Kindergarten Literacy Standards – RL.K.1

Hello and welcome to my new series, Intentionally Teaching with Purpose and Fun! I created this series for current and future Kindergarten teachers who want to understand, comprehend and teach the curriculum and standards in an engaging, purposeful and fun way! This series is set up to focus on one specific standard at a time. My initial focus is on the Kindergarten Literacy Standards. Today’s post is on the Reading Literature standard RL.K.1.

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

Big Idea of Standard: This standard requires the student to generate their own questions and answers about details in a text, to better understand the story. This will aid in comprehension.

Vocabulary: question, answer, detail, literary text, story, text

Student Learning Target: I can listen to a story and then ask and answer questions to help me understand the story.

Mini Lessons to Teach:

Mentor Text to Use:

The following texts are excellent to read when discussing questions and answers and building the anchor charts.

Materials and Props that Can Be Helpful:

Assessment: Teacher observation and student checklist

Here is a FREE printable to keep handy for this standard.

Lesson Idea

RL.K.1   Optional Lesson Plan

This is a foundational standard. The optional lesson provided, is intended to be taught at the very beginning of the school year. It will initially take several days to cover in it’s entirety. The time frame is subjective to each teacher and class. This standard, like most in Kindergarten, will continue to spiral throughout the year and build in complexity.

Mini Lesson #1: What is Text?

This is easily accomplished the first week of school! Using the anchor chart pieces, ‘build & create’ WITH the students an anchor chart defining what text is and sharing some examples. (this also integrates with the reading foundation standard of text organization, basic features of print, and directionality) RF.K.1, RF.K.1a

Mini Lesson #2: What is a Literary Text?

This mini lesson can be done in conjunction with mini lesson #1. After defining what text is, it’s time to define what a literary text is and what it looks like. Again, with the students add the anchor chart pieces to the existing text anchor chart. But this time you will share a book as the literary text. Each time you read a picture book, you can use the vocabulary “Literary Text”. Using academic vocabulary helps students to understand their learning goal and academic expectation.

Mini Lesson #3: What is a Question?

Yes!! I know you are wondering why we are teaching this mini lesson, but if you have been teaching Kindergarten long, you know that we have to teach about questions and answers! Using the anchor chart pieces provided, together with the students, you will create and build an anchor chart defining what a question is and focusing on question words. Question words include: who, what, when, where, and why. The teacher will then model what a question is and use the microphone prop to ask questions, such as ‘how old are you?’, ‘what is your name?’. Choose questions that have a yes or no answer or something that has a concrete answer and not optional answers.

Mini Lesson #4: What is an Answer?

Just like teaching questions, we have to explicitly teach about what an answer is. Using the anchor chart pieces provided, together with the students, you will add to the question anchor chart, defining what a answer is. The teacher will then model what an answer is and use the microphone prop to ask questions and give answers. Next, the teacher can ask the students questions, so they can ‘practice’ giving answers.

Connecting Activity: Students will cut out and glue question/answer kids, to popsicle sticks.

Game: Is it a Question or Answer?

Students will use the question/answer kids on popsicle sticks, to ‘show’ if it is a question or answer. Teacher will model first. “Do you like apples?”. “I do not like apples”. As teacher says each, he/she will raise up their question or answer kid. This most likely will have to be practiced multiple times.

Mini Lesson #5 How to Ask a Question. How to Answer a Question Appropriately and the Appropriate Voice Level for Asking and Answering Questions.

This should be taught in conjunction with mini lesson 4. After teaching what questions and answers are, it’s important to teach how to ask a question and how to answer a question appropriately. This means making eye contact with  ‘reporter’ and/or ‘celebrity’. Questions need responses that stay on topic and do not ‘tell a story’, but respond to the specific question that was asked. Voice level also needs to be addressed. What is the appropriate voice level for answering a question one-on-on and in a group setting. The same goes for asking questions. Use the microphone props to model how a reporter uses an appropriate voice level when asking questions and how a ‘celebrity’ uses the appropriate voice level to answer the specific question.

