Literacy

Literacy
Common Core state standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
W i s c o n s i n D e p a r t m e n t o f P u b l i c I n s t r u ction
Common Core state standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
Agriculture, Art, Business and Information Technology, Dance, English Language Arts, Entrepreneurship,
Environmental Education, Family and Consumer Science, Health Science Occupations, Marketing,
Mathematics, Music, Personal Financial Literacy, Physical and Health Education, Science, Social Studies,
Technology and Engineering Education, Theater, World Languages and all other subjects.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Tony Evers, PhD, State Superintendent
Madison, Wisconsin
This publication is available from:
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
125 South Webster Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266-8960
www.dpi.wi.gov/
© September 2011 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The Department of Public Instruction does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race,
color, religion, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital status
or parental status, sexual orientation or disability.
Printed on recycled paper
Table of Contents
Section 1: Wisconsin’s Approach to Academic Standards
Foreword
9
Acknowledgements
10
Purpose of the Document
10
Aligning for Student Success
11
Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning
13
Reaching Every Student; Reaching Every Discipline 14
Section 2: Wisconsin’s Approach to Literacy in all Subjects
21
Section 3: Common Core State Standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
The Common Core State Standards for Literacy in All Subjects
31
Appendix
Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards
Glossary of Key Terms
75
Section 4: Wisconsin Research and Resources
Research Briefs for Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 101
5
SECTION 1
Wisconsin’s Approach
to Academic Standards
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 7
Foreword
On June 2, 2010, I formally adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language
Arts, including the Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and the Technical Subjects for Wisconsin.
The adoption of the Common Core State Standards capped a one year effort led by the Council of Chief
State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA)
to define K-12 academic standards that are aligned with college and work expectations, inclusive of rigorous
content and application, and are internationally benchmarked. Staff from state departments of education
reviewed and provided feedback on early drafts leading to a public comment period for citizens and educators.
As of June 2011, 42 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards in this voluntary effort to bring
academic consistency across the states.
Adoption of the standards, however, is the easy task. Implementing them through engaging instruction coupled
with rigorous learning activities and assessment is the hard work. I applaud the efforts that are underway at
the DPI, local school districts, Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs), professional organizations,
and colleges and universities to bring the Common Core State Standards to teachers across Wisconsin.
The first step to implementation requires that teachers know and understand the Common Core State
Standards. This document provides guidance on the relationship between the Common Core State Standards
and our vision of Every Child a Graduate, supporting all students through Response to Intervention, and the
responsibility that all teachers have for developing reading, writing, thinking, speaking, and listening skills.
One of the most distinguishing features of the Common Core State Standards is the emphasis directed to
literacy in all of the disciplines. For students to be career and college ready, they must be proficient in reading
and writing complex informational and technical text. This means that instruction in every classroom focuses
on both the content and the reading and writing skills that students need to demonstrate learning in the
discipline.
To support and ensure implementation, we will partner with school districts, universities, professional
organizations, CESAs, and CCSSO to develop curriculum resources and highlight effective practices.
Wisconsin educators are the best, both in their content knowledge and commitment to high-quality
instruction. Combining helpful resources with effective practices used by quality educators leads to success
for Wisconsin students.
“The adoption of
Common Core State
Standards defines
K-12 academic
standards that
are aligned with
college and work
expectations, inclusive
of rigorous content
and application.”
Tony Evers, PhD
State Superintendent
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 9
Acknowledgements
Purpose of the Document
A special thanks to the Council of Chief State School Officers and the
National Governors Association for having the vision to undertake the
massive state-led project, the Common Core State Standards.
To assist Wisconsin education stakeholders in understanding and
implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS),
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has developed
guidance to be used along with the CCSS. These materials are intended
to provide further direction and should not be viewed as administrative
rule. This publication provides a vision for student success, guiding
principles for teaching and learning, and locates the standards within a
multi-level system of support where high quality instruction, balanced
assessment, and collaboration function together for student learning.
Information on the design and content of the CCSS is included, as
is a guide to assist with facilitating local conversations about these
internationally-benchmarked standards and how they impact instruction.
Thanks to Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center and Director Linda
Miller for the generous support of Wisconsin’s standards projects, and to
Rachel Trimble and Beth Ratway for their guidance during the last year.
Thanks also to the CESA Statewide Network and Commissioner Jesse
Harness for partnering to keep the CCSS message consistent statewide,
and to the CESA School Improvement Specialists Network for their
role in producing and providing high quality professional development
statewide.
Also thanks to the many staff members across divisions and teams at
DPI who have collaboratively contributed their time and talent to this
project.
Finally, a special thanks to Wisconsin educators and citizens who
provided public comment and feedback to drafts of the Common Core
State Standards, served on statewide standards leadership groups, and
supported implementation of standards.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 10
Aligning for Student Success
To build and sustain schools that support every student in achieving
success, educators must work together with families, community
members, and business partners to connect the most promising practices
in the most meaningful contexts. Major statewide initiatives focus on
high school graduation, Response to Intervention (RtI), and the Common
Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Disciplinary Literacy, and
Mathematics. While these are often viewed as separate efforts or
initiatives, each of them is connected to a larger vision of every child
graduating college and career ready. The graphic below illustrates how
these initiatives function together for a common purpose. Here, the
vision and set of guiding principles form the foundation for building
a supportive process for teaching and learning rigorous and relevant
content. The following sections articulate this integrated approach to
increasing student success in Wisconsin schools and communities.
A Vision: Every Child a Graduate
In Wisconsin, we are committed to ensuring every child
is a graduate who has successfully completed a rigorous,
meaningful, 21st century education that will prepare him or
her for careers, college and citizenship. Though our public
education system continues to earn nation-leading graduation
rates, a fact we can be proud of, one in ten students drop
out of school, achievement gaps are too large, and overall
achievement could be even higher. This vision for every child
a graduate guides our beliefs and approaches to education in
Wisconsin.
Guided By Principles
All educational initiatives are guided and impacted by
important and often unstated attitudes or principles for
teaching and learning. The Guiding Principles for Teaching and
Learning emerge from research and provide the touchstone
for practices that truly affect the vision of every child a
graduate prepared for college and career. When made
transparent, these principles inform what happens in the
classroom, the implementation and evaluation of programs,
and most important, remind us of our own beliefs and
expectations for students.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 11
Ensuring a Process for Student Success
To ensure that every child in Wisconsin graduates prepared for college
and career, schools need to provide high quality instruction, balanced
assessment and collaboration reflective of culturally responsive practices.
The Wisconsin Response to Intervention (RtI) framework helps to
organize the components of a system designed to support student
learning. Below, the three essential elements of high quality instruction,
balanced assessment and collaboration interact within a multi-level
system of support to ensure each student receives what he or she needs
to access higher levels of academic and behavioral success.
Wisconsin’s Vision for RtI
At the school or district level, programs, initiatives and practices related
to high quality instruction, balanced assessment and collaboration can be
more powerful when organized or braided to function systemically to
support all students. The focus must be on a comprehensive approach to
student learning.
Connecting to Content: The Common Core State Standards
Within this vision for increased student success, rigorous, internationallybenchmarked academic standards provide the content for high quality
curriculum and instruction, and for a balanced assessment system aligned
to those standards. With the adoption of the CCSS, Wisconsin has the
tools to build world-class curriculum, instruction and assessments for
greater student learning. The CCSS articulate what we teach so that
educators can focus on how instruction can best meet the needs of each
student. When implemented within a multi-level system of support, the
CCSS can help to ensure that every child will graduate prepared for
college, work and a meaningful life.
“Educators must work together with families,
community members, and business partners to
connect the most promising practices in the most
meaningful contexts.”
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 12
Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning
These guiding principles are the underpinnings of effective teaching and
learning for every Wisconsin teacher and every Wisconsin student. They
are larger than any one initiative, process or set of standards. Rather,
they are the lens we look through as we identify teaching and learning
standards, design assessments and determine what good instruction
looks like. These principles recognize that every student has the right
to learn and are built upon three essential elements: high quality
instruction, balanced assessment, and collaboration. They are meant to
align with academic excellence, rigorous instruction, and college and
career readiness for every Wisconsin student. For additional research,
resources and probing questions to support professional learning on the
six principles, please see the Wisconsin Research and Resources section
of this document.
Every student has the right to learn.
It is our collective responsibility as an education community to make
certain each child receives a high-quality, challenging education designed
to maximize potential, an education that reflects and stretches his or her
abilities and interests. This belief in the right of every child to learn forms
the basis of equitable teaching and learning. The five principles that follow
cannot exist without this commitment guiding our work.
Instruction must be rigorous and relevant.
To understand the world in which we live, there are certain things we
all must learn. Each school subject is made up of a core of essential
knowledge that is deep, rich, and vital. Every student, regardless of age
or ability, must be taught this essential knowledge. What students learn
is fundamentally connected to how they learn, and successful instruction
blends the content of a discipline with processes of an engaging learning
environment that changes to meet the dynamic needs of all students.
Purposeful assessment drives instruction and affects learning.
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Purposeful
assessment practices help teachers and students understand where
they have been, where they are, and where they might go next. No
one assessment can provide sufficient information to plan teaching and
learning. Using different types of assessments as part of instruction
results in useful information about student understanding and progress.
Educators should use this information to guide their own practice and in
partnership with students and their families to reflect on learning and set
future goals.
Learning is a collaborative responsibility.
Teaching and learning are both collaborative processes. Collaboration
benefits teaching and learning when it occurs on several levels: when
students, teachers, family members, and the community collectively
prioritize education and engage in activities that support local schools,
educators, and students; when educators collaborate with their
colleagues to support innovative classroom practices and set high
expectations for themselves and their students; and when students are
given opportunities to work together toward academic goals in ways
that enhance learning.
Students bring strengths and experiences to learning.
Every student learns. Although no two students come to school with the
same culture, learning strengths, background knowledge, or experiences,
and no two students learn in exactly the same way, every student’s
unique personal history enriches classrooms, schools, and the community.
This diversity is our greatest education asset.
Responsive environments engage learners.
Meaningful learning happens in environments where creativity, awareness,
inquiry, and critical thinking are part of instruction. Responsive learning
environments adapt to the individual needs of each student and
encourage learning by promoting collaboration rather than isolation of
learners. Learning environments, whether classrooms, schools, or other
systems, should be structured to promote engaged teaching and learning.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 13
Reaching Every Student;
Reaching Every Discipline
Reaching Every Student
The CCSS set high, clear and consistent expectations for all students.
In order to ensure that all students can meet and exceed those
expectations, Wisconsin educators provide flexible and fluid support
based on student need. Each student brings a complex system of
strengths and experiences to learning. One student may have gifts and
talents in mathematics and need additional support to reach gradelevel standards in reading. A student may be learning English as a second
language while remaining identified for gifted services in science. The
following statements provide guidance for how to ensure that the CCSS
provide the foundation for learning for every student in Wisconsin,
regardless of their unique learning needs.
Application of Common Core State Standards for English Language
Learners
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the
Council of Chief State School Officers strongly believe that all students
should be held to the same high expectations outlined in the Common
Core State Standards. This includes students who are English language
learners (ELLs). However, these students may require additional time,
appropriate instructional support, and aligned assessments as they
acquire both English language proficiency and content area knowledge.
ELLs are a heterogeneous group with differences in ethnic background,
first language, socioeconomic status, quality of prior schooling, and levels
of English language proficiency. Effectively educating these students
requires pre-assessing each student instructionally, adjusting instruction
accordingly, and closely monitoring student progress. For example, ELLs
who are literate in a first language that shares cognates with English
can apply first-language vocabulary knowledge when reading in English;
likewise ELLs with high levels of schooling can often bring to bear
conceptual knowledge developed in their first language when reading in
English. However, ELLs with limited or interrupted schooling will need to
acquire background knowledge prerequisite to educational tasks at hand.
Additionally, the development of native-like proficiency in English takes
many years and may not be achieved by all ELLs especially if they start
schooling in the US in the later grades. Teachers should recognize that
it is possible to achieve the standards for reading and literature, writing
and research, language development and speaking and listening without
manifesting native-like control of conventions and vocabulary.
English Language Arts
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA)
articulate rigorous grade-level expectations in the areas of reading,
writing, speaking, listening to prepare all students to be college and
career ready, including English language learners. Second-language
learners also will benefit from instruction about how to negotiate
situations outside of those settings so they are able to participate on
equal footing with native speakers in all aspects of social, economic, and
civic endeavors.
ELLs bring with them many resources that enhance their education and
can serve as resources for schools and society. Many ELLs have first
language and literacy knowledge and skills that boost their acquisition
of language and literacy in a second language; additionally, they bring an
array of talents and cultural practices and perspectives that enrich our
schools and society. Teachers must build on this enormous reservoir
of talent and provide those students who need it with additional time
and appropriate instructional support. This includes language proficiency
standards that teachers can use in conjunction with the ELA standards
to assist ELLs in becoming proficient and literate in English. To help ELLs
meet high academic standards in language arts it is essential that they
have access to:
•Teachers and personnel at the school and district levels who are
well prepared and qualified to support ELLs while taking advantage
of the many strengths and skills they bring to the classroom;
•Literacy-rich school environments where students are immersed in
a variety of language experiences;
•Instruction that develops foundational skills in English and enables
ELLs to participate fully in grade-level coursework;
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 14
•Coursework that prepares ELLs for postsecondary education or
the workplace, yet is made comprehensible for students learning
content in a second language (through specific pedagogical
techniques and additional resources);
•Opportunities for classroom discourse and interaction that are
well-designed to enable ELLs to develop communicative strengths
in language arts;
• Ongoing assessment and feedback to guide learning; and
• Speakers of English who know the language well enough to
provide ELLs with models and support.
Application to Students with Disabilities
The Common Core State Standards articulate rigorous grade-level
expectations in the areas of mathematics and English language arts.
These standards identify the knowledge and skills students need in
order to be successful in college and careers.
Students with disabilities, students eligible under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), must be challenged to excel within
the general curriculum and be prepared for success in their post-school
lives, including college and/or careers. These common standards provide
an historic opportunity to improve access to rigorous academic content
standards for students with disabilities. The continued development
of understanding about research-based instructional practices and
a focus on their effective implementation will help improve access
to mathematics and English language arts (ELA) standards for all
students, including those with disabilities. Students with disabilities are a
heterogeneous group with one common characteristic: the presence of
disabling conditions that significantly hinder their abilities to benefit from
general education (IDEA 34 CFR §300.39, 2004). Therefore, how these
high standards are taught and assessed is of the utmost importance in
reaching this diverse group of students.
In order for students with disabilities to meet high academic standards
and to fully demonstrate their conceptual and procedural knowledge
and skills in mathematics, reading, writing, speaking and listening
(English language arts), their instruction must incorporate supports and
accommodations, including:
•Supports and related services designed to meet the unique needs of
these students and to enable their access to the general education
curriculum (IDEA 34 CFR §300.34, 2004).
• An Individualized Education Program (IEP)1 which includes
annual goals aligned with and chosen to facilitate their attainment of
grade-level academic standards.
•Teachers and specialized instructional support personnel who
are prepared and qualified to deliver high-quality, evidence-based,
individualized instruction and support services.
Promoting a culture of high expectations for all students is a fundamental
goal of the Common Core State Standards. In order to participate
with success in the general curriculum, students with disabilities, as
appropriate, may be provided additional supports and services, such as:
• Instructional supports for learning, based on the principles of
Universal Design for Learning (UDL),2 which foster student
engagement by presenting information in multiple ways and allowing
for diverse avenues of action and expression.
• Instructional accommodations (Thompson, Morse, Sharpe & Hall,
2005), changes in materials or procedures, which do not change the
standards but allow students to learn within the framework of the
Common Core.
• Assistive technology devices and services to ensure access to
the general education curriculum and the Common Core State
Standards.
Some students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will
require substantial supports and accommodations to have meaningful
access to certain standards in both instruction and assessment, based
on their communication and academic needs. These supports and
accommodations should ensure that students receive access to multiple
means of learning and opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, but
retain the rigor and high expectations of the Common Core State
Standards.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 15
Implications for the Common Core State Standards for Students
with Gifts and Talents
The CCSS provide a roadmap for what students need to learn by
benchmarking expectations across grade levels. They include rigorous
content and application of knowledge through higher-order skills. As
such, they can serve as a foundation for a robust core curriculum,
however, students with gifts and talents may need additional challenges
or curricular options. In order to recognize what adaptations need to be
made or what interventions need to be employed, we must understand
who these students are.
According to the National Association for Gifted Children (2011),
“Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look
different in different contexts and cultures” (para. 1). This means
that there are students that demonstrate high performance or have
the potential to do so in academics, creativity, leadership, and/or the
visual and performing arts. Despite this diversity there are common
characteristics that are important to note.
Students with gifts and talents:
•Learn at a fast pace.
•Are stimulated by depth and complexity of content.
•Make connections.
These traits have implications for how the Common Core State
Standards are used. They reveal that as curriculum is designed and
instruction, is planned there must be:
•Differentiation based on student readiness, interest, and learning
style:
– Pre-assessing in order to know where a student stands in
relation to the content that will be taught (readiness), then teach
those standards that the student has not mastered and enrich,
compact, and/or accelerate when standards have been mastered.
This might mean using standards that are beyond the grade level
of the student.
– Flexible grouping to provide opportunities for students to
interact with peers that have similar abilities, similar interests,
and similar learning styles (homogenous grouping), as well as
different abilities, different interests, and different learning styles
(heterogeneous grouping).
•Differentiation of content, process, and product.
– Use of a variety of materials (differentiating content) to provide
challenge. Students may be studying the same concept using
different text and resources.
– Variety of tasks (differentiating process). For example in a
science lesson about the relationship between temperature and
rate of melting, some students may use computer-enhanced
thermometers to record and graph temperature so they can
concentrate on detecting patterns while other students may
graph temperature at one-minute intervals, then examine the
graph for patterns.
– Variety of ways to demonstrate their learning (differentiating
product). These choices can provide opportunities for students
with varying abilities, interests, and learning styles to show what
they have discovered.
•Adjustment to the level, depth, and pace of curriculum.
– Compact the curriculum to intensify the pace.
– Vary questioning and use creative and critical thinking strategies
to provide depth.
– Use standards beyond the grade level of the students. Since the
CCSS provide a K-12 learning progression, this is easily done.
– Accelerate subject areas or whole grades when appropriate.
•Match the intensity of the intervention with the student’s needs.
This means that we must be prepared to adapt the core curriculum
and plan for a continuum of services to meet the needs of all
students, including those with gifts and talents.
– Knowledge of our students so we are familiar with their
strengths, background knowledge, experiences, interests, and
learning styles.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 16
References
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 34 CFR §300.34 (a).
(2004).
Sousa, D.A. (200). How the gifted brain learns. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Corwin Press.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 34 CFR §300.39 (b)(3).
(2004).
Thompson, Sandra J., Amanda B. Morse, Michael Sharpe, and Sharon Hall.
“Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer and Evaluate Use
of Accommodations and Assessment for Students with Disabilities,” 2nd
Edition. Council for Chief State School Officers, 2005
http://www.ccsso.org/content/pdfs/AccommodationsManual.pdf .
(Accessed January, 29, 2010).
National Association for Gifted Children (2010). Redefining Giftedness
for a New Century Shifting the Paradigm. Retrieved from
http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=6404.
National Association for Gifted Children (2011). What is giftedness?
Retrieved from http://nagc.org/index.aspx?id=574.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 17
Reaching Every Discipline
Wisconsin’s Approach to Disciplinary Literacy
Background
Wisconsin’s Approach to Disciplinary Literacy
In Wisconsin, we hold the vision that every child must graduate ready
for post-secondary education and the workforce. To achieve this vision,
students must develop the skills to think, read, communicate, and perform
in many academic contexts. If students must develop these specific skills,
every educator must then consider how students learn to read, write,
think, speak and listen in their discipline.
In 2010, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) responded
to this need for standards by publishing Common Core State Standards
for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects in
grades 6-12. These standards were adopted by State Superintendent Tony
Evers in June 2010. Wisconsin applauds this bold move to begin a national
