaning from complex text. As students engage with the close reading of complex texts, they practice: being active listeners, speaking about a text using specific text evidence, respectfully responding to what they hear, and using a speaking and listing protocol. They also learn how to annotate a text. The instructional plan has an explicit focus on speaking and listening and Foundational reading skills. As a culminating activity, students work in groups to participate in a “Listening Party”, responding to questions using the text evidence and the use “accountable” talk stems to add to the conversation.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. Depending on the variability of students in the class, additional time and/or support may be necessary. There are no writing standards listed, but they should be added and assessed since students write throughout the unit. Since the unit topic also aligns with the Connecticut Elementary Social Studies C3 Frameworks Standards, these standards could be added. For a direct link to this source, see below:

Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies C3 Frameworks

Rationale for Selection

This unit is an exemplary example of how to integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening to support advancing literacy skills, as well as to build students’ content knowledge in a social studies topic. Instruction includes a progression of learning where concepts, knowledge and skills advance and deepen. The lessons make communication a focus to gaining deeper meaning of reading complex texts and include continuous opportunities for students to ask and answer text-dependent questions. The lesson plans are easy to use and understand, and they integrate targeted instruction in multiple areas, including discussion rules and aspects of foundational reading.   An aligned rubric assesses student proficiency using methods that are unbiased and accessible to all students. The unit plan includes: all necessary teacher and student materials, a detailed “How-to Guide” to provide teacher support for the building of the classroom norms for speaking, listening, and working in groups, a student reflection checklist, an aligned rubric to assess speaking and listening skills, enrichment lessons that involve writing activities and a science investigation where students use what they learned through reading opportunities to create their own invention.