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Instructional Unit Samples - Kindergarten

Over the fall/winter of 2013-14, the content specialists in the Standards and Instructional Support office worked with educators across the state of Colorado to build instructional units based on select curriculum overview samples. Teams of teachers authored units for each grade and content area of the Colorado Academic Standards.

Below, are sample instructional units for kindergarten mathematics, reading, writing, and communicating, science, social studies, comprehensive health, visual arts, drama/theatre, dance, and music. The units include learning experiences, teacher and student resources, assessment ideas, and differentiation options.

As examples, these units are intended to provide support for teachers, schools, and districts as they make their own local decisions around the best instructional plans and practices for all students. Click here to view additional kindergarten curriculum overview samples and write your own instructional units using the Colorado based template.



Comprehensive Health

Unit Title: Healthy Relationships (Adams Five Star School District, Boulder Valley School District, and Denver School District)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit provides an opportunity for students to develop communication skills for establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. They will learn how to identify trusted adults, recognize personal space and boundaries, and begin to self-advocate in unsafe situations. Students will explore aspects of nonverbal and verbal communication, respect for self and others and levels of danger and emergency contacts. The unit concludes with students taking on the role of a puppet master to create a puppet show for their peers depicting teacher prompted scenarios to include an unsafe situation, identifying the trusted adults, and how to communicate verbally and/or nonverbally for help.




Unit Title: Making Friends Through Sharing and Exploring Movement (Colorado Ballet, Douglas County School District, St. Mary’s Academy, and Littleton School District)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit uses the body to communicate ideas through movement.  Across the unit students will share ideas with each other as they create simple movement phrases, while learning to safely move in personal and general space. Students will learn to express themselves to others through movement patterns and shapes. This unit culminates in a basic dance performance of student partners sharing movements learned with the class.



Drama and Theatre Arts

Unit Title: The People You See - Creating Character 

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit explores the ways in which non-verbal and verbal communication can convey characters’ emotions. Students will consider characters within popular stories/picture books, utilizing the stories’ conflicts and relationships to work as actors might,  bringing these characters to life by using facial expressions, body language/movements, and vocal variations. The unit also asks students to use real-life observations (of family members and practices) to explore further the ways in which actors use verbal and non-verbal communication in creating characters.  The unit builds to a performance assessment that asks students to use the knowledge gained to “instantly” create characters and scenes from a picture book using combinations of forms of expression.




Unit Title: Put it Together and Take it Apart (Archuleta School District)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit focuses on the concepts of addition and subtraction.  Across the six-week unit students begin by decomposing and composing numbers to five.  Students explore a variety of visual representations including finger patterns, five-frames, and linking cubes.  Students then connect these representations to symbolic addition and subtraction equations.  Throughout the unit students are solving word-problems by using these representations. By the end of the unit, students progress to working with numbers to ten using the same visual and symbolic representations.




Unit Title: Show Me the Way to... (Boulder Valley School District and Metro State University of Denver)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit explores the structure of musical opposites and the function (purpose) of music through movement.  Teachers begin with developmentally appropriate musical opposites (fast/slow, high/low, loud/quiet, same/different) and then use these opposites to show how they create mood.  Later learning experiences help students to understand the purpose of musical pieces across many cultures.  The unit culminates in a performance task requiring students to create their own movements that match the musical elements and function of the music given.



Physical Education

Unit Title: Knowing Your Body (Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Denver Public Schools, and Eagle County Schools)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit allows students to develop an understanding of personal awareness that includes heart rate, intensity, responsibilities, and how the body feels during and after physical activity.  The focus is on developing skills to recognize the differences between moderate and vigorous activities as it relates to personal health and wellness. The unit culminates with students taking on a role as a superhero coach to create activities for peers to demonstrate personal awareness.



Reading, Writing, and Communicating

Unit Title: Reading Our World (Weld County School District)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: In this unit, students will compare how informational texts differ from fictional texts and explore several different informational texts to understand that these texts allow us understand the world around us.  Students will read informational texts on a specific topic (in this unit, on animals).  Students will use their knowledge of foundational reading and writing skills to comprehend informational texts. Students will produce their own informational texts about their chosen topic to demonstrate their knowledge of these text types.   




Unit Title: Characteristics and Properties of Organisms and Objects (Woodland Park School District)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit focuses on characteristics and properties of organisms and objects.  Beginning with identifying characteristics/properties, across the unit students sort animals and objects based on attributes and characteristics.  The unit culminates in a performance assessment that asks students to sort and categorize objects given to them in a box and have to explain their categories.



Social Studies

Unit Title: How Do I Fit In My (Classroom) Community? (Adams-Arapahoe School District and St Vrain Valley School District)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit focuses on the ways in which people demonstrate responsible citizenship practices in different environments. Using the “me/we” dichotomy throughout, students will begin to explore the difference between wants and needs in relation to (personal) decision making processes and the importance of rules.  The learning experiences intentionally spiral through students’ experiences in classrooms and in school in order to deepen their understanding of their roles in creating secure and stable communities. They will respond to texts and images and construct short pieces documenting their increasing understandings. The learning experiences build to a performance assessment that asks students to construct a presentation for peers to help their school, as a whole, better exemplify responsible citizenship practices.



Visual Arts

Unit Title: What do I See? (Adams Five Star School District and Colorado State University)

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF)     Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: In this unit, kindergartners will creatively experiment with art tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner, while building a portfolio of personal art work from the students’ point of view (from imagination and observation). The portfolio should reflect growth and learning as artists and creative thinkers. Students will look at picture books to consider how artists express ideas. This unit will culminate in the students creating their own class book expressing their own artistic creativity.




Integrated Unit Title: Shape Detectives (Thompson School District)

Focus Disciplines: Mathematics + Visual Arts

Instructional Unit (Word or PDF) | Unit Storyboard

Unit Description: This unit focuses on recognizing, naming, and using geometric shapes.


For content specific questions, please contact the appropriate content specialist listed here.