conversation on disciplinary literacy, and recognizes the need to broaden
this effort to include all disciplines, and every educator in every grade level.
The kinds of reading, writing, thinking, speaking and listening required in
a marketing course are quite different when compared with the same
processes applied in an agriculture, art or history course. For example, a
student may have successfully learned the vocabulary and content needed
to score an A on a freshman biology test, but finds he still struggles to
understand relevant articles from Popular Science Magazine, or use his
science vocabulary to post respected responses on an environmental
blog he reads at home. This student knows biology content, but lacks the
disciplinary literacy to think, read, write, and speak with others in this field.
Without this ability, his content knowledge is limited only to the classroom,
and cannot extend to the real world around him.
In Wisconsin, disciplinary literacy is defined as the
confluence of content knowledge, experiences, and skills
merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak,
The ability to read, write, think, speak, and listen, in different ways and for
different purposes begins early and becomes increasingly important as
students pursue specialized fields of study in high school and beyond. These
abilities are as important in mathematics, engineering and art courses as
they are in science, social studies and English.
To further solidify Wisconsin’s expanded approach to disciplinary literacy,
a statewide leadership team comprised of K-16 educators from diverse
subject areas was convened. A set of foundations, was established and
directs Wisconsin’s approach to disciplinary literacy.
This document begins the conversation about literacy in all subjects. It will
come to life when presented to teachers and they are able to showcase
their subjects’ connection to literacy in all subjects which will bring the
literacy standards to life for their community of learners.
think critically and perform in a way that is meaningful
within the context of a given field.
Teaching for disciplinary literacy ensures that students develop the skills
to use the deep content knowledge they learn in school in ways that are
relevant to each of them, and to the world around them.
In 2009, The State Superintendent’s Adolescent Literacy Plan offered
recommendations for how to begin professional conversations about
disciplinary literacy in Wisconsin. The plan recommended Wisconsin write
standards for literacy that were specific to each discipline, and emphasized
the need to accompany these literacy standards with discipline-specific
professional learning.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 18
Wisconsin Foundations for Disciplinary Literacy
Wisconsin’s Common Core Standards for Literacy in All Subjects
To guide understanding and professional learning, a set of foundational
statements, developed in concert with Wisconsin’s Guiding Principles for
Teaching and Learning, directs Wisconsin’s approach to disciplinary literacy.
With the Wisconsin Foundations for Disciplinary Literacy, Wisconsin
expands the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/
Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, to include every educator
in every discipline and at every level. The Common Core Standards
for English Language Arts include the Literacy Standards in History/
Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects as well as other relevant
standards materials, resources, and research that support disciplinespecific conversations across all content areas and grade levels.
•Academic learning begins in early childhood and develops across all
disciplines.
•Content knowledge is strengthened when educators integrate
discipline-specific literacy into teaching and learning.
•The literacy skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking and critical
thinking improve when content-rich learning experiences motivate
and engage students. •Students demonstrate their content knowledge through reading,
writing, listening, and speaking as part of a content literate
community.
The Common Core State Standards for Literacy in all Subjects is
included as part of every set of Wisconsin standards as each discipline
is reviewed in accordance with the process for Wisconsin standards
revision http://www.dpi.wi.gov/standards. This document includes
relevant resources and research that may be helpful in advancing school
and district conversations, and can also be downloaded at
www.dpi.wi.gov/standards or purchased as a stand-alone document
through www.dpi.wi.gov/publications.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 19
Section 2
Wisconsin’s Approach to
Literacy in All Subjects
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 21
Acknowledgements
Disciplinary Literacy
Leadership Team
Angela Arneson
Technology Education Instructor
Denmark Middle/High School
Doug Buehl
Disciplinary Literacy Consultant
Retired Reading Specialist
Madison Metropolitan School District
Margaret Foss
Science/Mathematics Teacher
Ladysmith Middle School
Jessica Gallo
Undergraduate Instructor
UW-Madison
Paul Gilbertson
Principal
Ashland Middle School
Jane Gustafson
Physical Education Teacher
Chequamegon High School
Park Falls, Wisconsin
Melissa Hedges
Curriculum Director
PK-6/8 Mathematics and Bilingual
Education
Mequon-Thiensville School District
Pam Hilleshiem-Setz
Curriculum and Instruction
School to Work & Youth
Apprenticeship
CESA 5
Portage, Wisconsin
Julie Kodl
Business Education and Information
Technology Teacher
Owen-Withee High School
Sara Kreibich
Social Studies Teacher
Osceola High School
JoAnn Lens
Environmental Education Teacher
Hawley Environmental School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nola Starling-Ratliff
Principal
Roosevelt Elementary School
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Sheila Marmorstone
ASC and ABE Instructor
Southwest Technical College
Fennimore, Wisconsin
Amy Thiel
Music Teacher
Oconto Falls High School
Lindsay Matuszewski
Marketing Education Teacher
Bay Port High School
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Sally Michalko
Retired Social Studies Teacher
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Barb Novak
Literacy Coach
Carl Traeger Middle School
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Christina Peters
German Teacher
Northland Pines High School
Eagle River, Wisconsin
Jerry Redman
Instructional Services Coordinator
CESA 3
Fennimore, Wisconsin
Rachel Sauvola
Agriscience Instructor
New Richmond High School
Jody Schneider
French Teacher
Woodlands School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Aaron Steffes
Art Teacher
Delavan-Darien High School
Peg Vogel
Director, Instructional Improvement
CESA 4
West Salem, Wisconsin
Becky Walker
Mathematics/Science/Health
Curriculum Director
Appleton Area School District
Dottie Winger
Health Science Education/
Family and Consumer Education
Teacher
Madison East High School
Wisconsin Department of
Public Instruction Facilitators
Emilie Amundson
Assistant Director
Content and Learning Team
Janice Atkinson
Health Science Education Consultant
Career and Technical Education Team
Sara Baird
Marketing Education Consultant
Career and Technical Education Team
Barbara Bitters
Assistant Director
Career and Technical Education Team
Sheila Briggs
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Academic Excellence
Sue Grady
Executive Assistant
Office of the State Superintendent
Jeff Hicken
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Education Consultant
Career and Technical Education Team
Eric Larsen
Career Pathways Consultant
Career and Technical Education Team
Shelley Lee
Science Education Consultant
Content and Learning Team
Diana Kasbaum
Mathematics Education Consultant
Content and Learning Team
Kris McDaniel
Social Studies Education Consultant
Content and Learning Team
Diane Ryberg
Family and Consumer Education
Consultant
Career and Technical Education Team
Paul Sandrock
Former Assistant Director
Content and Learning Team
Rebecca Vail
Director
Content and Learning Team
Jennifer Wegner
Business and Information Technology
Education Consultant
Career and Technical Education Team
Sharon Wendt
Director
Career and Technical Education Team
Mary Jo Ziegler
Reading Education Consultant
Content and Learning Team
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 22
What is Disciplinary Literacy?
Why is disciplinary literacy important?
Literacy, the ability to read, write, listen, speak, think critically and perform
in different ways and for different purposes, begins to develop early and
becomes increasingly important as students pursue specialized fields of
study in high school and beyond. The Common Core State Standards
(CCSS) for Literacy in Science, Social Studies, History, and the Technical
Subjects are connected to College and Career Readiness Standards
that guide educators as they strive to help students meet the literacy
challenges within each particular field of study. This national effort is
referred to as disciplinary literacy.
The modern global society, of which our students are a part, requires
postsecondary learning. An analysis of workforce trends by Georgetown
University economist Anthony Carnevale and his colleagues found
that nearly 60 percent of all job openings in 2007 required some
postsecondary education; postsecondary success depends on students’
ability to comprehend and produce the kinds of complex texts found in
all disciplines. Therefore, the economic future of our state, as well as our
students and their success as productive citizens and critical thinkers link
to disciplinary literacy.
In Wisconsin, disciplinary literacy is defined as the
Textbooks, articles, manuals and historical primary source documents
create specialized challenges for learners. These texts often include
abstracts, figures, tables, diagrams and specialized vocabulary. The ideas
are complex and build across a number of paragraphs requiring focus
and strategic processing. To comprehend and produce this type of text,
students must be immersed in the language and thinking processes of that
discipline and they must be supported by an expert guide, their teacher
(Carnegie Report, 2010).
confluence of content knowledge, experiences, and skills
merged with the ability to read, write, listen, speak,
think critically and perform in a way that is meaningful
within the context of a given field.
These abilities are important in ALL courses and subjects. While the
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Literacy in Science, Social
Studies, History, and the Technical Subjects provide standards for crossdiscipline reading and writing in grades 6-12, Wisconsin recognizes the
need to broaden this effort and include all disciplines and every
educator in every grade level K-12. This literacy focus must begin
as soon as children have access to formal education and continue
intentionally as college and career readiness goals advance for all children
in Wisconsin.
To address this expanded definition and approach to disciplinary literacy,
excerpts from the K-5 Common Core State Standards for English
Language Arts are included in this document. Elementary classroom
teachers build the foundational literacy skills necessary for students to
access all learning. Additionally, they develop content specific to deep
literary study, oratory tradition and linguistic analysis; skills specific to
English language arts. Literacy reaches beyond this knowledge in one
content area to include reading, writing, listening, speaking and thinking
critically in each discipline beginning at an early age. The applicable
K-5 standards help educators in Wisconsin build a ladder of skills and
dispositions that lead to accelerated achievement across disciplines and
will be included in every content-specific standards document into the
future.
A focus at the elementary level on foundational reading, when expanded to
include engaging experiences connected to informational texts, vocabulary,
and writing for content-specific purposes builds background knowledge
and skills in each discipline. This increases opportunities for success as
students approach more rigorous content in those disciplines (Alliance for
Excellent Education, 2011).
Reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical thinking must be integrated
into each discipline across all grades so that all students gradually build
knowledge and skills toward college and career readiness. Collaboration
among institutes of higher education, CESA Statewide Network, districts,
schools, teachers and family and community will guide the implementation
of the Common Core State Standards in Wisconsin.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 23
The message is that literacy is integral to attainment of
content knowledge and content is essential background
knowledge for literacy development.
This interdependent relationship exists in all disciplines.
The Common Core State Standards require educators to support literacy
in each classroom across the state. Since the impact of this effort is
significant, it is essential that resources and supports be accessible to all
educators. To build consistent understanding, DPI convened a statewide
Disciplinary Literacy Leadership Team in 2011 comprised of educators
from many content areas and educational backgrounds. This team was
charged with examining the CCSS for Disciplinary Literacy, identifying the
needs in the field for support, and gathering materials and resources to
address those needs. Resources are available at www.dpi.wi.gov/standards
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 24
Wisconsin Foundations for Disciplinary Literacy
The literacy skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking and critical
thinking improve when content-rich learning experiences motivate
and engage students. To guide understanding and professional learning, a set of foundations,
developed in concert with Wisconsin’s Guiding Principles for Teaching and
Learning, directs Wisconsin’s approach to disciplinary literacy.
Educators who foster disciplinary literacy develop experiences that
integrate rigorous content with relevant collaborative and creative literacy
processes to motivate and engage students. Setting high expectations, they
structure routines and supports that empower students to take charge
Each discipline has its own specific vocabulary, text types, and ways of
of their own learning. When students work in teams to research science
communicating. Children begin learning these context- and contentand mathematics concepts in the development
specific differences early in life and continue
of an invention or a graphic arts design; when
through high school and beyond. While
a
d
e
they collaboratively build a blog that explains
in
R
gardening, small children observe and learn
g
•
their recent marketing venture, they use
the form and function of a root, stem, leaf and
specific literacy skills and strategies to solidify
•
e
soil; or measure, mix and blend while baking a
learning. Students need these opportunities
cake. School offers all students opportunities
Students in Wisconsin...
over time to develop the precise and complex
to develop the ability to, for example, think like
reading, writing, listening, speaking and critical
1. Demonstrate independence.
a scientist, write like a historian, critique like
thinking skills demanded in today’s careers. 2. Build strong content and knowledge.
an artist, problem-solve like an auto mechanic,
3. Respond to the varying demands of audience,
or analyze technological advances like a health
task, purpose and discipline.
care technician. As literacy skills develop,
Students demonstrate their content
4. Comprehend as well as critique.
educators gradually shift the responsibility for
knowledge through reading, writing,
reading, writing, listening, speaking and critical
5. Value evidence.
listening, and speaking as part of a contentthinking to students through guided supports
literate community.
6. Use technology and digital media
in both individual and collaborative learning
strategically and capably.
Students who are literate in a particular
experiences.
7. Come to understand other
discipline are able to successfully read, write,
perspectives and cultures.
and speak about that discipline and can listen
to and think critically as others communicate
Content knowledge is strengthened when
in that community. Performance tasks that
educators integrate discipline-specific
allow students to present the complexity of
literacy into teaching and learning.
a content area in a way that is meaningful to
Educators help students recognize and
the field become authentic approaches to
understand the nuances of a discipline by using strategies that “make
assessing mastery within a discipline. Such tasks empower students to
their thinking visible.” They promote classroom reading, writing, listening,
discover the real world connections across disciplines and to actively
speaking and critical thinking using authentic materials that support
participate in communities of discipline-literate peers. As Wisconsin moves
the development of content-specific knowledge. They guide students
to the SMARTER Balanced Assessment System these performance tasks
through these complex texts by using strategies that develop conceptual
will be integral to assessment of student learning.
understanding of language and set expectations for relevant application
of skills. These literacy practices deepen students’ content knowledge,
strategies and skills so that their learning transfers to real world
situations. •
ting
Lan
ri
gu
W
a
g
Academic learning begins in early childhood and develops across all
disciplines.
in
g
•
p
e
n
S
a
k
in
g
•
Li
s
te
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 25
What research and resources are available to
support educators’ use of the Common Core
State Standards for Literacy in All Subjects?
The Common Core State Standards for Literacy in All Subjects reflect the
importance of literacy in both the oral and written language and in both
productive (speaking and writing) and receptive (listening and reading)
discourse. Clearly, critical and precise thinking are required to develop
all of these specific strategies and skills. The standards also address the
learning and functioning of language in a technological, media-driven world
because the language that we use is selective depending upon the context
of the conversation.
The following section will offer relevant research and resources to
support professional learning in reading, writing, speaking, listening and
language across disciplines. Collegial conversation and learning, both crossdiscipline and within-discipline will help make the Common Core State
Standards more applicable to schools and districts, and will address the
needs of unique programs within those contexts. A collection of online
resources will continue to develop as support materials emerge.
Reading Connections
While early reading focuses on learning that letters make sounds, and
that words carry meaning, reading quickly develops to a point where the
message taken from text depends on what the reader brings to it.
The Carnegie Report, Reading in the Disciplines (2010) describes this
phenomenon:
“The ability to comprehend written texts is not a static
or fixed ability, but rather one that involves a
dynamic relationship between the demands of texts and
prior knowledge and goals of the reader.”
Therefore, a musician reading a journal article that describes concepts in
music theory will take more information away from the text than a music
novice because of their knowledge and experience in music. As well, an
individual who spends a significant amount of time reading automotive
manuals will more easily navigate a cell phone manual because of familiarity
with that type of text.
A chart excerpted from the Carnegie Report (2010) details a few of the
generic and more discipline-specific strategies that support students as
they attempt to comprehend complex text. While the generic strategies
pertain across content areas, discipline-specific ones must be tailored to
match the demands of the content area.
Both generic and discipline focused strategies and knowledge must be
applied to the comprehension and evaluation of:
•Textbooks
•Journal and magazine articles
•Historically situated primary documents
•Full Length Books
•Newspaper Articles
•Book Chapters
•Multimedia and Digital Texts
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 26
Generic Reading Strategies
Discipline-Specific Reading
Strategies
Monitor comprehension
Build prior knowledge
Pre-read
Build specialized vocabulary
Set goals
Learn to deconstruct complex
sentences
Think about what one already
knows
Ask questions
Make predictions
Use knowledge of text structures and
genres to predict main and subordinate
ideas
Re-read
Map graphic (and mathematical)
representations against explanations in
the text
Summarize
Pose discipline relevant questions
Test predictions against the text
Compare claims and propositions
across texts
Use norms for reasoning within the
discipline (i.e. what counts as evidence)
to evaluate claims
Source: Carnegie Report, (2010)
Additional resources that support reading in specific subjects include
Content Counts! Developing Disciplinary Literacy Skills, K–6 by Jennifer L. Altieri
(2011). This guide for discipline-specific literacy at the elementary level
offers strategies to balance the demands of literacy while continuing to
make content count and help students meet the reading, writing, speaking
and listening demands of the content areas as they advance in school.
A resource by Doug Buehl (2011) entitled Developing Readers in the
Academic Disciplines describes what it means to read, write, and think
through a disciplinary lens in the adolescent years. This teacher-friendly
guide helps connect literacy with disciplinary understandings to bridge
academic knowledge gaps, frontload instruction, and build critical thinking
through questioning.
Note on range and content of student reading
To become college and career ready, students must grapple with works
of exceptional craft and thought whose range extends across genres,
cultures, and centuries. Such works offer profound insights into the human
condition and serve as models for students’ own thinking and writing.
Along with high-quality contemporary works, these texts should be
chosen from seminal U.S. documents, the classics of American literature,
and the timeless dramas of Shakespeare. Through wide and deep reading
of literature and literary nonfiction of steadily increasing sophistication,
students gain a reservoir of literary and cultural knowledge, references,
and images; the ability to evaluate intricate arguments; and the capacity to
surmount the challenges posed by complex texts. (CCSS p. 35
http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf)
The Common Core State Standards require that all students “be able
to comprehend texts of steadily increasing complexity as they progress
through school” (Appendix A: Research Supporting Key Elements of the
Standards, p. 2). More detailed definitions of complex text and examples of
complex texts across disciplines are available in Appendix B of the English
Language Arts CCSS at: www.dpi.wi.gov/standards.
Writing Connections
The Common Core State Standards call for emphasis on three types
of writing: narrative, informational and logical argument. Writing that
presents a logical argument is especially appropriate to discipline-specific
work since credible evidence differs across content areas. The ability to
consider multiple perspectives, assess the validity of claims and present
a point of view is required in argumentative writing. These thinking
and communication skills are “critical to college and career readiness”
(Appendix A: p. 24).
A 2007 report entitled Writing Next: Effective Strategies
to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High
Schools detailed research on writing to learn, rather
than only for assessment, as having a significant impact
on content learning.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 27
The study found writing to learn was equally effective for all content areas
in the study (social studies, math and science) and at every grade (4-12).
specific content area and are more likely to continue their learning in that
discipline.
Note on range and content of student writing
As expertise develops, students feel more and more comfortable applying
knowledge and skills while speaking and listening in a specific discipline.
For students, writing is a key means of asserting and defending claims,
showing what they know about a subject, and conveying what they have
experienced, imagined, thought, and felt. To be college- and career-ready
writers, students must take task, purpose, and audience into careful
consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats
deliberately. They need to know how to combine elements of different
kinds of writing—for example, to use narrative strategies within an
argument and explanation within narrative—to produce complex and
nuanced writing. They need to be able to use technology strategically
when creating, refining, and collaborating on writing. They have to become
adept at gathering information, evaluating sources, and citing material
accurately, reporting findings from their research and analysis of sources
in a clear and cogent manner. They must have flexibility, concentration,
and fluency to produce high quality first draft text under a tight deadline
as well as the capacity to revisit and make improvements to a piece of
writing over multiple drafts when circumstances encourage or require it.
(CCSS p.41 http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_ELA%20Standards.pdf)
When a social studies teacher guides students in taking on the perspective
of a person from a specific historical era, she might ask students to write
a first person narrative from that perspective. Research into that era leads
students to discover personal beliefs of that historical person. They may
dig into the personal experiences, ideas, and events involved in the era
to visualize life in that period. They then develop a rich understanding of
the era and embed language from that era into the texts that they create.
(Samples of discipline-specific writing across grades and content areas are
available in Appendix C of the English Language Arts CCSS at: www.dpi.
wi.gov/standards.
Speaking, Listening and Language Connections
The ability to share ideas and orally communicate with credibility in a
specific academic discourse empowers students and allows access to
specialized groups. In Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional
Schooling, James Paul Gee (2004) describes the need to prioritize these
skills so that students are at ease as they enter situations connected to a
•A media course may teach students appropriate expression, tone
and rate of speech when addressing a large audience.
•Listening carefully to questions posed is a specialized skill that debate
facilitators develop.
•Scientists learn to listen for bias in the perspectives presented by
peers to determine the reliability of scientific outcomes.
•Artists have very specialized and specific ways of speaking about the
many aspects of a piece.
A policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education called, Engineering
Solutions to the National Crisis in Literacy: How to Make Good on the Promise
of the Common Core State Standards describes “a staircase of literacy
demands” and emphasizes the importance of a progressive development
of language and literacy over time.
The conceptual understanding of “functions” in mathematics may begin
to develop in elementary school in its simplest form. As the concept
develops over the years, students will use the word “function” in a
meaningful way when speaking and writing to describe the mathematical
concept they apply. When educators explicitly connect a mathematical
term to its application and repeatedly expose students to the concept
connected to the term, a specialized language becomes second nature to
the mathematics classroom.
Students must have extensive vocabularies, built
through reading and explicit instruction embedded
in the context of content learning.This enables them
to comprehend complex texts, engage in purposeful
writing and communicate effectively within a discipline.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 28
Skills in determining or clarifying the meaning of words and phrases
encountered, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies, and seeing an
individual word as part of a network of other words that, for example,
have similar denotations but different connotations allow students to
access information and support their own learning.
Literacy in Multiple Languages
Increasing economic, security, cross-cultural and global demands
underscore the value of literacy in more than one language. Students who
think, read, write, and communicate in multiple languages are an asset to
