Illinois Learning Standards
Stage A - English Language Arts
Students who meet the standard can apply word analysis
and vocabulary skills to comprehend selections.
- Use phonics to decode simple words in age-appropriate
- Demonstrate phonological awareness (e.g., counting syllables,
hearing rhyme, alliteration, onset and rime) of sounds in
- Demonstrate phonemic awareness by blending or segmenting
phonemes in a one-syllable word.
- Recognize 100 high frequency sight words including environmental
print (but not including words the child can read using
- Use appropriate strategies of decoding (e.g., illustrations,
phonics, word patterns, context clues) to recognize unknown
words when reading material.
- Use knowledge of letter-sound correspondences and high
frequency words to orally read age-appropriate material.
- Begin to recognize miscues that interfere with meaning
and use self-correcting strategies.
- Use a variety of resources (e.g., age-appropriate dictionaries,
pictures, illustrations, photos, ask others, context, previous
experience) to determine and clarify meanings of unfamiliar
Students who meet the standard can apply reading
strategies to improve understanding and fluency.
- Make predictions before reading and relate to personal
experiences (e.g., illustrations, title).
- Discuss prior knowledge of topics and relate to the text
- Connect the elements of narratives (e.g., character, setting,
plot) to the text.
- Distinguish between poetry and prose.
- Begin to check for understanding (e.g., reread, read ahead,
use illustrations and context clues) during reading.
- Ask questions to clarify understanding before, during,
and after reading.
- Re-enact or dramatize the contents of stories for retellings.
- Read age-appropriate material orally with accuracy, rhythm,
volume, and flow that sounds like everyday speech.
Students who meet the standard can comprehend a broad
range of reading materials.
- Recognize questions can be used to gain information.
- Ask questions to seek elaboration of illustrations or
portions of text and to monitor comprehension (e.g., ask
why a character would do something, ask for clarification
- Begin to recognize the author's purpose across a broad
range of materials.
- Identify the motives of characters in various works (e.g.,
biography, non-fiction, diary).
- Compare two books by the same author.
- Compare a broad range of familiar books that have the
same theme and topic.
- Summarize information about fiction and nonfiction materials
in illustrations, charts and other graphics.
- Summarize or tell information from a broad range of reading
- Predict and then confirm questions characters in stories
- Create illustrations to answer questions about a story.
- Use information in illustrations or text to make predictions
and relate to prior knowledge.
- Use text provided in functional classroom messages (e.g.,
labels, signs, instructions) to get information.
- Select books appropriate to reading levels or interests.
- Develop familiarity with available technology (e.g., computers,
Students who meet the standard can understand how
literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning.
- Identify and compare characters, settings, and/or events
in stories and/or pictures.
- Tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Define unfamiliar vocabulary.
- Imitate rhythm/rhyme patterns.
- Distinguish between "real" and "make believe".
- Begin to recognize that prose is written in sentences
and organized in paragraphs.
Students who meet the standard can read and interpret
a variety of literary works.
- Investigate self-selected/ teacher-selected literature
(e.g., picture books, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, poems,
legends) from a variety of cultures.
- Respond appropriately to texts representing life skills
(e.g., classroom labels, school signs, restroom symbols).
- Re-enact and retell stories, songs, poems, plays, and
other literary works.
- Produce simple evaluative expressions about the text ("I
like the story because
- Make simple connections from the story to events or people
in their own lives.
- Compare two books by the same author.
- Discuss several books on the same topic.
- Identify specific parts of the text to support a point.
- Present a reasonable interpretation of a book.
Students who meet the standard can use correct grammar,
spelling, punctuation, capitalization and structure.
- Write simple 2-3 word sentences (e.g., subject-verb/subject-verb-complement).
- Use beginning capitalization.
- Use end marks (e.g., period, question mark).
- Use phonemic clues, phonetic and/or developmental spellings
to construct words.
Students who meet the standard can compose well-organized
and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences.
- Use age-appropriate prewriting strategies (e.g., drawing,
brainstorming, graphic organizers) to generate and organize
ideas with teacher assistance.
- Tell a focused story using various approaches (e.g., pictures,
scribbles, letter approximations, connected oral account).
- Use details in the telling that relate only to the story
in the picture or letter approximations.
- Respond accurately to questions about the character(s)
and event(s) in the picture.
- Attempt to write text that is related to the picture.
- Revise the picture/text for classroom publication or sharing
Students who meet the standard can communicate ideas
in writing to accomplish a variety of purposes.
- Use basic components of the writing process (e.g., prewriting,
drafting, publishing) to write for a variety of purposes
(e.g., narration, exposition).
- Retell a focused story.
- Create a basic publication using available resources (e.g.,
pictures, colors, computer, copier).
- Experiment with different forms of writing (e.g., song,
poetry, short fiction, recipes, diary, journal, directions).
Students who meet the standard can listen effectively
in formal and informal situations.
- Assume requested position and attend to speaker.
- Respond appropriately through movements both individually
and in unison (e.g., choral answers, gestures, questions,
repeating and retelling).
- Recognize common sounds (e.g., honk, bark, siren, whistle,
- Distinguish letter sounds.
- Differentiate between words that rhyme and those that
do not rhyme.
- Distinguish between "real" and "make believe"
- Differentiate between a statement and a question.
- Formulate both a response statement and a question at
- Complete a 2-step task based on oral instructions.
- Demonstrate through body language, art, gestures, and
oral responses that some visual and auditory messages are
- Ask appropriate questions to clarify basic events in media
Students who meet the standard can speak effectively
using language appropriate to the situation and audience.
- Demonstrate awareness of personal space and spatial relationships
(e.g., Where am I? Where are you? How far apart are we?).
- Demonstrate awareness of speaker-audience relationship.
- Demonstrate ability to stand and speak to a group independently.
- Begin to use appropriate presentation techniques (rate,
volume, some eye contact with audience).
- Focus and present appropriate information on a single
- Present ideas in an appropriate order.
- Use appropriate rules governing spoken English.
- Demonstrate awareness of others' desires and rights to
- Demonstrate appropriate behaviors (e.g., avoid interrupting
others, causing distractions, calling attention to self).
- Recognize the differences between questions and statements
and appropriately contribute either or both.
Students who meet the standard can locate, organize,
and use information from various sources to answer questions,
solve problems, and communicate ideas.
- Begin to brainstorm to generate questions to gather information.
- Discuss prior knowledge of topic.
- Generate questions gained from experiences (e.g., field
trip, visitors, stories, discussions) to gather information.
- Use aids (e.g., KWL, webs, graphic organizers, available
technology) to locate generated information.
- Provide answers to questions.
- State and sort necessary information for a discussion.
Students who meet the standard can analyze and evaluate
information acquired from various sources.
- Formulate questions to define ideas through oral discussion
of determined topic.
- Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information.
Students who meet the standard can apply acquired
information, concepts and ideas to communicate in a variety
- Maintain focus, stay on topic.
- Access and use books and stories to learn something new
about a topic.
- Use life experiences as sources of information for written
reports, letters, and stories.
- Create a message by drawing, telling, using graphic aids,
and/or developmental writing based on acquired information.
- Gather, organize, and share information about a topic.
- Retell information.
- Explain information from a drawing, graphic aid, or developmental
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Assessments and Performance Descriptors