Connecticut Core Standards

Grade K: America the Beautiful–Using Music and Art to Develop Vocabulary

Rating: Five apple rating

Common Core Standards

Reading Literature

RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RL.K.4 Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

Reading Informational Text

RI.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RI.K.2 With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

RI.K.4 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

RI.K.8 With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

RI.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

Reading Foundational Skills

RF.K.4 Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

Speaking and Listening

SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.K.1(a) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).

SL.K.1(b) Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.

SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.


L.K.5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

L.K.5(c) Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).

L.K.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Description of Unit

This Kindergarten unit plan titled “America the Beautiful – Using Music and Art to Develop Vocabulary” is from with an estimated ELA/Literacy instructional time of at least six 50-minute sessions. The emphasis of this unit is for students to: discuss and identify places, features, and landforms throughout the U.S.; use pictures to help describe places and scenery; create multimodal vocabulary posters that describe, illustrate, and define targeted words from the song “America the Beautiful”; draw and or locate pictures and write words that exemplify and describe geographic features in order to create a large mural to demonstrate what they have learned.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. Texts needed for the unit are not included. Computer(s) are needed to fully implement the plan as intended.

Rationale for Selection

The unit plan is exemplary because it focuses on building students' academic vocabulary in context throughout instruction as it builds their content knowledge and understanding in reading, as well as in social studies.  Lessons address instructional expectations and are easy to use and understand.  They cultivate student interest and engagement and provide appropriate scaffolding so that student directly experience the complexity of the text.  The unit uses varied modes of assessment to elicit direct, observable evidence of the degree to which students can independently demonstrate the major targeted standards.  Assessment guidelines provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance. (These guidelines are listed in the "Student/Assessment Reflections" section of the plan at the end of Lesson Six.) This unit is adaptable for any patriotic event or holiday, and many of the vocabulary strategies are adaptable for other texts or word lists, as well.