Essentials

Tour

A Multi-Level Reading, Spelling, Grammar & Vocabulary Program for ages 8-Adult

Equip students with the skills they need to
become strong readers and writers!

Pre-Lessons

Essentials includes 10 optional lessons that teach phonemic awareness, the sounds of A-Z, and handwriting to students who still need to develop these foundational skills.
Handwriting, Phonemic Awareness, and sliver of Systematic Phonics

Phonemic Awareness

Students ages 7+ who struggle with segmenting or blending sounds or identifying sounds in words will quickly learn these foundational skills using the activities and games provided in the pre-lessons.

Pre-Lesson A & B

  • Demonstrate an understanding that different sounds are produced by shaping the mouth, tongue, and lips in different ways.
  • Identify a sound as voiced or unvoiced.
  • Listen to two spoken words and blend them into one compound word.
  • Blend one-, two-, and three-syllable words from an auditory prompt.
  • Segment one-, two-, and three-syllable words into their individual sounds.

Systematic Phonics

Though most students know some of the sounds of A-Z, they will need to be familiar with ALL the sounds of the single letters before starting Essentials Lesson 1.

Pre-Lesson A & B

  • Read ALL the sounds, in order of frequency, of the lowercase single-letter phonograms.Logic of English teaches all the sounds of A-Z. For example, s says two sounds: /s/ as in sand and /z/ as in his. I says four sounds: /ĭ/ as in hip, /ī/ as in tribe, /ē/ as in stadium, /y/ as in onion. Before students begin Lesson 1 of Essentials, they will need to be introduced to sounds that they were not taught and begin to develop mastery with these sounds.

Handwriting

Research has shown that handwriting instruction is closely linked to reading success. Essentials pre-lessons provide a suggested schedule for using Rhythm of Handwriting to teach the lowercase letters.

Pre-Lesson A & B

  • Identify the baseline.
  • Identify the midline.
  • Identify the top line.
  • Write lowercase letters.The pre-lessons guide teachers in scheduling lessons from Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive: i, t, u, s, j, p, r, w, a, d, g Manuscript: i, t, r, l, b, p, k, h, n, m, j
Find out if your students should
start with the Pre-Lessons.

Take our Essentials placement test.

Let's take a tour - average time per unit: 5 days / 1 week
Teacher with arms apart
Each Essentials Lesson is a full learning unit about the structure of written English.

Unit 1

In the first lesson, students discover the real definition of a vowel and apply their newly expanded knowledge of A-Z to spelling words and writing two-word phrases such as:
a
map, dog, hand, fast, quilt, last
b
rabbit, canyon, pumpkin, splendid, drab, timid
c
contest, abstract, insistent, compact, tranquil, public
Students are also writing two-word phrases such as:
a
soft cat, pink bag
b
velvet mittens, grand banquet
c
rustic cabin, abstract contract
Systematic Phonics

Unit 1: Systematic Phonics Skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding that a phonogram is a written picture of a sound.
  • Read ALL the sounds, in order of frequency, of the single-letter phonograms.
  • Decode words that include the phonogram S saying its second sound /z/.
  • Decode CVC words that use only the first sound of each phonogram.
  • Read the sound of the multi-letter phonogram qu.
  • Identify QU as a multi-letter phonogram in one-syllable words.
  • Decode words with the multi-letter phonogram qu.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that consonants are sounds blocked by the lips, tongue, or teeth, and that they usually cannot be sung or controlled for volume.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that vowels are sounds which can be sung AND can be controlled for volume, and that they are NOT blocked by the lips, tongue, or teeth.
  • Identify whether each sound of a phonogram is a consonant or a vowel sound.
Spelling

Unit 1: Spelling Skills

  • All Levels
    • Write the lowercase single-letter phonograms from an auditory prompt of the sound(s).
    • Encode words that follow the rule Q always needs a U; therefore U is not a vowel here.
    • Encode plural words ending in -S.
  • Level A
    • Encode CVC words that use only the first sound of each phonogram.
    • Encode one-syllable words with consonant blends that use only the first sound of the single-letter phonograms.
  • Level B
    • Encode one-syllable words with consonant blends that use only the first sound of the single-letter phonograms.
    • Encode two-syllable words with short, single-letter vowels.
  • Level C
    • Encode two-syllable words with short, single-letter vowels.
    • Encode three-syllable words with short, single-letter vowels.
Grammar

Unit 1: Grammar Skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding that a noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea.
  • Identify if a word is a noun.
  • Identify if a noun is singular or plural.
Vocabulary

Unit 1: Vocabulary Skills

  • Level C
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a morpheme is a unit of meaning in a word and that roots, prefixes, and suffixes are types of morphemes.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a prefix is attached before a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that with Latin prefixes the pronunciation and spelling may assimilate to the first sound in the root word. to the first sound heard in the root word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the prefixes ab- and con- are added.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a suffix is attached after a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Explain the meaning of words that include the roots pact, tract, flict, tent, plex, and sist and explain how the meaning of the root connects to the meaning of the word.
Fluency