our own country and can more easily interact and compete in the world
at large.
English language learners (ELL) in our classrooms face significant challenges
as they add a new language and work to grasp content at the same rate
as their English-speaking peers. In a report to the Carnegie Corporation
entitled Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Academic
Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners (2007) researchers found
that a focus on academic literacy is crucial for ELL’s success in school. In
their description of academic literacy they include reading, writing and oral
discourse that:
Who Should Use the Common Core State
Standards for Literacy in All Subjects?
The term “disciplinary literacy” may be new to many Wisconsin teachers.
The Common Core State Standards for Literacy in All Subjects as
excerpted from the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts,
are intended for all K-12 educators. Each standard is written broadly in
content-neutral language, breaking down the complex skills that comprise
reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. These standards serve as
a complement to the specific content-related standards of each individual
discipline. Administrators and communities may also find the disciplinary
literacy standards helpful in charting a clear and consistent school or
district-wide approach to literacy that moves Wisconsin forward toward
the goal of every student career and college ready.
•Varies from subject to subject.
•Requires knowledge of multiple genres of text, purposes for text use
and text media.
•Is influenced by students’ literacies in context outside of school.
•Is influenced by students’ personal, social, and cultural experiences.
The needs of our English language learners are addressed when we embed
disciplinary literacy strategies into our subject area teaching. These high
impact strategies and skills allow English language learners and all students
to more readily access content knowledge and connect it to the prior
knowledge they bring to the classroom. When educators take the initiative
to understand and embed these strategies and skills, they offer additional
opportunities for success to all of our students.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 29
References:
Altieri, Jennifer (2011). Content Counts! Developing Disciplinary Literacy Skills, K–6. International Reading Association. ISBN 13: 978-0-87207-838-3
Buehl, Doug. (2011). Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines. International Reading Association. ISBN 13: 978-0-87207-845-1
Carnevale, A. (2010) Center on Education and the Workforce Forecasts of Education Demand to 2018
College and Career Readiness Standards; http://www.nc4ea.org/files/appropriate_college-readiness_standards_for_all_students-05-03-06.pdf
Common Core Standards for English Language Arts; www.corestandards.org
Washington, DC: Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 2010, available at: http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/CEW_press_conference_ppt.pdf (accessed June 7,
2011)
Double the work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners. Carnegie Corporation. New York: 2007.
Engineering Solutions to the National Crisis in Literacy: How to Make Good on the Promise of the Common Core State Standards. Alliance for Excellent Education. Washington D.C. 2011
Gee, James Paul (2004) Situated Language and Learning: A Critique of Traditional Schooling
Reading in the Disciplines:The Challenges of Adolescent Literacy. Carnegie Corporation. New York: 2010
State Superintendent’s Adolescent Literacy Plan (2008) Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Madison, WI
Vygotsky, (1978) Mind in Society:The Development of Higher Psychological Processes Harvard University Press; 14th edition
Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools (2007)
Section 3
Common Core State Standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Table of Contents
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS Introduction
34
Literacy in All Subjects K-5
39
Literacy in All Subjects 6-12
59
Appendix A:
Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards
Glossary of Key Terms
77
99
33
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Key design Considerations
CCr and grade-specific standards
research and media skills blended into the Standards as a whole
The CCR standards anchor the document and define general, cross-disciplinary
literacy expectations that must be met for students to be prepared to
enter college and workforce training programs ready to succeed. The K–12
grade-specific standards define end-of-year expectations and a cumulative
progression designed to enable students to meet college and career readiness
expectations no later than the end of high school. The CCR and high school
(grades 9–12) standards work in tandem to define the college and career
readiness line—the former providing broad standards, the latter providing
additional specificity. Hence, both should be considered when developing
college and career readiness assessments.
To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society,
students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and
report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer
questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and
extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new. The
need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded
into every aspect of today’s curriculum. In like fashion, research and media
skills and understandings are embedded throughout the Standards rather than
treated in a separate section.
Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s gradespecific standards, retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered
in preceding grades, and work steadily toward meeting the more general
expectations described by the CCR standards.
Shared responsibility for students’ literacy development
Grade levels for K–8; grade bands for 9–10 and 11–12
The Standards use individual grade levels in kindergarten through grade 8 to
provide useful specificity; the Standards use two-year bands in grades 9–12 to
allow schools, districts, and states flexibility in high school course design.
a focus on results rather than means
By emphasizing required achievements, the Standards leave room for teachers,
curriculum developers, and states to determine how those goals should be
reached and what additional topics should be addressed. Thus, the Standards
do not mandate such things as a particular writing process or the full range of
metacognitive strategies that students may need to monitor and direct their
thinking and learning. Teachers are thus free to provide students with whatever
tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identify as
most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards.
4
|
IntrodUCtIon
an integrated model of literacy
The Standards insist that instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening,
and language be a shared responsibility within the school. The K–5 standards
include expectations for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language
applicable to a range of subjects, including but not limited to ELA. The grades
6–12 standards are divided into two sections, one for ELA and the other for
history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. This division reflects the
unique, time-honored place of ELA teachers in developing students’ literacy
skills while at the same time recognizing that teachers in other areas must have
a role in this development as well.
Part of the motivation behind the interdisciplinary approach to literacy
promulgated by the Standards is extensive research establishing the need
for college and career ready students to be proficient in reading complex
informational text independently in a variety of content areas. Most of the
required reading in college and workforce training programs is informational
in structure and challenging in content; postsecondary education programs
typically provide students with both a higher volume of such reading than is
generally required in K–12 schools and comparatively little scaffolding.
The Standards are not alone in calling for a special emphasis on informational
text. The 2009 reading framework of the National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) requires a high and increasing proportion of informational text
on its assessment as students advance through the grades.
Although the Standards are divided into Reading, Writing, Speaking and
Listening, and Language strands for conceptual clarity, the processes of
communication are closely connected, as reflected throughout this document.
For example, Writing standard 9 requires that students be able to write
about what they read. Likewise, Speaking and Listening standard 4 sets the
expectation that students will share findings from their research.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 34
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
distribution of Literary and Informational Passages by Grade in
the 2009 naeP reading framework
Grade
Literary
Informational
Grade
To Persuade
To Explain
To Convey Experience
4
50%
50%
4
30%
35%
35%
8
45%
55%
8
35%
35%
30%
12
30%
70%
12
40%
40%
20%
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2008). Reading framework for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Source: National Assessment Governing Board. (2007). Writing framework for the 2011 National
Assessment of Educational Progress, pre-publication edition. Iowa City, IA: ACT, Inc.
The Standards aim to align instruction with this framework so that many more
students than at present can meet the requirements of college and career
readiness. In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in balancing the reading
of literature with the reading of informational texts, including texts in history/
social studies, science, and technical subjects. In accord with NAEP’s growing
emphasis on informational texts in the higher grades, the Standards demand
that a significant amount of reading of informational texts take place in and
outside the ELA classroom. Fulfilling the Standards for 6–12 ELA requires
much greater attention to a specific category of informational text—literary
nonfiction—than has been traditional. Because the ELA classroom must focus
on literature (stories, drama, and poetry) as well as literary nonfiction, a great
deal of informational reading in grades 6–12 must take place in other classes if
the NAEP assessment framework is to be matched instructionally.1 To measure
students’ growth toward college and career readiness, assessments aligned with
the Standards should adhere to the distribution of texts across grades cited in
the NAEP framework.
It follows that writing assessments aligned with the Standards should adhere to
the distribution of writing purposes across grades outlined by NAEP.
NAEP likewise outlines a distribution across the grades of the core purposes
and types of student writing. The 2011 NAEP framework, like the Standards,
cultivates the development of three mutually reinforcing writing capacities:
writing to persuade, to explain, and to convey real or imagined experience.
Evidence concerning the demands of college and career readiness gathered
during development of the Standards concurs with NAEP’s shifting emphases:
standards for grades 9–12 describe writing in all three forms, but, consistent
with NAEP, the overwhelming focus of writing throughout high school should
be on arguments and informative/explanatory texts.2
focus and coherence in instruction and assessment
While the Standards delineate specific expectations in reading, writing,
speaking, listening, and language, each standard need not be a separate focus
for instruction and assessment. Often, several standards can be addressed by
a single rich task. For example, when editing writing, students address Writing
standard 5 (“Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising,
editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach”) as well as Language standards 1–3
(which deal with conventions of standard English and knowledge of language).
When drawing evidence from literary and informational texts per Writing
standard 9, students are also demonstrating their comprehension skill in relation
to specific standards in Reading. When discussing something they have
read or written, students are also demonstrating their speaking and listening
skills. The CCR anchor standards themselves provide another source of focus
and coherence.
The same ten CCR anchor standards for Reading apply to both literary and
informational texts, including texts in history/social studies, science, and
technical subjects. The ten CCR anchor standards for Writing cover numerous
text types and subject areas. This means that students can develop mutually
reinforcing skills and exhibit mastery of standards for reading and writing across
a range of texts and classrooms.
1
The percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading in ELA
settings. Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required to devote 70
percent of reading to informational texts. Rather, 70 percent of student reading across the
grade should be informational.
2
As with reading, the percentages in the table reflect the sum of student writing, not just
writing in ELA settings.
5
|
IntrodUCtIon
distribution of Communicative Purposes by Grade
in the 2011 naeP Writing framework
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 35
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
What is not Covered by the Standards
The Standards should be recognized for what they are not as well as what they are. The most important intentional design limitations are as follows:
1.
The Standards define what all students are expected to know and be
able to do, not how teachers should teach. For instance, the use of
play with young children is not specified by the Standards, but it is
welcome as a valuable activity in its own right and as a way to help
students meet the expectations in this document. Furthermore, while
the Standards make references to some particular forms of content,
including mythology, foundational U.S. documents, and Shakespeare,
they do not—indeed, cannot—enumerate all or even most of the
content that students should learn. The Standards must therefore
be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum
consistent with the expectations laid out in this document.
2.
While the Standards focus on what is most essential, they do not
describe all that can or should be taught. A great deal is left to
the discretion of teachers and curriculum developers. The aim of
the Standards is to articulate the fundamentals, not to set out an
exhaustive list or a set of restrictions that limits what can be taught
beyond what is specified herein.
3.
The Standards do not define the nature of advanced work for students
who meet the Standards prior to the end of high school. For those
students, advanced work in such areas as literature, composition,
language, and journalism should be available. This work should provide
the next logical step up from the college and career readiness baseline
established here.
The Standards set grade-specific standards but do not define the
intervention methods or materials necessary to support students
who are well below or well above grade-level expectations. No set of
grade-specific standards can fully reflect the great variety in abilities,
needs, learning rates, and achievement levels of students in any given
classroom. However, the Standards do provide clear signposts along
the way to the goal of college and career readiness for all students.
It is also beyond the scope of the Standards to define the full range of
supports appropriate for English language learners and for students
with special needs. At the same time, all students must have the
opportunity to learn and meet the same high standards if they are to
access the knowledge and skills necessary in their post–high school
lives.
Each grade will include students who are still acquiring English.
For those students, it is possible to meet the standards in reading,
writing, speaking, and listening without displaying native-like control
of conventions and vocabulary.
The Standards should also be read as allowing for the widest
possible range of students to participate fully from the outset and
as permitting appropriate accommodations to ensure maximum
participation of students with special education needs. For example,
for students with disabilities reading should allow for the use of
Braille, screen-reader technology, or other assistive devices, while
writing should include the use of a scribe, computer, or speech-totext technology. In a similar vein, speaking and listening should be
interpreted broadly to include sign language.
6.
While the ELA and content area literacy components described
herein are critical to college and career readiness, they do not
define the whole of such readiness. Students require a wideranging, rigorous academic preparation and, particularly in the early
grades, attention to such matters as social, emotional, and physical
development and approaches to learning. Similarly, the Standards
define literacy expectations in history/social studies, science, and
technical subjects, but literacy standards in other areas, such
as mathematics and health education, modeled on those in this
document are strongly encouraged to facilitate a comprehensive,
schoolwide literacy program.
6
|
IntrodUCtIon
4.
5.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 36
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Students Who are College and Career ready
in reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Language
The descriptions that follow are not standards themselves but instead offer a portrait of students who meet the standards set out in this document. As students
advance through the grades and master the standards in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language, they are able to exhibit with increasing fullness and
regularity these capacities of the literate individual.
they demonstrate independence.
they comprehend as well as critique.
Students can, without significant scaffolding, comprehend and evaluate
complex texts across a range of types and disciplines, and they can construct
effective arguments and convey intricate or multifaceted information. Likewise,
students are able independently to discern a speaker’s key points, request
clarification, and ask relevant questions. They build on others’ ideas, articulate
their own ideas, and confirm they have been understood. Without prompting,
they demonstrate command of standard English and acquire and use a
wide-ranging vocabulary. More broadly, they become self-directed learners,
effectively seeking out and using resources to assist them, including teachers,
peers, and print and digital reference materials.
Students are engaged and open-minded—but discerning—readers and listeners.
They work diligently to understand precisely what an author or speaker is
saying, but they also question an author’s or speaker’s assumptions and
premises and assess the veracity of claims and the soundness of reasoning.
they build strong content knowledge.
Students establish a base of knowledge across a wide range of subject matter
by engaging with works of quality and substance. They become proficient
in new areas through research and study. They read purposefully and listen
attentively to gain both general knowledge and discipline-specific expertise.
They refine and share their knowledge through writing and speaking.
they respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose,
and discipline.
Students cite specific evidence when offering an oral or written interpretation
of a text. They use relevant evidence when supporting their own points in
writing and speaking, making their reasoning clear to the reader or listener, and
they constructively evaluate others’ use of evidence.
they use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
Students employ technology thoughtfully to enhance their reading, writing,
speaking, listening, and language use. They tailor their searches online to
acquire useful information efficiently, and they integrate what they learn using
technology with what they learn offline. They are familiar with the strengths and
limitations of various technological tools and mediums and can select and use
those best suited to their communication goals.
they come to understand other perspectives and cultures.
Students appreciate that the twenty-first-century classroom and workplace
are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who
represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together.
Students actively seek to understand other perspectives and cultures through
reading and listening, and they are able to communicate effectively with
people of varied backgrounds. They evaluate other points of view critically
and constructively. Through reading great classic and contemporary works
of literature representative of a variety of periods, cultures, and worldviews,
students can vicariously inhabit worlds and have experiences much different
than their own.
7
|
IntrodUCtIon
Students adapt their communication in relation to audience, task, purpose, and
discipline. They set and adjust purpose for reading, writing, speaking, listening,
and language use as warranted by the task. They appreciate nuances, such as
how the composition of an audience should affect tone when speaking and
how the connotations of words affect meaning. They also know that different
disciplines call for different types of evidence (e.g., documentary evidence in
history, experimental evidence in science).
they value evidence.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 37
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
How to read this document
overall document organization
The Standards comprise three main sections: a comprehensive K–5 section
and two content area–specific sections for grades 6–12, one for ELA and one
for history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Three appendices
accompany the main document.
Each section is divided into strands. K–5 and 6–12 ELA have Reading, Writing,
Speaking and Listening, and Language strands; the 6–12 history/ social studies,
science, and technical subjects section focuses on Reading and Writing. Each
strand is headed by a strand-specific set of College and Career Readiness
Anchor Standards that is identical across all grades and content areas.
Standards for each grade within K–8 and for grades 9–10 and 11–12 follow the
CCR anchor standards in each strand. Each grade-specific standard (as these
standards are collectively referred to) corresponds to the same-numbered
CCR anchor standard. Put another way, each CCR anchor standard has an
accompanying grade-specific standard translating the broader CCR statement
into grade-appropriate end-of-year expectations.
Individual CCR anchor standards can be identified by their strand, CCR status,
and number (R.CCR.6, for example). Individual grade-specific standards can
be identified by their strand, grade, and number (or number and letter, where
applicable), so that RI.4.3, for example, stands for Reading, Informational Text,
grade 4, standard 3 and W.5.1a stands for Writing, grade 5, standard 1a. Strand
designations can be found in brackets alongside the full strand title.
Who is responsible for which portion of the Standards
A single K–5 section lists standards for reading, writing, speaking, listening,
and language across the curriculum, reflecting the fact that most or all of the
instruction students in these grades receive comes from one teacher. Grades
6–12 are covered in two content area–specific sections, the first for the English
language arts teacher and the second for teachers of history/social studies,
science, and technical subjects. Each section uses the same CCR anchor
standards but also includes grade-specific standards tuned to the literacy
requirements of the particular discipline(s).
8
|
IntrodUCtIon
Key features of the Standards
reading: text complexity and the growth of comprehension
The Reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what
students read and the skill with which they read. Standard 10 defines a grade-bygrade “staircase” of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS to the college and career readiness level. Whatever they are reading, students
must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller
use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas
and between texts, considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming
more sensitive to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and poor reasoning in texts.
Writing: text types, responding to reading, and research
The Standards acknowledge the fact that whereas some writing skills, such
as the ability to plan, revise, edit, and publish, are applicable to many types of
writing, other skills are more properly defined in terms of specific writing types:
arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. Standard 9 stresses
the importance of the writing-reading connection by requiring students to draw
upon and write about evidence from literary and informational texts. Because
of the centrality of writing to most forms of inquiry, research standards are
prominently included in this strand, though skills important to research are
infused throughout the document.
Speaking and Listening: flexible communication and collaboration
Including but not limited to skills necessary for formal presentations, the
Speaking and Listening standards require students to develop a range of
broadly useful oral communication and interpersonal skills. Students must learn
to work together, express and listen carefully to ideas, integrate information
from oral, visual, quantitative, and media sources, evaluate what they hear, use
media and visual displays strategically to help achieve communicative purposes,
and adapt speech to context and task.
Language: Conventions, effective use, and vocabulary
The Language standards include the essential “rules” of standard written
and spoken English, but they also approach language as a matter of craft
and informed choice among alternatives. The vocabulary standards focus on
understanding words and phrases, their relationships, and their nuances and on
acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain-specific
words and phrases.
appendices a, B, and C
Appendix A contains supplementary material on reading, writing, speaking and
listening, and language as well as a glossary of key terms. Appendix B consists of
text exemplars illustrating the complexity, quality, and range of reading appropriate
for various grade levels with accompanying sample performance tasks. Appendix
C includes annotated samples demonstrating at least adequate performance in
student writing at various grade levels.
38
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
K-5
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 39
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for reading
The K–5 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by
the end of each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards
below by number. The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former
providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and
understandings that all students must demonstrate.
Key Ideas and details
1.
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific
textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
2.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting
details and ideas.
3.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
4.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and
figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
5.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g.,
a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
6.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as
well as in words.*
8.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well
as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
9.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the
approaches the authors take.
Note on range and content
of student reading
To build a foundation for college
and career readiness, students
must read widely and deeply from
among a broad range of high-quality,
increasingly challenging literary and
informational texts. Through extensive
reading of stories, dramas, poems,
and myths from diverse cultures and
different time periods, students gain
literary and cultural knowledge as
well as familiarity with various text
structures and elements. By reading
texts in history/social studies, science,
and other disciplines, students build
a foundation of knowledge in these
fields that will also give them the
background to be better readers in all
content areas. Students can only gain
