Kindergarten: Spirit Class » Kindergarten Curriculum Overview

Kindergarten Curriculum Overview


Building on kindergarteners' appreciation for reading and listening to stories, children practice comprehension strategies such as retelling a story, asking questions, and making connections to their own lives and other books they know.

They learn about literary genres such as non-fiction, folktales, biography, and poetry. Studying the work of authors such as Eric Carle as well as Brian and Andrea Pinkney helps students begin to notice writing style and content variations. Language skills are taught in context and include concepts about print, letter recognition and phonemic awareness.

Writer's Workshop is introduced as a special time for exploring ideas and words through drawing and writing. Inspired by their own lives, as well as favorite authors, students begin to understand the craft of writing. They develop confidence as they write, illustrate, and share their thinking and stories. Letter/sound knowledge and phonemic awareness develop as children write daily. Letter formation and beginning spelling skills are taught through individual and small group lessons in the context of Writer's Workshop.

Mathematics is exciting, tactile, and integrated into real life with questions such as, "How do we divide snack equally among 20 children?" or "How many students are there in the kindergarten and first grade combined?"

In their study of penguins, students measure, count, sort, estimate, and solve penguin family story problems. Tools like the math rack counting frame encourage children to work with the structure of five and ten for addition and subtraction and help build strong number sense. Time is spent looking for patterns and relationships, which leads to higher algebraic thinking.

Social Studies
Students explore the rich diversity of the world by sharing their home cultures with classmates. Stories, discussions, and playtime help develop an understanding of friendship and peaceful conflict resolution and build the skills of empathy and understanding. During a interdisciplinary study of animals, kindergarteners draw habitats, learn about birds and mammals, create maps, talk about pets, count and group animals, listen to stories, read, dictate, and write. A life study of Alvin Ailey sparks conversations about collaboration and artistic endeavors, and a year long service learning project at the North Berkeley Senior Center strengthens community ties and provides an inter-generational experience.


Life Science:

  • Five Senses
  • Physical Characteristics of Animals
  • Habitats
  • Life cycles of plants/animals
  • Worm Composting
  • Eggs/Chick Development
Earth Science:

  • Weather
Physical Science:

  • Magnetism
  • Buoyancy
  • Water
  • Matter: Solids, Liquids, & Gases