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Children Progress Through The Kindergarten Years

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Explore sounds, rhythms, and language structures with guidance and on their own (e.g., generate rhymes, including nonsense words; identify syllables through actions, such as clapping, manipulate sounds and words in shared, guided, and independent activities, such as singing songs or chants or participating in finger plays).

Listen and respond to others for a variety of purposes (e.g., to exchange ideas, express feelings, offer opinions) and in a variety of contexts (e.g., after read-alouds and shared reading or writing activities, while solving a class math problem, in imaginary or exploratory play; at the learning centers, while engaged in games and outdoor play, while making scientific observations of creatures outdoors). Student Talk: Initially (when taking on the role of parent at the house center) “The baby is crying.” Eventually “Don’tcry, I’ll change your diaper for you.” “I’m making a house. What are you making? I think you should paint yours blue.”

Follow one- and two-step directions in different contexts (e.g., in classroom routines; music, drama, and dance activities; outdoor play; learning centers; large group activities)

Use language in various contexts to connect new experiences with what they already know (e.g., contribute ideas orally during shared or interactive writing; contribute to conversations at learning centers; respond to teacher prompts) Student Talk: “I made a sandcastle like this at the beach.” “I built a fort with my brother like the one in the story.”

Use language to talk about their thinking, to reflect, and to solve problems Teacher Prompts: “I wonder how you knew that.” “How did you figure that out?” “What were you thinking about?”

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Use specialized vocabulary for a variety of purposes (e.g., terms for things they are building or equipment they are using) Student Talk: At the block center: “We put a roof on our house.” At the water center: “I poured the water in the funnel.” After listening to a book being read about farming and then creating a farm with blocks: “My silo doesn’t have any grain in it yet.”

Ask questions for a variety of purposes (e.g., for direction, for assistance, for obtaining information, for clarification, for help in understanding something) and in different contexts (e.g., during discussions and conversations with peers and adults before, during, and after read-aloud activities and shared reading; while making observations on a class walk; in small groups at learning centers)

Begin to use and interpret gestures, tone of voice, and other non-verbal means to communicate and respond (e.g., respond to non-verbal directions from the teacher; vary tone of voice when dramatizing; name feelings that are expressed in facial expressions in photos or illustrations; recognize when someone is upset).

Describe personal experiences, using vocabulary and details appropriate to the situation Student Talk: Initially “We went out for dinner.” “My dad and I went out for dinner.” Eventually “Last night I went out for dinner with my dad because Mom was busy.”

Orally retell simple events and simple familiar stories in proper sequence Student Talk: Initially “We cooked the apples.” Eventually “First we had to peel all of the apples. Then we cut them up and cooked them. Then we mashed them and ate the apple sauce.” Initially“ Humpty Dumpty fell down and couldn’t get up.” Eventually “Humpty Dumpty was sitting on a wall and he fell down. The king and his men tried to help him but he was too broken and they couldn’t fix him. The end.”

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Children Progress Through The Kindergarten Years. (2021, August 02). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from
“Children Progress Through The Kindergarten Years.” Edubirdie, 02 Aug. 2021,
Children Progress Through The Kindergarten Years. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Apr. 2023].
Children Progress Through The Kindergarten Years [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 02 [cited 2023 Apr 1]. Available from:
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