this foundation when the curriculum is
intentionally and coherently structured
to develop rich content knowledge
within and across grades. Students
also acquire the habits of reading
independently and closely, which are
essential to their future success.
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10 | K-5 | readInG
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
*Please see “Research to Build and Present Knowledge” in Writing and “Comprehension and Collaboration” in Speaking and Listening for
additional standards relevant to gathering, assessing, and applying information from print and digital sources.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 40
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Reading Standards for Informational Text K–5
Kindergartners:
RI
Grade 1 students:
Grade 2 students:
Key Ideas and details
1.
With prompting and support, ask and answer
questions about key details in a text.
1.
Ask and answer questions about key details in a
text.
1.
Ask and answer such questions as who, what,
where, when, why, and how to demonstrate
understanding of key details in a text.
2.
With prompting and support, identify the main
topic and retell key details of a text.
2.
Identify the main topic and retell key details of a
text.
2.
Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text
as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within
the text.
3.
With prompting and support, describe the
connection between two individuals, events,
ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
3.
Describe the connection between two
individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information
in a text.
3.
Describe the connection between a series of
historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or
steps in technical procedures in a text.
Craft and Structure
4.
With prompting and support, ask and answer
questions about unknown words in a text.
4.
Ask and answer questions to help determine or
clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a
text.
4.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a
text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
5.
Identify the front cover, back cover, and title
page of a book.
5.
Know and use various text features (e.g.,
headings, tables of contents, glossaries,
electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or
information in a text.
5.
Know and use various text features (e.g.,
captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries,
indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key
facts or information in a text efficiently.
6.
Name the author and illustrator of a text and
define the role of each in presenting the ideas or
information in a text.
6.
Distinguish between information provided by
pictures or other illustrations and information
provided by the words in a text.
6.
Identify the main purpose of a text, including
what the author wants to answer, explain, or
describe.
7.
With prompting and support, describe the
relationship between illustrations and the text
in which they appear (e.g., what person, place,
thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
7.
Use the illustrations and details in a text to
describe its key ideas.
7.
Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram
showing how a machine works) contribute to and
clarify a text.
8.
With prompting and support, identify the
reasons an author gives to support points in a
text.
8.
Identify the reasons an author gives to support
points in a text.
8.
Describe how reasons support specific points the
author makes in a text.
9.
With prompting and support, identify basic
similarities in and differences between two
texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations,
descriptions, or procedures).
9.
Identify basic similarities in and differences
between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in
illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
9.
Compare and contrast the most important points
presented by two texts on the same topic.
10.
With prompting and support, read informational
texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
10.
By the end of year, read and comprehend
informational texts, including history/social
studies, science, and technical texts, in the
grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently,
with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the
range.
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10.
Actively engage in group reading activities with
purpose and understanding.
|
K-5 | readInG: InformatIonaL text
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
13
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 41
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Reading Standards for Informational Text K–5
Grade 3 students:
RI
Grade 4 students:
Grade 5 students:
Key Ideas and details
1.
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate
understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the
text as the basis for the answers.
1.
Refer to details and examples in a text when
explaining what the text says explicitly and when
drawing inferences from the text.
1.
Quote accurately from a text when explaining
what the text says explicitly and when drawing
inferences from the text.
2.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the
key details and explain how they support the
main idea.
2.
Determine the main idea of a text and explain
how it is supported by key details; summarize the
text.
2.
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and
explain how they are supported by key details;
summarize the text.
3.
Describe the relationship between a series of
historical events, scientific ideas or concepts,
or steps in technical procedures in a text, using
language that pertains to time, sequence, and
cause/effect.
3.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in
a historical, scientific, or technical text, including
what happened and why, based on specific
information in the text.
3.
Explain the relationships or interactions between
two or more individuals, events, ideas, or
concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical
text based on specific information in the text.
Craft and Structure
4.
Determine the meaning of general academic
and domain-specific words and phrases in a text
relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
4.
Determine the meaning of general academic
and domain-specific words or phrases in a text
relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
4.
Determine the meaning of general academic
and domain-specific words and phrases in a text
relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
5.
Use text features and search tools (e.g., key
words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information
relevant to a given topic efficiently.
5.
Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology,
comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of
events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text
or part of a text.
5.
Compare and contrast the overall structure
(e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect,
problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or
information in two or more texts.
6.
Distinguish their own point of view from that of
the author of a text.
6.
Compare and contrast a firsthand and
secondhand account of the same event or
topic; describe the differences in focus and the
information provided.
6.
Analyze multiple accounts of the same event
or topic, noting important similarities and
differences in the point of view they represent.
14
|
K-5 | readInG: InformatIonaL text
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7.
Use information gained from illustrations (e.g.,
maps, photographs) and the words in a text to
demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g.,
where, when, why, and how key events occur).
7.
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or
quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams,
time lines, animations, or interactive elements
on Web pages) and explain how the information
contributes to an understanding of the text in
which it appears.
7.
Draw on information from multiple print or digital
sources, demonstrating the ability to locate
an answer to a question quickly or to solve a
problem efficiently.
8.
Describe the logical connection between
particular sentences and paragraphs in a text
(e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third
in a sequence).
8.
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence
to support particular points in a text.
8.
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence
to support particular points in a text, identifying
which reasons and evidence support which
point(s).
9.
Compare and contrast the most important points
and key details presented in two texts on the
same topic.
9.
Integrate information from two texts on the same
topic in order to write or speak about the subject
knowledgeably.
9.
Integrate information from several texts on the
same topic in order to write or speak about the
subject knowledgeably.
10.
By the end of year, read and comprehend
informational texts, including history/social studies,
science, and technical texts, in the grades 4–5 text
complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as
needed at the high end of the range.
10.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend
informational texts, including history/social
studies, science, and technical texts, at the high
end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band
independently and proficiently.
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend
informational texts, including history/social
studies, science, and technical texts, at the high
end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band
independently and proficiently.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 42
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for Writing
The K–5 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of
each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number. The
CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
text types and Purposes*
1.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant
and sufficient evidence.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately
through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
3.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details,
and well-structured event sequences.
Production and distribution of Writing
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task,
purpose, and audience.
5.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
6.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
research to Build and Present Knowledge
7.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
8.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each
source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
9.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Note on range and content
of student writing
To build a foundation for college
and career readiness, students need
to learn to use writing as a way of
offering and supporting opinions,
demonstrating understanding of
the subjects they are studying,
and conveying real and imagined
experiences and events. They learn
to appreciate that a key purpose of
writing is to communicate clearly to
an external, sometimes unfamiliar
audience, and they begin to adapt
the form and content of their writing
to accomplish a particular task and
purpose. They develop the capacity
to build knowledge on a subject
through research projects and to
respond analytically to literary and
informational sources. To meet these
goals, students must devote significant
time and effort to writing, producing
numerous pieces over short and
extended time frames throughout the
year.
range of Writing
*These broad types of writing include many subgenres. See Appendix A for definitions of key writing types.
|
K-5 | wrItInG
10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a
single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
18
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 43
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Writing Standards K–5
W
The following standards for K–5 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications.
Each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development
and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet
each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades. The expected growth in student writing
ability is reflected both in the standards themselves and in the collection of annotated student writing samples in Appendix C.
Kindergartners:
Grade 1 students:
Grade 2 students:
text types and Purposes
1.
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and
writing to compose opinion pieces in which they
tell a reader the topic or the name of the book
they are writing about and state an opinion or
preference about the topic or book (e.g., My
favorite book is . . .).
1.
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the
topic or name the book they are writing about,
state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion,
and provide some sense of closure.
1.
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the
topic or book they are writing about, state an
opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion,
use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to
connect opinion and reasons, and provide a
concluding statement or section.
2.
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and
writing to compose informative/explanatory
texts in which they name what they are writing
about and supply some information about the
topic.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they
name a topic, supply some facts about the topic,
and provide some sense of closure.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts in which
they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions
to develop points, and provide a concluding
statement or section.
3.
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and
writing to narrate a single event or several
loosely linked events, tell about the events in
the order in which they occurred, and provide a
reaction to what happened.
3.
Write narratives in which they recount two or
more appropriately sequenced events, include
some details regarding what happened, use
temporal words to signal event order, and
provide some sense of closure.
3.
Write narratives in which they recount a wellelaborated event or short sequence of events,
include details to describe actions, thoughts,
and feelings, use temporal words to signal event
order, and provide a sense of closure.
Production and distribution of Writing
4.
(Begins in grade 3)
4.
(Begins in grade 3)
4.
(Begins in grade 3)
5.
With guidance and support from adults, respond
to questions and suggestions from peers and
add details to strengthen writing as needed.
5.
With guidance and support from adults, focus on
a topic, respond to questions and suggestions
from peers, and add details to strengthen writing
as needed.
5.
With guidance and support from adults and
peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as
needed by revising and editing.
6.
With guidance and support from adults, explore
a variety of digital tools to produce and publish
writing, including in collaboration with peers.
6.
With guidance and support from adults, use a
variety of digital tools to produce and publish
writing, including in collaboration with peers.
6.
With guidance and support from adults, use a
variety of digital tools to produce and publish
writing, including in collaboration with peers.
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research to Build and Present Knowledge
7.
Participate in shared research and writing
projects (e.g., explore a number of books by
a favorite author and express opinions about
them).
7.
Participate in shared research and writing
projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to”
books on a given topic and use them to write a
sequence of instructions).
7.
Participate in shared research and writing
projects (e.g., read a number of books on a
single topic to produce a report; record science
observations).
8.
With guidance and support from adults,
recall information from experiences or gather
information from provided sources to answer a
question.
8.
With guidance and support from adults,
recall information from experiences or gather
information from provided sources to answer a
question.
8.
Recall information from experiences or gather
information from provided sources to answer a
question.
9.
(Begins in grade 4)
9.
(Begins in grade 4)
9.
(Begins in grade 4)
10.
(Begins in grade 3)
10.
(Begins in grade 3)
range of Writing
10.
(Begins in grade 3)
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 44
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Writing Standards K–5
W
Grade 3 students:
Grade 4 students:
Grade 5 students:
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text types and Purposes
1.
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting
a point of view with reasons.
a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing
about, state an opinion, and create an
organizational structure that lists reasons.
b. Provide reasons that support the opinion.
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because,
therefore, since, for example) to connect
opinion and reasons.
d. Provide a concluding statement or section.
1.
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a
point of view with reasons and information.
a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an
opinion, and create an organizational structure
in which related ideas are grouped to support
the writer’s purpose.
b. Provide reasons that are supported by facts
and details.
c. Link opinion and reasons using words and
phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in
addition).
d. Provide a concluding statement or section
related to the opinion presented.
1.
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a
point of view with reasons and information.
a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an
opinion, and create an organizational structure
in which ideas are logically grouped to support
the writer’s purpose.
b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are
supported by facts and details.
c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases,
and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
d. Provide a concluding statement or section
related to the opinion presented.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a
topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
a. Introduce a topic and group related
information together; include illustrations
when useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and
details.
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also,
another, and, more, but) to connect ideas
within categories of information.
d. Provide a concluding statement or section.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a
topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
a. Introduce a topic clearly and group related
information in paragraphs and sections;
include formatting (e.g., headings),
illustrations, and multimedia when useful to
aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions,
concrete details, quotations, or other
information and examples related to the topic.
c. Link ideas within categories of information
using words and phrases (e.g., another, for
example, also, because).
d. Use precise language and domain-specific
vocabulary to inform about or explain the
topic.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section
related to the information or explanation
presented.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a
topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general
observation and focus, and group related
information logically; include formatting (e.g.,
headings), illustrations, and multimedia when
useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions,
concrete details, quotations, or other
information and examples related to the topic.
c. Link ideas within and across categories of
information using words, phrases, and clauses
(e.g., in contrast, especially).
d. Use precise language and domain-specific
vocabulary to inform about or explain the
topic.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section
related to the information or explanation
presented.
3.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined
experiences or events using effective technique,
descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator
and/or characters; organize an event sequence
that unfolds naturally.
b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions,
thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences
and events or show the response of characters
to situations.
c. Use temporal words and phrases to signal
event order.
d. Provide a sense of closure.
3.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined
experiences or events using effective technique,
descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
a. Orient the reader by establishing a
situationand introducing a narrator and/or
characters; organize an event sequence that
unfolds naturally.
b. Use dialogue and description to develop
experiences and events or show the responses
of characters to situations.
c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases
to manage the sequence of events.
d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory
details to convey experiences and events
precisely.
e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the
narrated experiences or events.
3.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined
experiences or events using effective technique,
descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation
and introducing a narrator and/or characters;
organize an event sequence that unfolds
naturally.
b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue,
description, and pacing, to develop
experiences and events or show the responses
of characters to situations.
c. Use a variety of transitional words, phrases,
and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory
details to convey experiences and events
precisely.
e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the
narrated experiences or events.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 45
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Writing Standards K–5
W
Grade 3 students:
Grade 4 students:
Grade 5 students:
Production and distribution of Writing
4.
With guidance and support from adults,
produce writing in which the development
and organization are appropriate to task and
purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing
types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the
development and organization are appropriate
to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific
expectations for writing types are defined in
standards 1–3 above.)
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the
development and organization are appropriate
to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific
expectations for writing types are defined in
standards 1–3 above.)
5.
With guidance and support from peers and
adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed
by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for
conventions should demonstrate command of
Language standards 1–3 up to and including
grade 3 on pages 28 and 29.)
5.
With guidance and support from peers and
adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed
by planning, revising, and editing. (Editing for
conventions should demonstrate command of
Language standards 1–3 up to and including
grade 4 on pages 28 and 29.)
5.
With guidance and support from peers and adults,
develop and strengthen writing as needed by
planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a
new approach. (Editing for conventions should
demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3
up to and including grade 5 on pages 28 and 29.)
6.
With guidance and support from adults, use
technology to produce and publish writing (using
keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and
collaborate with others.
6.
With some guidance and support from adults,
use technology, including the Internet, to
produce and publish writing as well as to interact
and collaborate with others; demonstrate
sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type
a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
6.
With some guidance and support from adults,
use technology, including the Internet, to
produce and publish writing as well as to interact
and collaborate with others; demonstrate
sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type
a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
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research to Build and Present Knowledge
7.
Conduct short research projects that build
knowledge about a topic.
7.
Conduct short research projects that build
knowledge through investigation of different
aspects of a topic.
7.
Conduct short research projects that use several
sources to build knowledge through investigation
of different aspects of a topic.
8.
Recall information from experiences or gather
information from print and digital sources; take
brief notes on sources and sort evidence into
provided categories.
8.
Recall relevant information from experiences or
gather relevant information from print and digital
sources; take notes and categorize information,
and provide a list of sources.
8.
Recall relevant information from experiences or
gather relevant information from print and digital
sources; summarize or paraphrase information
in notes and finished work, and provide a list of
sources.
9.
(Begins in grade 4)
9.
Draw evidence from literary or informational
texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
a. Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature
(e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting,
or event in a story or drama, drawing on
specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s
thoughts, words, or actions].”).
b. Apply grade 4 Reading standards to
informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an
author uses reasons and evidence to support
particular points in a text”).
9.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts
to support analysis, reflection, and research.
a. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature
(e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more
characters, settings, or events in a story or a
drama, drawing on specific details in the text
[e.g., how characters interact]”).
b. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to
informational texts (e.g., “Explain how
an author uses reasons and evidence to
support particular points in a text, identifying
which reasons and evidence support which
point[s]”).
10.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time
for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter
time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for
a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and
audiences.
10.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time
for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter
time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for
a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and
audiences.
range of Writing
10.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time
for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter
time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for
a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and
audiences.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 46
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards
for Speaking and Listening
The K–5 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of
each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number. The
CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
Comprehension and Collaboration
1.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners,
building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
3.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the
organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding
of presentations.
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when
indicated or appropriate.
To build a foundation for college
and career readiness, students must
have ample opportunities to take
part in a variety of rich, structured
conversations—as part of a whole
class, in small groups, and with a
partner. Being productive members
of these conversations requires
that students contribute accurate,
relevant information; respond to
and develop what others have said;
make comparisons and contrasts; and
analyze and synthesize a multitude of
ideas in various domains.
New technologies have broadened
and expanded the role that speaking
and listening play in acquiring