Students turn: Students will use the microphone prop to take turns with their shoulder partner, asking and answering questions. I highly recommend that you have a set list of questions for the students to ask. So, you would say the question out loud and then the ‘reporter’ would repeat the question with the microphone, and then hold it for the ‘celebrity’ to answer the question. As the teacher, you would go around listening and observing for eye contact, appropriate voice levels and appropriate questioning and answering. Have students switch roles and again circulate through students to listen and observe the learning target.

Mini Lesson #6: What is a Detail?:

Now that we have covered questions and answers and all of their important components, it’s time to focus on the last part of the standard…details. Again, using the provided pieces, together with the students create and ‘build’ an anchor chart focusing on what a detail is. A detail is a piece of important information that helps understand the entire story or situation. A key detail is a specific part of the story that will help to better understand the story.

Tell students that their job is to listen carefully to the story, like a detective, for those important details in the story.

Details cont.:

Using the picture book, The Three Little Pigs, read 2-3 pages and then use the detail anchor chart to add simple details from those 2 pages. (In this initial lesson, the teacher should lead 80% of the time and the students 20%.) Answers should include 3 pigs, big bad wolf, building houses, etc. (Included graphic of boy thinking of details is included as a visual.) Finish reading the book. Now modeling for students, ask and answer questions of the ‘characters’. (Remember, the focus is to ask questions to help aid in key details for comprehension and eventual retelling of the story.) Questions might include, ‘what did you use to build your house?”. After modeling and practicing with one or two students, students can now with a partner, take turns asking and answering questions.

Connecting activity or station task: Color, cut out and glue The Three Little Pigs pieces onto popsicle sticks to use for questioning/answering game and future re-telling.

Students Turn: Using the pieces from The Three Little Pigs, students will use them as props to ask and answer questions about the story with a partner or small group. (If you determine students are not ready for this, model for students and practice whole-group.)

Teacher Conclusion: You have now laid a strong foundation for this standard and can add in the other supporting standards. (RL.K.2 & RL.K.3) Hopefully you have taught explicitly and with detail, covering each important ‘pre-requisite’ so students will know exactly what asking and answering key details in a text means and how to accomplish that.

But remember, this is only an INITIAL lesson. We know from research that students need repeated practice and multiple exposures to master a concept, so this lesson should continue to grow and build with different texts and more complex questions.

Teacher should continue to model and have students practice this with stories from whole-group read-alouds, small group, and even literacy stations.

Standards to be taught in Conjunction:                 Optional: RL.K. 6, RI.K. 5



Extending the Lesson for Student Practice:  Students can use the question and answer props or the microphones for role-playing reporter and celebrity. The teacher might include the question cards that have the picture prompts. Again, please model for students so they know what the pictures are and how to ask the questions.

Do you have pets?

What is your favorite color?

Do you have brothers or sisters?

Do you like ice cream or cupcakes the best?

Do you like to play inside or outside?

What is your favorite fruit?

Do you have a bike or a scooter?

What is your favorite, hamburgers or tacos?

What is your favorite place to eat; McDonalds, Pizza Hut, or Panda Express?

I have also included the printables for written questions and answers. The teacher can write the questions and students answer, or students can write their questions and answers. The teacher can decide if a specific book will be the focus or if students can choose a book for question and answers. (This activity will most likely be for later on in the school year.)

I place these materials, along with the Three Little Pigs props in my Library Station for students to use and practice their question/answering and retelling skills.

Assessment: An included student observation checklist for RL standards is included.

Do you LOVE what you have seen here? 🙂 I have created everything needed to follow this optional lesson plan and to teach RL.K.1. You can download it for FREE HERE!!

Are you interested in the rest of the Reading Language standards? How about the rest of the standards? If you like that format of this project and feel more confident with teaching this standard, then you might want to stick around to get the rest of the standards! With this being such a labor intensive project, I am opening up a closed FB group HERE for Kindergarten teachers who are very interested in seeing more and being a part of each standard’s release. The teachers that are a part of the FB group will be the first to know about the next phase of this project!!

Thank you for following, sharing and being supportive of my passion!!


4 Responses

  1. Wow! Just wow! I was moved to kinder last year 2 weeks before the start of school. My mother died the day after I moved things into my room. I felt like I played catch up all year long and just barely kept my head above water. I can’t wait for this series. I want to be part of ALL of it! Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to your craft!

  2. This is a wonderful lesson, but I was not able to download. Do you have a suggestion on what to do?

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