With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  - Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
  - Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites (antonyms).
  - Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).
  - Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.


  • Adjective
  • Attributes
  • Antonyms

  • Categorize
  • Opposites
  • Verb
  • Words

  • Kindergarteners identify and use word meanings to explore word relationships and usage through conversations, reading, read alouds, and responding to texts with scaffolding and support.
  • Kindergarten students explore new vocabulary through speaking and shared writing experiences and encounter/learn vocabulary modeled in conversations and texts.
  • Good communicators seek out opportunities to learn and use new words that build and enhance their oral language skills in a language-rich environment.
  • When given picture cards, kindergarten students can sort those picture cards into categories such as clothing, food, shapes, things that move (e.g., bicycles, trains, planes, cars, trucks, etc.)
  • Kindergarten students are able to complete concept picture sorting activities with partners and while working in learning centers.
  • When given words orally, kindergarten students (with prompting and support from adults) can provide a word that means the opposite of the word given (e.g., up/down; big/little) and can provide descriptions such as “John walked up the stairs, but I walked down.” “Susie is little, but her Daddy is big.”
  • Kindergarten students can use negative words to provide words that mean the opposite of a word given orally (e.g., Emily is nice, but Victor is not nice; Emily is happy, but Victor is miserable). These students can explain what each adjective (nice; not nice; happy; miserable) means.
  • Kindergarten students are able to understand and provide shades of meaning when working with verbs. For example, given the word “happy”, kindergarten students can act out the shades of meaning when the words are provided by the teacher --- miserable, sad, unhappy, happy, glad, joyful, excited.
  • Kindergarten students can use adjectives (describing words) to “paint pictures” of familiar objects, people, and places (e.g. The movie was scary (scary movie). The trip to the zoo was exciting (exciting trip). We have a big garden in our yard (big garden). The tomatoes we grew were delicious (delicious tomatoes).
  • Kindergarten students can use words learned to describe their environment. When given words such as huge, colorful, sunny, ugly, kindergarten students are able to “marry” these words with things in their environment (e.g. the playground has colorful things to play on; the cafeteria is a sunny room because of all the windows; this school is huge; the house across the street is painted in an ugly green).
  • Kindergarten students have a working knowledge of the following academic words: verbs, adjectives, similar, different, describing words, adjectives, the same, and opposite.

  • Can students sort objects by attributes? What resources are there to help teachers provide concept sorts? Why is sorting an effective strategy for developing understandings of concepts regarding kindergarten level areas (food, shapes, clothes, colors, things to do, etc.)
  • With guidance and support, can students act out the meanings of similar verbs or verbs with shades of meanings (sad, unhappy, happy, joyful, excited)?
  • How can kindergarteners be guided to understand how some words describe other words?
  • What strategies can be used to help students incorporate and correctly use antonyms of common verbs and adjectives?
  • What additional instructional support can be provided for students who struggle to understand and make the connection between words and their use?
  • What academic vocabulary must students be familiar with and able to use if they are to master shades of meaning in verbs as well as how words are used to describe other words?



Go to L.1.5 to see the progression of related skills.