and sharing knowledge and have
tightened their link to other forms
of communication. Digital texts
confront students with the potential
for continually updated content and
dynamically changing combinations of
words, graphics, images, hyperlinks,
and embedded video and audio.
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4.
Note on range and content
of student speaking and
listening
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 47
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Speaking and Listening Standards K–5
SL
The following standards for K–5 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications.
Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered
in preceding grades.
Kindergartners:
Grade 2 students:
Grade 1 students:
Comprehension and Collaboration
1.
Participate in collaborative conversations with
diverse partners about kindergarten topics and
texts with peers and adults in small and larger
groups.
a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g.,
listening to others and taking turns speaking
about the topics and texts under discussion).
b. Continue a conversation through multiple
exchanges.
1.
Participate in collaborative conversations with
diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts
with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g.,
listening to others with care, speaking one
at a time about the topics and texts under
discussion).
b. Build on others’ talk in conversations by
responding to the comments of others through
multiple exchanges.
c. Ask questions to clear up any confusion about
the topics and texts under discussion.
1.
Participate in collaborative conversations with
diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts
with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g.,
gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to
others with care, speaking one at a time about
the topics and texts under discussion).
b. Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking
their comments to the remarks of others.
c. Ask for clarification and further explanation
as needed about the topics and texts under
discussion.
2.
Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or
information presented orally or through other
media by asking and answering questions
about key details and requesting clarification if
something is not understood.
2.
Ask and answer questions about key details in a
text read aloud or information presented orally or
through other media.
2.
Recount or describe key ideas or details from a
text read aloud or information presented orally or
through other media.
3.
Ask and answer questions in order to seek help,
get information, or clarify something that is not
understood.
3.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker
says in order to gather additional information or
clarify something that is not understood.
3.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker
says in order to clarify comprehension, gather
additional information, or deepen understanding
of a topic or issue.
4.
Describe familiar people, places, things, and
events and, with prompting and support, provide
additional detail.
4.
Describe people, places, things, and events with
relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings
clearly.
4.
Tell a story or recount an experience with
appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details,
speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
5.
Add drawings or other visual displays to
descriptions as desired to provide additional
detail.
5.
Add drawings or other visual displays to
descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas,
thoughts, and feelings.
5.
Create audio recordings of stories or poems;
add drawings or other visual displays to stories
or recounts of experiences when appropriate to
clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
6.
Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and
ideas clearly.
6.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate
to task and situation. (See grade 1 Language
standards 1 and 3 on page 26 for specific
expectations.)
6.
Produce complete sentences when appropriate to
task and situation in order to provide requested
detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language
standards 1 and 3 on pages 26 and 27 for specific
expectations.)
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Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 48
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Speaking and Listening Standards K–5
Grade 3 students:
SL
Grade 4 students:
Grade 5 students:
Comprehension and Collaboration
1.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and
texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing
their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
or studied required material; explicitly draw
on that preparation and other information
known about the topic to explore ideas under
discussion.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g.,
gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to
others with care, speaking one at a time about
the topics and texts under discussion).
c. Ask questions to check understanding of
information presented, stay on topic, and link
their comments to the remarks of others.
d. Explain their own ideas and understanding in
light of the discussion.
1.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and
texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing
their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
or studied required material; explicitly draw
on that preparation and other information
known about the topic to explore ideas under
discussion.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and
carry out assigned roles.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions to
clarify or follow up on information, and make
comments that contribute to the discussion
and link to the remarks of others.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and explain
their own ideas and understanding in light of
the discussion.
1.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and
texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing
their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
or studied required material; explicitly draw
on that preparation and other information
known about the topic to explore ideas under
discussion.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and
carry out assigned roles.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions by
making comments that contribute to the
discussion and elaborate on the remarks of
others.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and draw
conclusions in light of information and
knowledge gained from the discussions.
2.
Determine the main ideas and supporting details
of a text read aloud or information presented in
diverse media and formats, including visually,
quantitatively, and orally.
2.
Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or
information presented in diverse media and
formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
2.
Summarize a written text read aloud or
information presented in diverse media and
formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
3.
Ask and answer questions about information from
a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and
detail.
3.
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker
provides to support particular points.
3.
Summarize the points a speaker makes and
explain how each claim is supported by reasons
and evidence.
4.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount
an experience with appropriate facts and relevant,
descriptive details, speaking clearly at an
understandable pace.
4.
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount
an experience in an organized manner, using
appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details
to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at
an understandable pace.
4.
Report on a topic or text or present an opinion,
sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate
facts and relevant, descriptive details to support
main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an
understandable pace.
5.
Create engaging audio recordings of stories
or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an
understandable pace; add visual displays when
appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts
or details.
5.
Add audio recordings and visual displays to
presentations when appropriate to enhance the
development of main ideas or themes.
5.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics,
sound) and visual displays in presentations when
appropriate to enhance the development of main
ideas or themes.
6.
Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to
task and situation in order to provide requested
detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language
standards 1 and 3 on pages 28 and 29 for specific
expectations.) Not Applicable
6.
Differentiate between contexts that call for formal
English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations
where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g.,
small-group discussion); use formal English when
appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 4
Language standards 1 on pages 28 and 29 for
specific expectations.) Not Applicable
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks,
using formal English when appropriate to task and
situation. (See grade 5 Language standards 1 and
3 on pages 28 and 29 for specific expectations.)
Not Applicable
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Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 49
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for Language
The K–5 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of
each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number. The
CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
Conventions of Standard english
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when
writing.
Knowledge of Language
3.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective
choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary acquisition and Use
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues,
analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
6.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for
reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in
gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
To build a foundation for college
and career readiness in language,
students must gain control over many
conventions of standard English
grammar, usage, and mechanics
as well as learn other ways to
use language to convey meaning
effectively. They must also be able to
determine or clarify the meaning of
grade-appropriate words encountered
through listening, reading, and media
use; come to appreciate that words
have nonliteral meanings, shadings of
meaning, and relationships to other
words; and expand their vocabulary
in the course of studying content. The
inclusion of Language standards in
their own strand should not be taken
as an indication that skills related
to conventions, effective language
use, and vocabulary are unimportant
to reading, writing, speaking, and
listening; indeed, they are inseparable
from such contexts.
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4.
Note on range and content
of student language use
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 50
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Language Standards K–5
L
The following standards for grades K–5 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and
applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and
understandings mastered in preceding grades. Beginning in grade 3, skills and understandings that are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher
grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking are marked with an asterisk (*). See the table on page 30 for a complete list and
Appendix A for an example of how these skills develop in sophistication.
Kindergartners:
Grade 1 students:
Grade 2 students:
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English grammar and usage when
writing or speaking.
a. Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
b. Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
c. Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/
or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
d. Understand and use question words
(interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when,
why, how).
e. Use the most frequently occurring
prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for,
of, by, with).
f. Produce and expand complete sentences in
shared language activities.
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English grammar and usage when
writing or speaking.
a. Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
b. Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
c. Use singular and plural nouns with matching
verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We
hop).
d. Use personal, possessive, and indefinite
pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their;
anyone, everything).
e. Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present,
and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home;
Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk
home).
f. Use frequently occurring adjectives.
g. Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g.,
and, but, or, so, because).
h. Use determiners (e.g., articles,
demonstratives).
i. Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g.,
during, beyond, toward).
j. Produce and expand complete simple
and compound declarative, interrogative,
imperative, and exclamatory sentences in
response to prompts.
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English grammar and usage when writing
or speaking.
a. Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
b. Form and use frequently occurring irregular
plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice,
fish).
c. Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
d. Form and use the past tense of frequently
occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
e. Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose
between them depending on what is to be
modified.
f. Produce, expand, and rearrange complete
simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy
watched the movie; The little boy watched the
movie; The action movie was watched by the
little boy).
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the
pronoun I.
b. Recognize and name end punctuation.
c. Write a letter or letters for most consonant
and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
d. Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on
knowledge of sound-letter relationships.
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Capitalize dates and names of people.
b. Use end punctuation for sentences.
c. Use commas in dates and to separate single
words in a series.
d. Use conventional spelling for words with
common spelling patterns and for frequently
occurring irregular words.
e. Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on
phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Capitalize holidays, product names, and
geographic names.
b. Use commas in greetings and closings of
letters.
c. Use an apostrophe to form contractions and
frequently occurring possessives.
d. Generalize learned spelling patterns when
writing words (e.g., cage → badge; boy → boil).
e. Consult reference materials, including
beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and
correct spellings.
26
|
K-5 | LanGUaGe
Conventions of Standard english
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 51
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Language Standards K–5
L
Kindergartners:
Grade 1 students:
Grade 2 students:
Knowledge of Language
3.
(Begins in grade 2)
3.
(Begins in grade 2)
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Compare formal and informal uses of English.
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on
kindergarten reading and content.
a. Identify new meanings for familiar words and
apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a
bird and learning the verb to duck).
b. Use the most frequently occurring inflections
and affixes (e.g., -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful,
-less) as a clue to the meaning of an unknown
word.
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown
and multiple-meaning words and phrases based
on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from an array of strategies.
a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Use frequently occurring affixes as a clue to
the meaning of a word.
c. Identify frequently occurring root words (e.g.,
look) and their inflectional forms (e.g., looks,
looked, looking).
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on
grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from an array of strategies.
a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Determine the meaning of the new word
formed when a known prefix is added to a
known word (e.g., happy/unhappy, tell/retell).
c. Use a known root word as a clue to the
meaning of an unknown word with the same
root (e.g., addition, additional).
d. Use knowledge of the meaning of individual
words to predict the meaning of compound
words (e.g., birdhouse, lighthouse, housefly;
bookshelf, notebook, bookmark).
e. Use glossaries and beginning dictionaries, both
print and digital, to determine or clarify the
meaning of words and phrases.
5.
With guidance and support from adults, explore
word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
a. Sort common objects into categories (e.g.,
shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts
the categories represent.
b. Demonstrate understanding of frequently
occurring verbs and adjectives by relating
them to their opposites (antonyms).
c. Identify real-life connections between words
and their use (e.g., note places at school that
are colorful).
d. Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs
describing the same general action (e.g.,
walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the
meanings.
5.
With guidance and support from adults,
demonstrate understanding of word relationships
and nuances in word meanings.
a. Sort words into categories (e.g., colors,
clothing) to gain a sense of the concepts the
categories represent.
b. Define words by category and by one or more
key attributes (e.g., a duck is a bird that swims;
a tiger is a large cat with stripes).
c. Identify real-life connections between words
and their use (e.g., note places at home that
are cozy).
d. Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs
differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance,
stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in
intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or
choosing them or by acting out the meanings.
5.
Demonstrate understanding of word relationships
and nuances in word meanings.
a. Identify real-life connections between words
and their use (e.g., describe foods that are
spicy or juicy).
b. Distinguish shades of meaning among closely
related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely
related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny,
scrawny).
6.
Use words and phrases acquired through
conversations, reading and being read to, and
responding to texts.
6.
Use words and phrases acquired through
conversations, reading and being read to, and
responding to texts, including using frequently
occurring conjunctions to signal simple
relationships (e.g., because).
6.
Use words and phrases acquired through
conversations, reading and being read to, and
responding to texts, including using adjectives
and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are
happy that makes me happy).
27
|
K-5 | LanGUaGe
Vocabulary acquisition and Use
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 52
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Language Standards K–5
L
Grade 3 students:
Grade 4 students:
Grade 5 students:
Knowledge of Language
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Choose words and phrases for effect.*
b. Recognize and observe differences between
the conventions of spoken and written
standard English.
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Choose words and phrases to convey ideas
precisely.*
b. Choose punctuation for effect.*
c. Differentiate between contexts that call
for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas)
and situations where informal discourse is
appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion).
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for
meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.
b. Compare and contrast the varieties of English
(e.g., dialects, registers) used in stories, dramas,
or poems.
29
|
K-5 | LanGUaGe
Vocabulary acquisition and Use
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown
and multiple-meaning word and phrases based
on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from a range of strategies.
a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Determine the meaning of the new word
formed when a known affix is added to a
known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable,
comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless,
heat/preheat).
c. Use a known root word as a clue to the
meaning of an unknown word with the same
root (e.g., company, companion).
d. Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both
print and digital, to determine or clarify the
precise meaning of key words and phrases.
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on
grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from a range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or
restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning
of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and
Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning
of a word (e.g., telegraph, photograph,
autograph).
c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries,
glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital,
to find the pronunciation and determine or
clarify the precise meaning of key words and
phrases.
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on
grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from a range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships
and comparisons in text) as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and
Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning
of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries,
glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital,
to find the pronunciation and determine or
clarify the precise meaning of key words and
phrases.
5.
Demonstrate understanding of word relationships
and nuances in word meanings.
a. Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings
of words and phrases in context (e.g., take
steps).
b. Identify real-life connections between words
and their use (e.g., describe people who are
friendly or helpful).
c. Distinguish shades of meaning among related
words that describe states of mind or degrees
of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected,
heard, wondered).
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative
language, word relationships, and nuances in word
meanings.
a. Explain the meaning of simple similes and
metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in
context.
b. Recognize and explain the meaning of
common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
c. Demonstrate understanding of words by
relating them to their opposites (antonyms)
and to words with similar but not identical
meanings (synonyms).
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language,
word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
a. Interpret figurative language, including similes
and metaphors, in context.
b. Recognize and explain the meaning of common
idioms, adages, and proverbs.
c. Use the relationship between particular words
(e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to
better understand each of the words.
6.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate
conversational, general academic, and domainspecific words and phrases, including those that
signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g.,
After dinner that night we went looking for them).
6.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate
general academic and domain-specific words
and phrases, including those that signal precise
actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed,
whined, stammered) and that are basic to a
particular topic (e.g., wildlife, conservation, and
endangered when discussing animal preservation).
6.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate
general academic and domain-specific words
and phrases, including those that signal contrast,
addition, and other logical relationships (e.g.,
however, although, nevertheless, similarly,
moreover, in addition).
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 53
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Language Progressive Skills, by Grade
The following skills, marked with an asterisk (*) in Language standards 1–3, are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher grades as they are
applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking.
Standard
Grade(s)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9–10
11–12
L.3.1f. Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
L.3.3a. Choose words and phrases for effect.
L.4.1f. Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
L.4.1g. Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to/too/two; there/their).
L.4.3a. Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.*
L.4.3b. Choose punctuation for effect.
L.5.1d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
L.5.2a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.†
L.6.1c. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
L.6.1d. Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
L.6.1e. Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and
use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
L.6.2a. Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
L.6.3a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.‡
L.6.3b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.
L.7.1c. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
L.7.3a. Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and
redundancy.
L.9–10.1a. Use parallel structure.
*
Subsumed by L.7.3a
Subsumed by L.9–10.1a
‡
Subsumed by L.11–12.3a
†
30
|
K-5 | LanGUaGe
L.8.1d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 54
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Standard 10: Range, Quality, and Complexity of Student Reading K–5
Measuring Text Complexity: Three Factors
Qualitative evaluation of the text: Levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality
and clarity, and knowledge demands
Quantitative evaluation of the text: Readability measures and other scores of text complexity
Matching reader to text and task:
Reader variables (such as motivation, knowledge, and
experiences) and task variables (such as purpose and the
complexity generated by the task assigned and the questions posed)
Note: More detailed information on text complexity and how it is measured is contained in
Appendix A.
Range of Text Types for K–5
Students in K–5 apply the Reading standards to the following range of text types, with texts selected from a broad range of cultures and periods.
Poetry
Literary nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and technical texts
Includes children’s adventure
stories, folktales, legends,
fables, fantasy, realistic fiction,
and myth
Includes staged dialogue and
brief familiar scenes
Includes nursery rhymes and
the subgenres of the narrative
poem, limerick, and free verse
poem
Includes biographies and autobiographies; books about history, social
studies, science, and the arts; technical texts, including directions,
forms, and information displayed in graphs, charts, or maps; and digital
sources on a range of topics
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 31
Informational Text
dramas
|
K–5 | readInG Standard 10
Literature
Stories
55
CommonIn
Core
State StandardS
for
enGLISHand
LanGUaGe
artS
& LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
e artS & LIteraCy
HIStory/SoCIaL
StUdIeS,
SCIenCe,
teCHnICaL
SUbjeCtS
* Read-aloud
** Read-along
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
* Read-aloud
** Read-along
Texts
Illustrating
the Complexity,
y, Quality, and
Range
of Student
Reading K–5Quality, and Range of Student Reading K–5
Literature:
Stories,and
drama,
PoetryScientific, and technical textsInformational texts: Literary nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and technical texts
Informational texts: Literary
nonfiction
Historical,
Poetry
l) (c1800)*
K*

