Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 2: Realistic Fiction—Stories Matter

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Common Core Standards

Reading Literature

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

RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

RL.2.5 Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

RL.2.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

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


W.2.3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.


L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.2.2(b) Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.

L.2.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

Description of Unit

This unit titled “Realistic Fiction—Stories Matter” from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is designed for 11 sixty-minute sessions of ELA/literacy instruction in September or early in the school year. The unit focuses on reading and responding to realistic fiction. Students progress from reading a whole-class picture book with a focus on narrative text structure to retelling a story using the story structure elements as a guide.  Throughout the unit, students periodically read a letter from the teacher and learn how to write friendly letters in response. The unit instruction ends with students applying their learning by reading a realistic fiction book of their choice and retelling the story (that includes all of the story structure elements).


In using this unit, Connecticut teachers need to consider the variability of learners in their class and make adaptations as necessary.  Teachers are cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively.

Rationale for Selection

This unit is an exemplary example of a progression of learning activities where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time, requiring all students to demonstrate their independent capacities. The plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Lessons are designed to gradually remove supports.  All students demonstrate their independent capacities for retellings through an authentic performance task with assessment guidelines.  There is an aligned rubric for written responses that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which each student can independently demonstrate the targeted grade-level standards.  Lessons are designed to cultivate student interest and engagement in reading, speaking and writing.  The “General Notes and Resources” section contains an overview of instructional guidance. Specific tips on such topics as: differentiation, teacher modeling, anticipated student misconceptions are included throughout each lesson. The Unit Resources section includes all of the materials needed to complete this unit.