Connecticut Core Standards

Kindergarten: Content Literacy – What is Bravery?

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Common Core Standards

Reading Literature

RL.K.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

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

RL.K.9 With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.

Foundational Reading Skills

RF.K.2(b) Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.


W.K.3 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, to tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

Speaking and Listening

SL.K.1(a) 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.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

SL.K.4 Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.

SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and details clearly.

Description of Unit

This Kindergarten unit titled “Content Literacy – What is Bravery?” from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is designed for thirteen 45-minute sessions, divided into segments of ELA/Literacy instruction for use near the beginning of the school year. Through a series of read-alouds that focus on bravery, students learn what the concept of bravery means and what actions show bravery. As they listen to and interact with five fictional stories about bravery, they learn to retell parts of the stories and are introduced to new vocabulary in context. After a second reading of each story, students concentrate on how the characters show bravery. The last read-aloud is a realistic fiction picture book about an immigrant’s first experience with school in the United States. Students continue to practice retelling, learn new vocabulary, and understand that immigrating can show bravery. The culminating activity asks students to show their understanding of bravery by recalling a time in their own lives when they were brave. They draw &/or write their own personal narrative and share their work and thinking with a small group of peers the next day.


Connecticut teachers need to consider the variability of learners in their class and make adaptations as necessary. Teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. The following Read-aloud texts (six copies of each: one for the teacher and a set of 5 for students): The Hole in the Dike,Blue Ribbon Book series retold by Norma Green, Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes, Brave Irene by William Steig, and “Dragons and Giants” from Frog and Toad Together (I Can Read series) by Arnold Lobel, and Carmen Learns English by Judy Cox. Similar texts that focus on bravery could easily be substituted.

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 through an authentic performance task with assessment guidelines.  There is an aligned rubric 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 Notes for Teacher documents include: pacing guides, detailed lesson activities, targeted academic language, instructional tips, strategies, anticipated student preconceptions/misconceptions, optional activities, differentiation for ELL students and students with advanced skills and/or accommodations for students with disabilities.