in the
Meadow
by John
Langstaff (traditional) (c1800)*
Over
My Five
Senses
by Aliki
(1962)**
 My Five Senses by Aliki (1962)**

Boy, aby
Dog,
and Crews
a Frog (1980)
by Mercer Mayer (1967)
ATruck
Donald
 Truck by Donald Crews (1980)

for Breakfast
by Tomie
DePaola (1978)
Pancakes
I Read Signs
by Tana Hoban
(1987)
 I Read Signs by Tana Hoban (1987)

Story,Do
A Story
byWith
Gail a
E.Tail
Haley
AWhat
You Do
Like(1970)*
This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (2003)*  What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (2003)*
by Maurice Sendak (1957)**
1*

First
Full Moon
by Kevin
Henkes (2004)*
Kitten’s
Amazing
Whales!
by Sarah
L. Thomson
(2005)*
 Amazing Whales! by Sarah L. Thomson (2005)*

a Pancake”
G. Rossetti
“Mix
A Tree
Is a Plantby
byChristina
Clyde Robert
Bulla, (1893)**
illustrated by Stacey Schuett (1960)**
 A Tree Is a Plant by Clyde Robert Bulla, illustrated by Stacey Schuett (1960)**

Popper’s
Penguins
by Richard
Atwater (1938)*
Mr.
Starfish
by Edith
Thacher
Hurd (1962)
 Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd (1962)

Bear
Else Holmelund
illustrated
byDorros
Maurice
Sendak (1957)**
Little
Follow
theby
Water
from BrookMinarik,
to Ocean
by Arthur
(1991)**
 Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros (1991)**

and
Toad
(1971)**
 From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by James Graham Hale (2004)*
Frog
From
Seed
to Together
Pumpkin by
by Arnold
Wendy Lobel
Pfeffer,
illustrated by James Graham Hale (2004)*
ti (1893)
2–3
)

Fly People
Guy byLearned
Tedd Arnold
Hi!
How
to Fly(2006)
by Fran Hodgkins and True Kelley (2007)*
 How People Learned to Fly by Fran Hodgkins and True Kelley (2007)*

Has Seen
theby
Wind?”
by Christina G. Rossetti (1893)
“Who
A Medieval
Feast
Aliki (1983)
 A Medieval Feast by Aliki (1983)

by E.by
B. Gail
White
(1952)*(1991)
Charlotte’s
From SeedWeb
to Plant
Gibbons
 From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons (1991)

Plainof
and
Tall Bridges
by Patricia
MacLachlan
Sarah,
The Story
Ruby
by Robert
Coles(1985)
(1995)*
 The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles (1995)*

andof
Bottoms
JanetofStevens
Tops
A Drop
Water: by
A Book
Science(1995)
and Wonder by Walter Wick (1997)
 A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick (1997)
by Mark Teague (2001)

Winter
byof
Cynthia
illustrated
by Mark Teague (2001)
Poppleton
Moonshot:inThe
Flight
ApolloRylant,
11 by Brian
Floca (2009)
 Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca (2009)
l (1865)

Adventures
Wonderland
by Lewis
Carroll
(1865)by Melvin Berger (1992)  Discovering Mars: The Amazing Story of the Red Planet by Melvin Berger (1992)
Alice’s
Discovering
Mars: in
The
Amazing Story
of the
Red Planet
88)

at theEarth’s
Bat” byMightiest
Ernest Lawrence
Thayer
(1888)
“Casey
Hurricanes:
Storms by
Patricia
Lauber (1996)
 Hurricanes: Earth’s Mightiest Storms by Patricia Lauber (1996)

Black Stallion
byJoy
Walter
Farley
(1941)
The
A History
of US by
Hakim
(2005)
 A History of US by Joy Hakim (2005)

by Isaac
“Zlateh
Horsesthe
by Goat”
Seymour
SimonBashevis
(2006) Singer (1984)
 Horses by Seymour Simon (2006)
4–5

