Preschool Learning Guidelines for Learning in English Language Arts

Overview of the Preschool Learning Guidelines for Learning in English Language Arts

The foundations for learning in the English Language Arts are critical to all other curriculum areas as well as to the child’s social and emotional development.  Children develop the basis for verbal communication in early childhood, beginning with nonverbal social exchanges.  They begin to appreciate literature and the joy of reading by being read to in family and early care/education settings.  A solid foundation in language development in the years before a child enters school promotes success in reading and writing in the future.  A well-planned program will encourage children to learn about the world around them.  Preschoolers are more likely to want to read and write when their imaginations have been regularly stimulated by being read to.

Learning Guidelines for English Language Arts

Preschool Standard

Links to K Standards


1. Observe and use appropriate ways of interacting in a group (taking turns in talking: listening to peers; waiting until someone is finished; asking questions and waiting for an answer; gaining the floor in appropriate ways).

Link to Discussion 1.1

2. Participate actively in discussions, listen to the ideas of others, and ask and answer relevant questions.

Link to Questioning, Listening, and Contributing 2.1

3. Communicate personal experiences or interests.

Link to Oral Presentation 3.1; Evaluation 25.1

4. Engage in play experiences that involve naming and sorting common words into various classifications using general and specific language.

Link to Vocabulary and Concept Development 4.1 and 4.2

5. Listen to and use formal and informal language.

Link to Formal & Informal English 6.1

Reading & Literature

6. Listen to a wide variety of age appropriate literature read aloud.

Link to Beginning Reading 7.1, 8.3

7. Develop familiarity with the forms of alphabet letters, awareness of print, and letter forms.

Link to Beginning Reading 7.1

8. Listen to, identify, and manipulate language sounds to develop auditory discrimination and phonemic awareness.

Link to Beginning Reading 7.2

9. Link letters with sounds in play activities.

Link to Beginning Reading 7.3

10. Engage actively in read-aloud activities by asking questions, offering ideas, predicting or retelling important parts of a story or informational book.

Link to Understanding a Text 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5

11. Listen to several books by the same author or using the same illustrator.

Link to Making Connections 9.1 and 9.2; Fiction 12.1 12

12. Listen to, recite, sing, and dramatize a variety of age-appropriate literature.

Link to Genre 10.1; Non-Fiction 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4: and 13.5; Myth, Traditional Narrative, and Classical Literature 16.1, 16.2, 16.3; Dramatic Literature, Reading and Performance 17.1 and 18.1

13. Relate themes and information in books to personal experiences.

Link to Theme 11.1

14. Recognize and supply rhythm and rhyme in poetry.

Link to Poetry 14.1

15. Listen to, recognize, and use a broad vocabulary of sensory words.

Link to Style and Language 15.1


16. Use their own words or illustrations to describe their experiences, tell imaginative stories, or communicate information about a topic of interest.

Link to Foundations for Writing 19.1, 19.2, 19.3, 19.4, 20.1

17. Add details or make changes to published or class-made stories.

Link to Framework, Revising 21.1

18. Use emergent writing skills to make letters in many settings and for many purposes.

Link to English Conventions (letter formation) 22.1

19. Arrange events in order when dictating a story.

Link to Organizing Ideas 23.1

20. Generate questions and gather information to answer their questions in various ways.

Link to Research 24.1



Narrated Presentation
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Supplemental Reading




Citation: Stone-McDonald, A., Douglass, A., Love, M., Harding, L. (2011, March 02). Preschool Learning Guidelines for Learning in English Language Arts. Retrieved November 06, 2014, from UMass Boston OpenCourseware Web site:
Copyright 2014, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License