Unit 1 - Level A: Fluency Skills

  • Read CVC words.
  • Read one-syllable words with consonant blends.
  • Additional fluency skills are taught in the Essentials Reader Set, which is scheduled starting in Lesson 2.
Composition

Unit 1: Composition Skills

  • Compose adjective noun phrases.
  • Write phrases from an oral prompt.
  • Additional composition skills are taught in the Essentials Reader Set, which is scheduled starting in Lesson 2.
Comprehension

Unit 1: Comprehension Skills

  • Comprehension skills are taught in the Essentials Reader Set, which is scheduled starting in Lesson 2.
Teacher holding Essentials Reader
Essential Reader texts and activities are scheduled beginning in Lesson 2.

Unit 6

By Lesson 6, students have learned about short, long, and broad vowels, the schwa sound, and 16 multi-letter phonograms. They are reading and spelling words such as:
a
all, school, secret
b
afternoon, sandwich, quarter
c
spectator, complaint, suspenders
Students are now writing lists that use commas in a series of phrases.
a
toy cars, toy trains, and balls
b
the king, the queen, and the royal quartet
c
a spectacular witness, a competent defendant, and a complex complaint
Systematic Phonics

Unit 6: Systematic Phonics Skills

  • All Levels
    • Read the sound of the multi-letter phonogram ar.
    • Read the sounds, in order of frequency, of the multi-letter phonograms ch and oo.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that the schwa vowel sound is a lazy sound where the mouth does not open as far and the sound is quieter and distorted.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that Any vowel may say one of the schwa sounds, /u/ or /i/, in an unstressed syllable.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that Any vowel may say one of the schwa sounds, /u/ or /i/, in an unstressed word.
    • Recognize the symbol for schwa, ə.
    • Identify a schwa sound in a given word.
    • Decode one-syllable words with the schwa sound.
    • Decode words that follow the rule We often double F, L, and S after a single, short or broad vowel at the end of a base word. Occasionally other letters also are doubled.
  • Level C
    • Recognize that an unfamiliar and less common spelling in a word may be an advanced phonogram.
    • Identify bt as an Advanced Phonogram. Demonstrate familiarity, but not necessarily mastery, of its sound(s).
Spelling

Unit 6: Spelling Skills

  • All Levels:
    • Write the lowercase single-letter phonograms from an auditory prompt of the sound(s).
    • Write the multi-letter phonograms from an auditory prompt that includes their sounds any associated spelling hints.
    • Encode words with the multi-letter phonograms ar, ch, oo
    • Encode words that follow the rule We often double F, L, and S after a single, short or broad vowel at the end of a base word. Occasionally other letters also are doubled.
    • Encode two-syllable words that follow the rule A E O U usually say their long sounds at the end of the syllable.
    • Encode two- syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
  • Level A
    • Encode one-syllable words with the schwa sound.
    • Demonstrate how to say-to-spell one-syllable words with a schwa sound.
    • Encode two-syllable words where A and U say their broad sounds.
  • Level B
    • Encode two-syllable words with the schwa sound.
    • Encode three-syllable words with short, single-letter vowels and/or multi-letter phonograms that the student has been taught.
  • Level C
    • Encode two-,three-, and four-syllable words with the schwa sound.
    • Encode three- and four syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
    • Encode words with the advanced phonogram bt.
Grammar

Unit 6: Grammar Skills

  • Use commas and a coordinating conjunction to join three or more words or phrases in a series.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that a conjunction joins words, phrases, or sentences together.
  • Identify if a word is a noun.
  • Identify if a word is an adjective.
Vocabulary

Unit 6: Vocabulary Skills

  • Level A
    • Identify morphemes in a word and explain how a particular morpheme relates to the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that two words can be combined to form a compound word, and that smaller words within a compound word work together to make the word's meaning.
  • Level B
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a suffix is attached after a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Identify morphemes in a word and explain how a particular morpheme relates to the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the suffix -less is added.
    • Explain the meaning of a word which uses the root quart and explain how the meaning of the root connects to the meaning of the word.
  • Level C
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a prefix is attached before a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that with Latin prefixes the pronunciation and spelling may assimilate to the first sound in the root word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the prefix ad- or de- is added.
    • Identify morphemes in a word and explain how a particular morpheme relates to the meaning of the word.
    • Explain the meaning of words that include the roots part, spect, plaint, fend, and pend and explain how the meaning of the root connects to the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a suffix is attached after a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the suffix -ment, -iff, -ant, or -er is added.
Comprehension