Meets the An
Moon
by GracetoLin
Where
Questthe
for Mountain
the Tree Kangaroo:
Expedition
the(2009)
Cloud Forest of New Guinea by Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea by
n (2009)
Sy Montgomery (2006)
Sy Montgomery (2006)
K–5 | readInG Standard 10
Given space
limitations,
the illustrative
are meant
only to
show
individual titles that are representative of a wide range of topics and genres. (See Appendix
ove are meant only toNote:
show individual
titles that
are representative
of atexts
widelisted
rangeabove
of topics
and genres.
(See
Appendix
for excerpts
of these or
and
other texts level,
illustrative
K–5across
text complexity,
quality,
and range.)
At a curricular or instructional level, within and across grade levels, texts need to
K–5 text complexity, quality, andBrange.)
At a curricular
instructional
withinofand
grade levels,
texts need
to
selected
topics
or themes
that
and allowofstudents
to study
owledge and allow students to be
study
those around
topics or
themes
in depth.
Ongenerate
the next knowledge
page is an example
progressions
of those topics or themes in depth. On the next page is an example of progressions of
texts building knowledge across grade levels.
32
|
*Children atthat
the have
kindergarten
and grade
1 levelstoshould
be expected
to readlevel
textsand
independently
that have been specifically written to correlate to their reading level and their word knowlcted to read texts independently
been specifically
written
correlate
to their reading
their word knowledge. Manyreading
of the titles
are
meant
to asupplement
carefully
structured
independent
arefully structured independent
with listed
booksabove
to read
along
with
teacher or that
are read
aloud to
students toreading
build with books to read along with a teacher or that are read aloud to students to build
knowledge and cultivate a joy in reading.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 56
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Staying on Topic Within a Grade and Across Grades:
How to Build Knowledge Systematically in English Language Arts K–5
Building knowledge systematically in English language arts is like giving children various pieces of a puzzle in each grade that, over time, will form one big picture.
At a curricular or instructional level, texts—within and across grade levels—need to be selected around topics or themes that systematically develop the knowledge
base of students. Within a grade level, there should be an adequate number of titles on a single topic that would allow children to study that topic for a sustained
period. The knowledge children have learned about particular topics in early grade levels should then be expanded and developed in subsequent grade levels to
ensure an increasingly deeper understanding of these topics. Children in the upper elementary grades will generally be expected to read these texts independently
and reflect on them in writing. However, children in the early grades (particularly K–2) should participate in rich, structured conversations with an adult in response
to the written texts that are read aloud, orally comparing and contrasting as well as analyzing and synthesizing, in the manner called for by the Standards.
Preparation for reading complex informational texts should begin at the very earliest elementary school grades. What follows is one example that uses domainspecific nonfiction titles across grade levels to illustrate how curriculum designers and classroom teachers can infuse the English language arts block with rich,
age-appropriate content knowledge and vocabulary in history/social studies, science, and the arts. Having students listen to informational read-alouds in the early
grades helps lay the necessary foundation for students’ reading and understanding of increasingly complex texts on their own in subsequent grades. Exemplar Texts on a Topic
Across Grades
the Human Body
Students can begin learning
about the human body
starting in kindergarten
and then review and extend
their learning during each
subsequent grade.
K
the five senses and associated
body parts
• My Five Senses by Aliki (1989)
• Hearing by Maria Rius (1985)
• Sight by Maria Rius (1985)
• Smell by Maria Rius (1985)
• Taste by Maria Rius (1985)
• Touch by Maria Rius (1985)
taking care of your body:
overview (hygiene, diet, exercise,
rest)
• My Amazing Body: A First
Look at Health & Fitness by Pat
Thomas (2001)
• Get Up and Go! by Nancy
Carlson (2008)
• Sleep by Paul Showers (1997)
• Fuel the Body by Doering
Tourville (2008)
Introduction to the systems of the
human body and associated body
parts
• Under Your Skin: Your Amazing
Body by Mick Manning (2007)
• Me and My Amazing Body by
Joan Sweeney (1999)
• The Human Body by Gallimard
Jeunesse (2007)
• The Busy Body Book by Lizzy
Rockwell (2008)
• First Encyclopedia of the
Human Body by Fiona Chandler
(2004)
taking care of your body: Germs,
diseases, and preventing illness
• Germs Make Me Sick by Marilyn
Berger (1995)
• Tiny Life on Your Body by
Christine Taylor-Butler (2005)
• Germ Stories by Arthur
Kornberg (2007)
• All About Scabs by
GenichiroYagu (1998)
2–3
4–5
digestive and excretory systems
Circulatory system
• What Happens to a Hamburger
by Paul Showers (1985)
• The Heart by Seymour Simon
(2006)
• The Digestive System by
Christine Taylor-Butler (2008)
• The Heart and Circulation by
Carol Ballard (2005)
• The Digestive System by
Rebecca L. Johnson (2006)
• The Circulatory System by
Kristin Petrie (2007)
• The Digestive System by Kristin
Petrie (2007)
• The Amazing Circulatory System
by John Burstein (2009)
taking care of your body:
Healthy eating and nutrition
respiratory system
• Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy
Rockwell (1999)
• Showdown at the Food Pyramid
by Rex Barron (2004)
muscular, skeletal, and nervous
systems
• The Mighty Muscular and
Skeletal Systems Crabtree
Publishing (2009)
• Muscles by Seymour Simon
(1998)
• Bones by Seymour Simon
(1998)
• The Lungs by Seymour Simon
(2007)
• The Respiratory System by
Susan Glass (2004)
• The Respiratory System by
Kristin Petrie (2007)
• The Remarkable Respiratory
System by John Burstein (2009)
endocrine system
• The Endocrine System by
Rebecca Olien (2006)
• The Exciting Endocrine System
by John Burstein (2009)
• The Astounding Nervous System
Crabtree Publishing (2009)
• The Nervous System by Joelle
Riley (2004)
33
|
K–5 | StayInG on topIC
• Go Wash Up by Doering
Tourville (2008)
1
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 57
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
6-12
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 59
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for reading
The grades 6–12 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the end
of each grade span. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number.
The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
1.
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual
evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
2.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details
and ideas.
3.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
4.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative
meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
5.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a
section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
6.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as
well as in words.*
8.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as
the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
9.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the
approaches the authors take.
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
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Key Ideas and details
*
Please see “Research to Build and Present Knowledge” in Writing for additional standards relevant to gathering, assessing, and applying information from print and digital sources.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS Note on range and content
of student reading
Reading is critical to building
knowledge in history/social studies
as well as in science and technical
subjects. College and career ready
reading in these fields requires
an appreciation of the norms and
conventions of each discipline, such as
the kinds of evidence used in history
and science; an understanding of
domain-specific words and phrases;
an attention to precise details; and
the capacity to evaluate intricate
arguments, synthesize complex
information, and follow detailed
descriptions of events and concepts.
In history/social studies, for example,
students need to be able to analyze,
evaluate, and differentiate primary
and secondary sources. When
reading scientific and technical
texts, students need to be able to
gain knowledge from challenging
texts that often make extensive use
of elaborate diagrams and data to
convey information and illustrate
concepts. Students must be able to
read complex informational texts
in these fields with independence
and confidence because the vast
majority of reading in college and
workforce training programs will
be sophisticated nonfiction. It is
important to note that these Reading
standards are meant to complement
the specific content demands of the
disciplines, not replace them.
60
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Reading
Subjects
ReadingStandards
Standardsfor
forLiteracy
LiteracyininAll
History/Social
Studies 6–12
RH
The standards below begin at grade 6; standards for K–5 reading in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are integrated into the K–5 Reading
standards. The CCR anchor standards and high school standards in literacy work in tandem to define college and career readiness expectations—the former
providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity.
Grades 6–8 students:
Grades 11–12 students:
Grades 9–10 students:
Key Ideas and details
1.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis
of primary and secondary sources.
1.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis
of primary and secondary sources, attending
to such features as the date and origin of the
information.
1.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis
of primary and secondary sources, connecting
insights gained from specific details to an
understanding of the text as a whole.
2.
Determine the central ideas or information of a
primary or secondary source; provide an accurate
summary of the source distinct from prior
knowledge or opinions.
2.
Determine the central ideas or information of a
primary or secondary source; provide an accurate
summary of how key events or ideas develop over
the course of the text.
2.
Determine the central ideas or information of a
primary or secondary source; provide an accurate
summary that makes clear the relationships among
the key details and ideas.
3.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a
process related to history/social studies (e.g., how
a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised
or lowered).
3.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in
a text; determine whether earlier events caused
later ones or simply preceded them.
3.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events
and determine which explanation best accords
with textual evidence, acknowledging where the
text leaves matters uncertain.
4.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases
as they are used in a text, including vocabulary
specific to domains related to history/social
studies.
4.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases
as they are used in a text, including vocabulary
describing political, social, or economic aspects of
history/social studies.
4.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as
they are used in a text, including analyzing how an
author uses and refines the meaning of a key term
over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines
faction in Federalist No. 10).
5.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g.,
sequentially, comparatively, causally).
5.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize
key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
5.
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source
is structured, including how key sentences,
paragraphs, and larger portions of the text
contribute to the whole.
6.
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s
point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language,
inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
6.
Compare the point of view of two or more
authors for how they treat the same or similar
topics, including which details they include and
emphasize in their respective accounts.
6.
Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the
same historical event or issue by assessing the
authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7.
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts,
graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other
information in print and digital texts.
7.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g.,
charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in
print or digital text.
7.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of
information presented in diverse formats and media
(e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in
order to address a question or solve a problem.
8.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned
judgment in a text.
8.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and
evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
8.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence
by corroborating or challenging them with other
information.
9.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and
secondary source on the same topic.
9.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same
topic in several primary and secondary sources.
9.
Integrate information from diverse sources,
both primary and secondary, into a coherent
understanding of an idea or event, noting
discrepancies among sources.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend
history/social studies texts in the grades 9–10 text
complexity band independently and proficiently.
10.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend
history/social studies texts in the grades 11–CCR text
complexity band independently and proficiently.
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Craft and Structure
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend
history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text
complexity band independently and proficiently.
10.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 61
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Reading
Standards
for Literacy
Science and Technical Subjects 6–12
Reading
Standards
for Literacy
in AllinSubjects
Grades 6–8 students:
Grades 9–10 students:
RST
Grades 11–12 students:
Key Ideas and details
1.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis
of science and technical texts.
1.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis
of science and technical texts, attending to the
precise details of explanations or descriptions.
1.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of
science and technical texts, attending to important
distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or
inconsistencies in the account.
2.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a
text; provide an accurate summary of the text
distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
2.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a
text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of
a complex process, phenomenon, or concept;
provide an accurate summary of the text.
2.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a
text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or
information presented in a text by paraphrasing
them in simpler but still accurate terms.
3.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when
carrying out experiments, taking measurements,
or performing technical tasks.
3.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure
when carrying out experiments, taking
measurements, or performing technical tasks,
attending to special cases or exceptions defined
in the text.
3.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure
when carrying out experiments, taking
measurements, or performing technical tasks;
analyze the specific results based on explanations
in the text.
6-12 | SCIenCe and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS: readInG
|
62
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6-12 READING
Craft and Structure
4.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms,
and other domain-specific words and phrases as
they are used in a specific scientific or technical
context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
4.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms,
and other domain-specific words and phrases as
they are used in a specific scientific or technical
context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
4.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and
other domain-specific words and phrases as they
are used in a specific scientific or technical context
relevant to grades 11–12 texts and topics.
5.
Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a
text, including how the major sections contribute
to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
5.
Analyze the structure of the relationships among
concepts in a text, including relationships among
key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force,
energy).
5.
Analyze how the text structures information or
ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating
understanding of the information or ideas.
6.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an
explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing
an experiment in a text.
6.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an
explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing
an experiment in a text, defining the question the
author seeks to address.
6.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an
explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing
an experiment in a text, identifying important
issues that remain unresolved.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7.
Integrate quantitative or technical information
expressed in words in a text with a version of that
information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart,
diagram, model, graph, or table).
7.
Translate quantitative or technical information
expressed in words in a text into visual form
(e.g., a table or chart) and translate information
expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an
equation) into words.
7.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of
information presented in diverse formats and
media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in
order to address a question or solve a problem.
8.
Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment
based on research findings, and speculation in a
text.
8.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and
evidence in a text support the author’s claim
or a recommendation for solving a scientific or
technical problem.
8.
Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and
conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying
the data when possible and corroborating or
challenging conclusions with other sources of
information.
9.
Compare and contrast the information gained
from experiments, simulations, video, or
multimedia sources with that gained from reading
a text on the same topic.
9.
Compare and contrast findings presented in a text
to those from other sources (including their own
experiments), noting when the findings support or
contradict previous explanations or accounts.
9.
Synthesize information from a range of sources
(e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a
coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon,
or concept, resolving conflicting information when
possible.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend
science/technical texts in the grades 9–10 text
complexity band independently and proficiently.
10.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend
science/technical texts in the grades 11–CCR text
complexity band independently and proficiently.
range of reading and Level of text Complexity
10.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend
science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text
complexity band independently and proficiently.
10.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 62
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for Writing
The grades 6–12 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the end
of each grade span. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number.
The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
1.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant
and sufficient evidence.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately
through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
3.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details
and well-structured event sequences.
Production and distribution of Writing
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task,
purpose, and audience.
5.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
6.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
research to Build and Present Knowledge
7.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
8.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each
source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
9.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
range of Writing
10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a
single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
For students, writing is a key means
of asserting and defending claims,
showing what they know about a
subject, and conveying what they
have experienced, imagined, thought,
and felt. To be college and career
ready writers, students must take
task, purpose, and audience into
careful consideration, choosing words,
information, structures, and formats
deliberately. They need to be able to
use technology strategically when
creating, refining, and collaborating on
writing. They have to become adept
at gathering information, evaluating
sources, and citing material accurately,
reporting findings from their research
and analysis of sources in a clear
and cogent manner. They must have
the flexibility, concentration, and
fluency to produce high-quality firstdraft text under a tight deadline
and the capacity to revisit and
make improvements to a piece of
writing over multiple drafts when
circumstances encourage or require
it. To meet these goals, students must
devote significant time and effort to
writing, producing numerous pieces
over short and long time frames
throughout the year.
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text types and Purposes*
Note on range and content
of student writing
*These broad types of writing include many subgenres. See Appendix A for definitions of key writing types.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 63
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS,
SCIenCe,Core
and teCHnICaL
SUbjeCtS
Common
State Standards
for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Writing Standards
Standards for Literacy in All
Subjects Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6–12
History/Social
WHST
The standards below begin at grade 6; standards for K–5 writing in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects are integrated into the K–5 Writing
standards. The CCR anchor standards and high school standards in literacy work in tandem to define college and career readiness expectations—the former
providing broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity.
Grades 6–8 students:
Grades 9–10 students:
Grades 11–12 students:
text types and Purposes
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific
content.
a. Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue,
acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from
alternate or opposing claims, and organize the
reasons and evidence logically.
b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and
relevant, accurate data and evidence that
demonstrate an understanding of the topic or
text, using credible sources.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create
cohesion and clarify the relationships among
claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section
that follows from and supports the argument
presented.
1.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific
content.
a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the
claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims,
and create an organization that establishes
clear relationships among the claim(s),
counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly,
supplying data and evidence for each while
pointing out the strengths and limitations
of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a
discipline-appropriate form and in a manner
that anticipates the audience’s knowledge
level and concerns.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the
major sections of the text, create cohesion,
and clarify the relationships between claim(s)
and reasons, between reasons and evidence,
and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style and
objective tone while attending to the norms
and conventions of the discipline in which they
are writing.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section
that follows from or supports the argument
presented.
1.
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific
content.
a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s),
establish the significance of the claim(s),
distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or
opposing claims, and create an organization
that logically sequences the claim(s),
counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and
thoroughly, supplying the most relevant data
and evidence for each while pointing out the
strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and
counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form
that anticipates the audience’s knowledge
level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as
varied syntax to link the major sections of
the text, create cohesion, and clarify the
relationships between claim(s) and reasons,
between reasons and evidence, and between
claim(s) and counterclaims.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style and
objective tone while attending to the norms
and conventions of the discipline in which they
are writing.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section
that follows from or supports the argument
presented.
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1.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 64
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Writing
History/Social
Writing Standards
Standards for Literacy in All
Subjects Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6–12
Grades 6–8 students:
Grades 9–10 students:
WHST
Grades 11–12 students:
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including
the narration of historical events, scientific
procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what
is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and
information into broader categories as
appropriate to achieving purpose; include
formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g.,
charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to
aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen
facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations,
or other information and examples.
c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to
create cohesion and clarify the relationships
among ideas and concepts.
d. Use precise language and domain-specific
vocabulary to inform about or explain the
topic.
e. Establish and maintain a formal style and
objective tone.
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that
follows from and supports the information or
explanation presented.
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including
the narration of historical events, scientific
procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
a. Introduce a topic and organize ideas,
concepts, and information to make important
connections and distinctions; include
formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g.,
figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to
aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant,
and sufficient facts, extended definitions,
concrete details, quotations, or other
information and examples appropriate to the
audience’s knowledge of the topic.
c. Use varied transitions and sentence structures
to link the major sections of the text, create
cohesion, and clarify the relationships among
ideas and concepts.
d. Use precise language and domain-specific
vocabulary to manage the complexity of
the topic and convey a style appropriate to
the discipline and context as well as to the
expertise of likely readers.
e. Establish and maintain a formal style and
objective tone while attending to the norms
and conventions of the discipline in which they
are writing.
f. Provide a concluding statement or section
that follows from and supports the information
or explanation presented (e.g., articulating
implications or the significance of the topic).
2.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including
the narration of historical events, scientific
procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
a. Introduce a topic and organize complex ideas,
concepts, and information so that each new
element builds on that which precedes it to
create a unified whole; include formatting
(e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures,
tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding
comprehension.
b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the
most significant and relevant facts, extended
definitions, concrete details, quotations, or
other information and examples appropriate to
the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
c. Use varied transitions and sentence structures
to link the major sections of the text, create
cohesion, and clarify the relationships among
complex ideas and concepts.
d. Use precise language, domain-specific
vocabulary and techniques such as metaphor,
simile, and analogy to manage the complexity
of the topic; convey a knowledgeable stance
in a style that responds to the discipline and
context as well as to the expertise of likely
readers.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section
that follows from and supports the information
or explanation provided (e.g., articulating
implications or the significance of the topic).
3.
(See note; not applicable as a separate
requirement)
3.
(See note; not applicable as a separate
requirement)
3.
(See note; not applicable as a separate
requirement)
Note:
Students’ narrative skills continue to grow in these grades. The Standards require that students be able to incorporate narrative elements effectively into
arguments and informative/explanatory texts. In history/social studies, students must be able to incorporate narrative accounts into their analyses of
individuals or events of historical import. In science and technical subjects, students must be able to write precise enough descriptions of the step-by-step
procedures they use in their investigations or technical work that others can replicate them and (possibly) reach the same results.
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text types and Purposes (continued)
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 65
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Writing
for Literacy
Literacy in
in All
History/Social
Writing Standards
Standards for
Subjects Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6–12
Grades 6–8 students:
Grades 9–10 students:
WHST
Grades 11–12 students:
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which
the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which
the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which
the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5.
With some guidance and support from peers and
adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed
by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a
new approach, focusing on how well purpose and
audience have been addressed.
5.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by
planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying
a new approach, focusing on addressing what
is most significant for a specific purpose and
audience.
5.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by
planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying
a new approach, focusing on addressing what
is most significant for a specific purpose and
audience.
6.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce
and publish writing and present the relationships
between information and ideas clearly and
efficiently.
6.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce,
publish, and update individual or shared writing
products, taking advantage of technology’s
capacity to link to other information and to display
information flexibly and dynamically.
6.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce,
publish, and update individual or shared writing
products in response to ongoing feedback,
including new arguments or information.
research to Build and Present Knowledge
7.
Conduct short research projects to answer a
question (including a self-generated question),
drawing on several sources and generating
additional related, focused questions that allow for
multiple avenues of exploration.
7.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research
projects to answer a question (including a selfgenerated question) or solve a problem; narrow or
broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize
multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
7.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research
projects to answer a question (including a selfgenerated question) or solve a problem; narrow or
broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize
multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating
understanding of the subject under investigation.
8.
Gather relevant information from multiple print
and digital sources, using search terms effectively;
assess the credibility and accuracy of each source;
and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions
of others while avoiding plagiarism and following
a standard format for citation.
8.
Gather relevant information from multiple
authoritative print and digital sources, using
advanced searches effectively; assess the
usefulness of each source in answering the
research question; integrate information into the
text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas,
avoiding plagiarism and following a standard
format for citation.
8.
Gather relevant information from multiple
authoritative print and digital sources, using
advanced searches effectively; assess the
strengths and limitations of each source in terms
of the specific task, purpose, and audience;
integrate information into the text selectively to
maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and
overreliance on any one source and following a
standard format for citation.
9.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support
analysis reflection, and research.
9.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support
analysis, reflection, and research.
9.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support
analysis, reflection, and research.
10.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time
for reflection and revision) and shorter time
frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a
range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and
audiences.
10.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time
for reflection and revision) and shorter time
frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a
range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and
audiences.
range of Writing
10.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time
for reflection and revision) and shorter time
frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a
range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and
audiences.
66
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6-12 WRITING
Production and distribution of Writing
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 66
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards
for Speaking and Listening
Note on range and content of
student speaking and listening
The grades 6–12 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the
end of each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number.
The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
To become college and career
ready, students must have ample
opportunities to take part in a variety
of rich, structured conversations—as
part of a whole class, in small groups,
and with a partner—built around
important content in various domains.
They must be able to contribute
appropriately to these conversations,
to make comparisons and contrasts,
and to analyze and synthesize a
multitude of ideas in accordance with
the standards of evidence appropriate
to a particular discipline. Whatever
their intended major or profession, high
school graduates will depend heavily
on their ability to listen attentively to
others so that they are able to build
on others’ meritorious ideas while
expressing their own clearly and
persuasively.
Comprehension and Collaboration
1.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners,
building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and
orally.
3.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
4.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the
organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding
of presentations.
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when
indicated or appropriate.
New technologies have broadened and
expanded the role that speaking and
listening play in acquiring and sharing
knowledge and have tightened their
link to other forms of communication.
The Internet has accelerated the
speed at which connections between
speaking, listening, reading, and writing
can be made, requiring that students
be ready to use these modalities nearly
simultaneously. Technology itself
is changing quickly, creating a new
urgency for students to be adaptable in
response to change.
48
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Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 67
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Speakingand
andListening
Listening
Standards
Speaking
Standards
for6–12
Literacy in All Subjects
SL
The following standards for grades 6–12 offer a focus for instruction in each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills
and applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and
understandings mastered in preceding grades.
Grade 6 students:
Grade 8 students:
Grade 7 students:
1.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics,
texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and
expressing their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or
studied required material; explicitly draw on
that preparation by referring to evidence on
the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on
ideas under discussion.
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set
specific goals and deadlines, and define
individual roles as needed.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions with
elaboration and detail by making comments
that contribute to the topic, text, or issue
under discussion.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and
demonstrate understanding of multiple
perspectives through reflection and
paraphrasing.
1.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics,
texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and
expressing their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
or researched material under study; explicitly
draw on that preparation by referring to
evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe
and reflect on ideas under discussion.
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track
progress toward specific goals and deadlines,
and define individual roles as needed.
c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and
respond to others’ questions and comments
with relevant observations and ideas that bring
the discussion back on topic as needed.
d. Acknowledge new information expressed by
others and, when warranted, modify their own
views.
1.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics,
texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and
expressing their own clearly.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
or researched material under study; explicitly
draw on that preparation by referring to
evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe
and reflect on ideas under discussion.
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions and
decision-making, track progress toward
specific goals and deadlines, and define
individual roles as needed.
c. Pose questions that connect the ideas of
several speakers and respond to others’
questions and comments with relevant
evidence, observations, and ideas.
d. Acknowledge new information expressed
by others, and, when warranted, qualify or
justify their own views in light of the evidence
presented.
2.
Interpret information presented in diverse media
and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally)
