Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world



K-5 Literacy

The Minnesota ELA Standards are taught using a balanced literacy approach; instruction is delivered in a gradual release model. A balanced approach includes instruction encompassing the five big ideas: 
Phonemic Awareness • Phonics & Word Study • Vocabulary • Comprehension • Fluency

Benchmark Education is the curricular resource used to teach reading and writing. Benchmark Education has a solid research-base and is made up of whole group, small group, phonics/wordstudy and writer’s workshop components. Effective readers use comprehension strategies in conjunction with metacognitive strategies to develop a deeper understanding of text. These strategies include:

Comprehension Strategies

  • Analyze Character
  • Analyze Story Elements
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Distinguish and Evaluate Fact and Opinion
  • Draw Conclusions
  • Evaluate Author’s Purpose
  • Identify Cause and Effect
  • Identify Main idea and Supporting Details
  • Identify Sequence of Events
  • Make Inferences
  • Make Judgments
  • Make Predictions
  • Summarize Information


Metacognitive Strategies

  • Ask Questions
  • Determine Text Importance
  • Fix-up Monitoring
  • Make Connections
  • Make Inferences
  • Summarize and Synthesize
  • Visualize

Writing and grammar are incorporated into a balanced literacy workshop approach. Students in K-5 learn and practice the writing process, author’s craft, conventions, different text types and genres, and communication for many purposes.  All students write in the three main text types: Narrative, Informational, and Persuasive/Argument. Students learn to write these three main text types through various genres.


The goal of reading intervention is to reach grade level and empower every reader to use strategies to be successful in challenging text. Reading intervention instruction targets an area of identified need and is provided in addition to core instruction.

Reading Intervention Descriptions

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Department of Teaching & Learning
K-12 Literacy
Sarah Morrison, Coordinator
10 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 3
Mankato, Minnesota 56001