Unit 6: Comprehension Skills

  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Identify the title.
    • Make predictions about the text using the title and cover.
    • Identify a text as fiction or nonfiction.
    • Recall facts.
    • Summarize a text.
    • Apply knowledge from a text to answer a question.
    • Summarize a text.
Composition

Unit 6: Composition Skills

  • All Students
    • Write phrases with commas in a series from an oral prompt.
    • Write a list.
  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Orally retell a story.
    • Take notes.
    • Write a list of keywords.
    • Orally retell a text using a keyword outline written by the student.
    • Write an original text using a keyword outline created by the student.
    • Create a poster.
    • Draw and label a diagram to express the meaning of a text.
Handwriting

Unit 6: Handwriting Skills

  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Copy a model of a handwritten text.
Lesson 6 image
Students using the Essentials Reader are at this point reading a one-page nonfiction text about wombats, learning to take notes, and write keyword outlines.
Teacher with arms open
Essentials students raise the level of both their reading and their writing skills!

Unit 15

By Lesson 15, students have expanded their knowledge of vowel types and syllables. They know 35 multi-letter phonograms and can spell words such as:
a
cents, fruit, says
b
parakeet, generous, correct
c
binoculars, accept, proclaim
Students are now writing sentences containing quotations such as:
a
“Draw a black dash on the paper,” said the teacher.
b
“Lightning will delay recess,” said the visitor.
c
The scientist exclaimed, “I saw a ghost!”
Systematic Phonics

Unit 15: Systematic Phonics Skills

  • All Levels
    • Read the sound of the multi-letter phonogram ui.
    • Decode words that follow the rule C always softens to /s/ when followed by an E, I, or Y. Otherwise, C says /k/.
    • Identify the reason C is saying /k/ or /s/ in a given word.
    • Decode words that follow the rule G may soften to /j/ only when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise G says /g/.
    • Identify the reason G is saying /g/ or /j/ in a given word.
  • Level C
    • Recognize that an unfamiliar and less common spelling in a word may be an advanced phonogram.
    • Identify gh as an Advanced Phonogram. Demonstrate familiarity, but not necessarily mastery, of its sound(s).
Spelling

Unit 15: Spelling Skills

  • All Levels
    • Write the lowercase single-letter phonograms from an auditory prompt of the sound(s).
    • Write the multi-letter phonograms from an auditory prompt that includes their sounds any associated spelling hints.
    • Encode words with the multi-letter phonogram ui.
    • Encode words that follow the rule C always softens to /s/ when followed by an E, I, or Y. Otherwise, C says /k/.
    • Encode words that follow the rule G may soften to /j/ only when followed by E, I, or Y. Otherwise G says /g/.
    • Encode one-, two-, and three-syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
  • Level A
    • Identify the way morphology explains the spelling of a word with an exception to the phonograms or spelling rules.
  • Level C
    • Encode four-syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
    • Encode words with the advanced phonogram gh.
Grammar

Unit 15: Grammar Skills

  • Use a comma to separate a direct quote from the rest of the sentence.
  • Use quotation marks around direct quotations.
  • Capitalize the first word of a direct quote unless it begins in the middle of the quoted sentence.
  • Place commas and periods inside the quotation marks.
  • Do not use quotation marks if the person is not actually speaking.
  • Identify the parts of speech the student has learned in a sentence.
  • Identify if a given text is a complete sentence or a sentence fragment.
Vocabulary

Unit 15: Vocabulary Skills

  • Level A
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a prefix is attached before a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the prefix re- is added.
    • Identify the way morphology explains the spelling of a word with an exception to the phonograms or spelling rules.
  • Level B
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a suffix is attached after a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the suffix -ful is added.
  • Level C
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a prefix is attached before a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that with Latin prefixes the pronunciation and spelling may assimilate to the first sound in the root word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the prefix bi-, inter-, ex-, or ad- is added.
    • Identify morphemes in a word and explain how a particular morpheme relates to the meaning of the word.
    • Explain the meaning of words that include the roots annu, ocul, cept, and claim and explain how the meaning of the roots connect to the meaning of the word.
Comprehension

Unit 15: Comprehension Skills

  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Recall facts.
    • Make predictions.
    • Relate the text to the reader's personal experience.
    • Form and express an opinion.
    • Provide supporting reasons from the text to support an opinion.
    • Form and express a conclusion.
    • Identify the main idea of a paragraph.
    • Use morphemes to identify the meaning of an unknown vocabulary word.
    • Identify non-English words in a text.
    • Use context to identify the meaning of an unknown vocabulary word.
Composition

Unit 15: Composition Skills

  • All Students
    • Write sentences including direct quotes and use commas and quotation marks correctly.
  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Take notes.
    • Write an outline of a text by summarizing the main idea of each paragraph.
    • Write a biography.
    • Create a brochure to sell a product.
    • Conduct outside research to deepen comprehension of a text.
Handwriting

Unit 15: Handwriting Skills

  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Copy a model of a handwritten text.
Unit 15 image
In this lesson, students who are using the Essentials Reader are reading a five-page biographical article, taking notes by writing the main idea in each paragraph, and researching forms of energy.
Teacher with two open arms
Learn alongside your students!

Unit 30

By the end of Essentials, students know all the basic phonograms and spelling rules. They have been introduced to advanced phonograms and concepts such as the assimilation of sounds. They are able to spell words such as:
a
million, business, another
b
community, elementary, original
c
migratory, aquarium, illuminate
Students are now writing compound sentences and sentences with a subordinate clause.
a
The boy is going to the picnic while his father is in another business meeting.
b
The furious tourist finally returned, and the guide continued the tour.
c
As long as the stadium is empty, we will sit together.
Systematic Phonics

Unit 30: Systematic Phonics Skills

  • All Levels:
    • Recognize that an unfamiliar and less common spelling in a word may be an advanced phonogram.
    • Identify z and zz as Advanced Phonograms. Demonstrate familiarity, but not necessarily mastery, of their sound(s).
    • Demonstrate an understanding that there are shades of sounds, and that a given phoneme may be pronounced slightly differently based upon what other sounds surround it in a word.
  • Level C
    • Identify aa, gn, and ei as Advanced Phonograms. Demonstrate familiarity, but not necessarily mastery, of their sound(s).
Spelling

Unit 30: Spelling Skills

  • All Levels:
    • Write the multi-letter phonograms the student has learned from an auditory prompt which includes its sound and spelling hint.
    • Encode words where the base word ends in a C and a K must be added when adding a suffix in order to retain the hard /k/ sound.
    • Encode one-, two-, and three-syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
    • Encode words with the advanced phonograms z and zz.
  • Level B:
    • Encode four, and five-syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
  • Level C:
    • Encode four-syllable words that follow the rules and use the phonograms that the student has been taught.
Grammar

Unit 30: Grammar Skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding that a clause includes a subject and a verb.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that not all clauses are sentences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that an independent clause contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that every sentence must have at least one independent clause.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that a simple sentence is a single independent clause standing alone as a sentence.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that a subordinating conjunction joins two sentences together by turning one sentence into a dependent clause (or a sentence fragment.)
  • Demonstrate an understanding that a dependent clause contains a subordinating conjunction, a subject, and a verb. It does not express a complete thought.
  • Identify whether a clause is dependent or independent.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that a complex sentence is made up of an independent clause joined with one or more dependent clauses.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that when a sentence begins with a dependent clause, separate the clause from the rest of the sentence with a comma.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that when a dependent clause is located after an independent clause, no comma is needed between them.
Vocabulary

Unit 30: Vocabulary Skills

  • Level A
    • Identify how morphology explains the spelling of many words that contain an exception to the phonograms or spelling rules.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the suffix -en is added.
  • Level B
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the prefix inter- is added.
  • Level C
    • Demonstrate an understanding that with Latin prefixes the pronunciation and spelling may assimilate to the first sound in the root word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the prefix in- is added.
    • Identify morphemes in a word and explain how a particular morpheme relates to the meaning of the word.
    • Explain the meaning of words that include the roots migr, aqua, and lumine and explain how the meaning of the roots connect to the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that a suffix is attached after a root and that it changes the meaning of the word.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how the meaning of a word changes when the suffix -ate or -ory is added.
Comprehension

Unit 30: Comprehension Skills

  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Make predictions about the text using the title and cover.
    • Make inferences using textual clues.
    • Analyze the motivations and reasons for a character's behavior.
    • Summarize a poem.
    • Form and express an opinion.
    • Analyze the meter (syllable patterns) in a poem.
    • Use context to identify the meaning of an unknown vocabulary word.
    • Use an internet search to look up the meaning of an unknown vocabulary word.
    • Use a dictionary to look up the meaning of an unknown vocabulary word.
    • Demonstrate comprehension of the meaning of figurative language within a poem.
    • Make connections between two texts.
    • Analyze the author's purpose for writing a text. (To inform, to entertain...)
Composition

Unit 30: Composition Skills

  • All Students
    • Write sentences using subordinating conjunctions and punctate them correctly.
    • Write original, complete complex sentences.
  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Write an original poem.
    • Rephrase verse as prose.
    • Illustrate a poem.
Handwriting

Unit 30: Handwriting Skills

  • Essentials Reader Set
    • Copy a model of a handwritten text.
Unit 30 image
If using the Essentials Reader, students read a biography about Robert Louis Stevenson and read four of his poems. They also explore how to analyze poetry and to understand figurative language.

Learn about other Logic of English Products

such as Rhythm of Handwriting and Foundations.