and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or
issue under study.
2.
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details
presented in diverse media and formats (e.g.,
visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the
ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
2.
Analyze the purpose of information presented
in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually,
quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives
(e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its
presentation.
3.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific
claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by
reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
3.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific
claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning
and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
3.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific
claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning
and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and
identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4.
Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas
logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts,
and details to accentuate main ideas or themes;
use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume,
and clear pronunciation.
4.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing
salient points in a focused, coherent manner
with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and
examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate
volume, and clear pronunciation.
4.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient
points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant
evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen
details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate
volume, and clear pronunciation.
5.
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics,
images, music, sound) and visual displays in
presentations to clarify information.
5.
Include multimedia components and visual
displays in presentations to clarify claims and
findings and emphasize salient points.
5.
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into
presentations to clarify information, strengthen
claims and evidence, and add interest.
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks,
demonstrating command of formal English when
indicated or appropriate. (See grade 6 Language
standards 1 and 3 on page 52 for specific
expectations.)
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks,
demonstrating command of formal English when
indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language
standards 1 and 3 on page 52 for specific
expectations.)
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks,
demonstrating command of formal English when
indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language
standards 1 and 3 on page 52 for specific
expectations.)
49
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| enGLISH LanGUaGe artS | SpeaKInG and LIStenInG
6-12 SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 68
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Speaking
Listening
Standards
for Literacy
in All Subjects
Speakingand
and
Listening
Standards
6–12
SL
The CCR anchor standards and high school grade-specific standards work in tandem to define college and career readiness expectations—the former providing
broad standards, the latter providing additional specificity.
Grades 11–12 students:
Grades 9–10 students:
1.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
(one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10
topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own
clearly and persuasively.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from
texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful,
well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
b. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making
(e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of
alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.
c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the
current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate
others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and
conclusions.
d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of
agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their
own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the
evidence and reasoning presented.
1.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (oneon-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics,
texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and
persuasively.
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts
and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, wellreasoned exchange of ideas.
b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decisionmaking, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as
needed.
c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe
reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a
topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote
divergent and creative perspectives.
d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims,
and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when
possible; and determine what additional information or research is required
to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
2.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats
(e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of
each source.
2.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and
media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions
and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and
noting any discrepancies among the data.
3.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric,
identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
3.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric,
assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of
emphasis, and tone used.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely,
and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the
organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose,
audience, and task.
4.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear
and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning,
alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization,
development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a
range of formal and informal tasks.
5.
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and
interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings,
reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
5.
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and
interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings,
reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command
of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 9–10 Language
standards 1 and 3 on pages 54 for specific expectations.)
6.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command
of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 11–12 Language
standards 1 and 3 on page 54 for specific expectations.)
50
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6-12 SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 69
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
College and Career readiness anchor Standards for Language
The grades 6–12 standards on the following pages define what students should understand and be able to do by the
end of each grade. They correspond to the College and Career Readiness (CCR) anchor standards below by number.
The CCR and grade-specific standards are necessary complements—the former providing broad standards, the latter
providing additional specificity—that together define the skills and understandings that all students must demonstrate.
Conventions of Standard english
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when
writing.
Knowledge of Language
3.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective
choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary acquisition and Use
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues,
analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
6.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for
reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in
gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
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6-12 LANGUAGE
4.
51
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS Note on range and content
of student language use
To be college and career ready in
language, students must have firm
control over the conventions of
standard English. At the same time,
they must come to appreciate that
language is as at least as much a
matter of craft as of rules and be
able to choose words, syntax, and
punctuation to express themselves
and achieve particular functions and
rhetorical effects. They must also
have extensive vocabularies, built
through reading and study, enabling
them to comprehend complex texts
and engage in purposeful writing
about and conversations around
content. They need to become
skilled in determining or clarifying
the meaning of words and phrases
they encounter, choosing flexibly
from an array of strategies to aid
them. They must learn to see an
individual word as part of a network
of other words—words, for example,
that have similar denotations but
different connotations. The inclusion
of Language standards in their
own strand should not be taken as
an indication that skills related to
conventions, effective language use,
and vocabulary are unimportant
to reading, writing, speaking, and
listening; indeed, they are inseparable
from such contexts.
70
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Language
for6–12
Literacy in All Subjects
LanguageStandards
Standards
L
The following standards for grades 6–12 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and
applications. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and
understandings mastered in preceding grades. Beginning in grade 3, skills and understandings that are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher
grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking are marked with an asterisk (*). See the table on page 56 for a complete listing and
Appendix A for an example of how these skills develop in sophistication.
Grade 6 students:
Grade 8 students:
Grade 7 students:
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English grammar and usage when
writing or speaking.
a. Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case
(subjective, objective, possessive).
b. Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself,
ourselves).
c. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in
pronoun number and person.*
d. Recognize and correct vague pronouns
(i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous
antecedents).*
e. Recognize variations from standard English
in their own and others’ writing and
speaking, and identify and use strategies to
improve expression in conventional language.*
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English grammar and usage when
writing or speaking.
a. Explain the function of phrases and clauses
in general and their function in specific
sentences.
b. Choose among simple, compound, complex,
and compound-complex sentences to signal
differing relationships among ideas.
c. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence,
recognizing and correcting misplaced and
dangling modifiers.*
1.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English grammar and usage when writing
or speaking.
a. Explain the function of verbals (gerunds,
participles, infinitives) in general and their
function in particular sentences.
b. Form and use verbs in the active and passive
voice.
c. Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative,
interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive
mood.
d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in
verb voice and mood.*
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Use punctuation (commas, parentheses,
dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical
elements.*
b. Spell correctly.
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Use a comma to separate coordinate
adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable
movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
b. Spell correctly.
2.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of
standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
a. Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to
indicate a pause or break.
b. Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
c. Spell correctly.
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Choose language that expresses ideas
precisely and concisely, recognizing and
eliminating wordiness and redundancy.*
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Use verbs in the active and passive voice and
in the conditional and subjunctive mood to
achieve particular effects (e.g., emphasizing the
actor or the action; expressing uncertainty or
describing a state contrary to fact).
Knowledge of Language
3.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions
when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/
listener interest, and style.*
b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.*
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Conventions of Standard english
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 71
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
LanguageStandards
Standards
Language
for6–12
Literacy in All Subjects
Grade 6 students:
L
Grade 8 students:
Grade 7 students:
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on
grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from a range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a
sentence or paragraph; a word’s position
or function in a sentence) as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or
Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning
of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries,
glossaries, thesauruses), both print and
digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or
determine or clarify its precise meaning or its
part of speech.
d. Verify the preliminary determination of
the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by
checking the inferred meaning in context or in
a dictionary).
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on
grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly
from a range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a
sentence or paragraph; a word’s position
or function in a sentence) as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or
Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning
of a word (e.g., belligerent, bellicose, rebel).
c. Consult general and specialized reference
materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries,
thesauruses), both print and digital, to find
the pronunciation of a word or determine
or clarify its precise meaning or its part of
speech.
d. Verify the preliminary determination of
the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by
checking the inferred meaning in context or in
a dictionary).
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade
8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a
range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a
sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or
function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning
of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin
affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a
word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).
c. Consult general and specialized reference
materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries,
thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the
pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify
its precise meaning or its part of speech.
d. Verify the preliminary determination of the
meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking
the inferred meaning in context or in a
dictionary).
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative
language, word relationships, and nuances in word
meanings.
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g.,
personification) in context.
b. Use the relationship between particular words
(e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category)
to better understand each of the words.
c. Distinguish among the connotations
(associations) of words with similar
denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy,
scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative
language, word relationships, and nuances in word
meanings.
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary,
biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.
b. Use the relationship between particular words
(e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better
understand each of the words.
c. Distinguish among the connotations
(associations) of words with similar
denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined,
respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language,
word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony,
puns) in context.
b. Use the relationship between particular words
to better understand each of the words.
c. Distinguish among the connotations
(associations) of words with similar denotations
(definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm,
persistent, resolute).
6.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate
general academic and domain-specific words
and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge
when considering a word or phrase important to
comprehension or expression.
6.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate
general academic and domain-specific words
and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge
when considering a word or phrase important to
comprehension or expression.
6.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate
general academic and domain-specific words
and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge
when considering a word or phrase important to
comprehension or expression.
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Vocabulary acquisition and Use
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 72
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
LanguageStandards
Standards
Language
for6–12
Literacy in All Subjects
L
Grades 9–10 students:
Grades 11–12 students:
Vocabulary acquisition and Use
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and
phrases based on grades 9–10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a
range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a
word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word
or phrase.
b. Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different
meanings or parts of speech (e.g., analyze, analysis, analytical; advocate,
advocacy).
c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries,
glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of
a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, or its
etymology.
d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase
(e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
4.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and
phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a
range of strategies.
a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a
word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word
or phrase.
b. Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different
meanings or parts of speech (e.g., conceive, conception, conceivable).
c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries,
glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation
of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, its
etymology, or its standard usage.
d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase
(e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and
nuances in word meanings.
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and
analyze their role in the text.
b. Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
5.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and
nuances in word meanings.
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze
their role in the text.
b. Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
6.
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and
phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college
and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary
knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or
expression.
6.
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and
phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college
and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary
knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or
expression.
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6-12 LANGUAGE
4.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 73
Common Core State StandardS for enGLISH LanGUaGe artS & LIteraCy In HIStory/SoCIaL StUdIeS, SCIenCe, and teCHnICaL SUbjeCtS
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Language Progressive Skills, by Grade
The following skills, marked with an asterisk (*) in Language standards 1–3, are particularly likely to require continued attention in higher grades as they are applied
to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking.
Standard
Grade(s)
3
4
5
6
7
8
9–10
11–12
L.3.1f. Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
L.3.3a. Choose words and phrases for effect.
L.4.1f. Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
L.4.1g. Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to/too/two; there/their).
L.4.3a. Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.*
L.4.3b. Choose punctuation for effect.
L.5.1d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
L.5.2a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.†
L.6.1c. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
L.6.1d. Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
L.6.1e. Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and
use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
L.6.3a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.‡
L.6.3b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.
L.7.1c. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
L.7.3a. Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and
redundancy.
L.8.1d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.
L.9–10.1a. Use parallel structure.
Subsumed by L.7.3a
Subsumed by L.9–10.1a
‡
Subsumed by L.11–12.3a
*
†
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L.6.2a. Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 74
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Standards for
Literacy in All Subjects
Appendix A
Research Supporting Key Elements of the Standards
Glossary of Key Terms
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 75
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
common core state stanDarDs For
english Language arts
&
Literacy in
in All Subjects
Literacy
History/social studies,
science, and technical subjects
appendix a:
research supporting
Key elements of the standards
Glossary of Key terms
76
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS reading
One of the key requirements of the Common Core State Standards for Reading is that all students must be able to
comprehend texts of steadily increasing complexity as they progress through school. By the time they complete the
core, students must be able to read and comprehend independently and proficiently the kinds of complex texts commonly found in college and careers. The first part of this section makes a research-based case for why the complexity of what students read matters. In brief, while reading demands in college, workforce training programs, and life in
general have held steady or increased over the last half century, K–12 texts have actually declined in sophistication,
and relatively little attention has been paid to students’ ability to read complex texts independently. These conditions
have left a serious gap between many high school seniors’ reading ability and the reading requirements they will face
after graduation. The second part of this section addresses how text complexity can be measured and made a regular
part of instruction. It introduces a three-part model that blends qualitative and quantitative measures of text complexity with reader and task considerations. The section concludes with three annotated examples showing how the
model can be used to assess the complexity of various kinds of texts appropriate for different grade levels.
Why text complexity matters
In 2006, ACT, Inc., released a report called Reading Between the Lines that showed which skills differentiated those
students who equaled or exceeded the benchmark score (21 out of 36) in the reading section of the ACT college admissions test from those who did not. Prior ACT research had shown that students achieving the benchmark score or
better in reading—which only about half (51 percent) of the roughly half million test takers in the 2004–2005 academic year had done—had a high probability (75 percent chance) of earning a C or better in an introductory, credit-bearing course in U.S. history or psychology (two common reading-intensive courses taken by first-year college students)
and a 50 percent chance of earning a B or better in such a course.1
Surprisingly, what chiefly distinguished the performance of those students who had earned the benchmark score or
better from those who had not was not their relative ability in making inferences while reading or answering questions
related to particular cognitive processes, such as determining main ideas or determining the meaning of words and
phrases in context. Instead, the clearest differentiator was students’ ability to answer questions associated with complex texts. Students scoring below benchmark performed no better than chance (25 percent correct) on four-option
multiple-choice questions pertaining to passages rated as “complex” on a three-point qualitative rubric described in
the report. These findings held for male and female students, students from all racial/ethnic groups, and students from
families with widely varying incomes. The most important implication of this study was that a pedagogy focused only
on “higher-order” or “critical” thinking was insufficient to ensure that students were ready for college and careers:
what students could read, in terms of its complexity, was at least as important as what they could do with what they
read.
The ACT report is one part of an extensive body of research attesting to the importance of text complexity in reading
achievement. The clear, alarming picture that emerges from the evidence, briefly summarized below2, is that while the
reading demands of college, workforce training programs, and citizenship have held steady or risen over the past fifty
years or so, K–12 texts have, if anything, become less demanding. This finding is the impetus behind the Standards’
strong emphasis on increasing text complexity as a key requirement in reading.
College, Careers, and Citizenship: Steady or Increasing Complexity of Texts and Tasks
Research indicates that the demands that college, careers, and citizenship place on readers have either held steady or
increased over roughly the last fifty years. The difficulty of college textbooks, as measured by Lexile scores, has not
decreased in any block of time since 1962; it has, in fact, increased over that period (Stenner, Koons, & Swartz, in press).
The word difficulty of every scientific journal and magazine from 1930 to 1990 examined by Hayes and Ward (1992)
had actually increased, which is important in part because, as a 2005 College Board study (Milewski, Johnson, Glazer, &
Kubota, 2005) found, college professors assign more readings from periodicals than do high school teachers. Workplace reading, measured in Lexiles, exceeds grade 12 complexity significantly, although there is considerable variation
(Stenner, Koons, & Swartz, in press). The vocabulary difficulty of newspapers remained stable over the 1963–1991 period
Hayes and his colleagues (Hayes, Wolfer, & Wolfe, 1996) studied.
Furthermore, students in college are expected to read complex texts with substantially greater independence (i.e.,
much less scaffolding) than are students in typical K–12 programs. College students are held more accountable for
what they read on their own than are most students in high school (Erickson & Strommer, 1991; Pritchard, Wilson, &
Yamnitz, 2007). College instructors assign readings, not necessarily explicated in class, for which students might be
held accountable through exams, papers, presentations, or class discussions. Students in high school, by contrast, are
1
In the 2008–2009 academic year, only 53 percent of students achieved the reading benchmark score or higher; the increase
from 2004–2005 was not statistically significant. See ACT, Inc. (2009).
Much of the summary found in the next two sections is heavily influenced by Marilyn Jager Adams’s painstaking review of
the relevant literature. See Adams (2009).
2
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appendix a |
2
rarely held accountable for what they are able to read independently (Heller & Greenleaf, 2007). This discrepancy in
task demand, coupled with what we see below is a vast gap in text complexity, may help explain why only about half
of the students taking the ACT Test in the 2004–2005 academic year could meet the benchmark score in reading
(which also was the case in 2008–2009, the most recent year for which data are available) and why so few students
in general are prepared for postsecondary reading (ACT, Inc., 2006, 2009).
K–12 Schooling: Declining Complexity of Texts
and a Lack of Reading of Complex Texts Independently
Despite steady or growing reading demands from various sources, K–12 reading texts have actually trended downward
in difficulty in the last half century. Jeanne Chall and her colleagues (Chall, Conard, & Harris, 1977) found a thirteenyear decrease from 1963 to 1975 in the difficulty of grade 1, grade 6, and (especially) grade 11 texts. Extending the
period to 1991, Hayes, Wolfer, and Wolfe (1996) found precipitous declines (relative to the period from 1946 to 1962) in
average sentence length and vocabulary level in reading textbooks for a variety of grades. Hayes also found that while
science books were more difficult to read than literature books, only books for Advanced Placement (AP) classes had
vocabulary levels equivalent to those of even newspapers of the time (Hayes & Ward, 1992). Carrying the research
closer to the present day, Gary L. Williamson (2006) found a 350L (Lexile) gap between the difficulty of end-of-high
school and college texts—a gap equivalent to 1.5 standard deviations and more than the Lexile difference between
grade 4 and grade 8 texts on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Although legitimate questions
can be raised about the tools used to measure text complexity (e.g., Mesmer, 2008), what is relevant in these numbers
is the general, steady decline—over time, across grades, and substantiated by several sources—in the difficulty and
likely also the sophistication of content of the texts students have been asked to read in school since 1962.
There is also evidence that current standards, curriculum, and instructional practice have not done enough to foster
the independent reading of complex texts so crucial for college and career readiness, particularly in the case of informational texts. K–12 students are, in general, given considerable scaffolding—assistance from teachers, class discussions, and the texts themselves (in such forms as summaries, glossaries, and other text features)—with reading that is
already less complex overall than that typically required of students prior to 1962.3 What is more, students today are
asked to read very little expository text—as little as 7 and 15 percent of elementary and middle school instructional
reading, for example, is expository (Hoffman, Sabo, Bliss, & Hoy, 1994; Moss & Newton, 2002; Yopp & Yopp, 2006)—
yet much research supports the conclusion that such text is harder for most students to read than is narrative text
(Bowen & Roth, 1999; Bowen, Roth, & McGinn, 1999, 2002; Heller & Greenleaf, 2007; Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008),
that students need sustained exposure to expository text to develop important reading strategies (Afflerbach, Pearson, & Paris, 2008; Kintsch, 1998, 2009; McNamara, Graesser, & Louwerse, in press; Perfetti, Landi, & Oakhill, 2005;
van den Broek, Lorch, Linderholm, & Gustafson, 2001; van den Broek, Risden, & Husebye-Hartmann, 1995), and that
expository text makes up the vast majority of the required reading in college and the workplace (Achieve, Inc., 2007).
Worse still, what little expository reading students are asked to do is too often of the superficial variety that involves
skimming and scanning for particular, discrete pieces of information; such reading is unlikely to prepare students for
the cognitive demand of true understanding of complex text.
The Consequences: Too Many Students Reading at Too Low a Level
The impact that low reading achievement has on students’ readiness for college, careers, and life in general is significant. To put the matter bluntly, a high school graduate who is a poor reader is a postsecondary student who must
struggle mightily to succeed. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (Wirt, Choy, Rooney, Provasnik, Sen,
& Tobin, 2004) reports that although needing to take one or more remedial/developmental courses of any sort lowers a student’s chance of eventually earning a degree or certificate, “the need for remedial reading appears to be the
most serious barrier to degree completion” (p. 63). Only 30 percent of 1992 high school seniors who went on to enroll
in postsecondary education between 1992 and 2000 and then took any remedial reading course went on to receive a
degree or certificate, compared to 69 percent of the 1992 seniors who took no postsecondary remedial courses and
57 percent of those who took one remedial course in a subject other than reading or mathematics. Considering that 11
percent of those high school seniors required at least one remedial reading course, the societal impact of low reading
achievement is as profound as its impact on the aspirations of individual students.
Reading levels among the adult population are also disturbingly low. The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy
(Kutner, Greenberg, Jin, Boyle, Hsu, & Dunleavy, 2007) reported that 14 percent of adults read prose texts at “below
basic” level, meaning they could exhibit “no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills”; a similarly small
number (13 percent) could read prose texts at the “proficient level,” meaning they could perform “more complex
and challenging literacy activities” (p. 4). The percent of “proficient” readers had actually declined in a statistically
significant way from 1992 (15 percent). This low and declining achievement rate may be connected to a general lack
of reading. As reported by the National Endowment for the Arts (2004), the percent of U.S. adults reading literature
dropped from 54.0 in 1992 to 46.7 in 2002, while the percent of adults reading any book also declined by 7 percent
3
As also noted in “Key Considerations in Implementing Text Complexity,” below, it is important to recognize that scaffolding
often is entirely appropriate. The expectation that scaffolding will occur with particularly challenging texts is built into the
Standards’ grade-by-grade text complexity expectations, for example. The general movement, however, should be toward decreasing scaffolding and increasing independence both within and across the text complexity bands defined in the Standards.
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appendix a |
3
during the same time period. Although the decline occurred in all demographic groups, the steepest decline by far
was among 18-to-24- and 25-to-34-year-olds (28 percent and 23 percent, respectively). In other words, the problem
of lack of reading is not only getting worse but doing so at an accelerating rate. Although numerous factors likely
contribute to the decline in reading, it is reasonable to conclude from the evidence presented above that the deterioration in overall reading ability, abetted by a decline in K–12 text complexity and a lack of focus on independent reading of complex texts, is a contributing factor.
Being able to read complex text independently and proficiently is essential for high achievement in college and
the workplace and important in numerous life tasks. Moreover, current trends suggest that if students cannot read
challenging texts with understanding—if they have not developed the skill, concentration, and stamina to read such
texts—they will read less in general. In particular, if students cannot read complex expository text to gain information, they will likely turn to text-free or text-light sources, such as video, podcasts, and tweets. These sources, while
not without value, cannot capture the nuance, subtlety, depth, or breadth of ideas developed through complex text.
As Adams (2009) puts it, “There may one day be modes and methods of information delivery that are as efficient
and powerful as text, but for now there is no contest. To grow, our students must read lots, and more specifically they
must read lots of ‘complex’ texts—texts that offer them new language, new knowledge, and new modes of thought”
(p. 182). A turning away from complex texts is likely to lead to a general impoverishment of knowledge, which, because knowledge is intimately linked with reading comprehension ability, will accelerate the decline in the ability to
comprehend complex texts and the decline in the richness of text itself. This bodes ill for the ability of Americans to
meet the demands placed upon them by citizenship in a democratic republic and the challenges of a highly competitive global marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.
It should be noted also that the problems with reading achievement are not “equal opportunity” in their effects:
students arriving at school from less-educated families are disproportionately represented in many of these statistics (Bettinger & Long, 2009). The consequences of insufficiently high text demands and a lack of accountability for
independent reading of complex texts in K–12 schooling are severe for everyone, but they are disproportionately so for
those who are already most isolated from text before arriving at the schoolhouse door.
the standards’ approach to text complexity
To help redress the situation described above, the Standards define a three-part model for determining how easy or
difficult a particular text is to read as well as grade-by-grade specifications for increasing text complexity in successive years of schooling (Reading standard 10). These are to be used together with grade-specific standards that
require increasing sophistication in students’ reading comprehension ability (Reading standards 1–9). The Standards
thus approach the intertwined issues of what and how student read.
A Three-Part Model for Measuring Text Complexity
As signaled by the graphic at right, the Standards’ model of
text complexity consists of three equally important parts.
(1) Qualitative dimensions of text complexity. In the Standards, qualitative dimensions and qualitative factors refer
to those aspects of text complexity best measured or only
measurable by an attentive human reader, such as levels of
meaning or purpose; structure; language conventionality and
clarity; and knowledge demands.
(2) Quantitative dimensions of text complexity. The terms
quantitative dimensions and quantitative factors refer to
those aspects of text complexity, such as word length or frequency, sentence length, and text cohesion, that are difficult
if not impossible for a human reader to evaluate efficiently,
especially in long texts, and are thus today typically measured by computer software.
(3) Reader and task considerations. While the prior two
elements of the model focus on the inherent complexity of
text, variables specific to particular readers (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) and to particular tasks
Figure 1: The Standards’ Model of Text Complexity
(such as purpose and the complexity of the task assigned
and the questions posed) must also be considered when determining whether a text is appropriate for a given student. Such assessments are best made by teachers employing their professional judgment, experience, and knowledge of their students and the subject.
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appendix a |
4
The Standards presume that all three elements will come into play when text complexity and appropriateness are
determined. The following pages begin with a brief overview of just some of the currently available tools, both qualitative and quantitative, for measuring text complexity, continue with some important considerations for using text
complexity with students, and conclude with a series of examples showing how text complexity measures, balanced
with reader and task considerations, might be used with a number of different texts.
Qualitative and Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity
The qualitative and quantitative measures of text complexity described below are representative of the best tools
presently available. However, each should be considered only provisional; more precise, more accurate, and easierto-use tools are urgently needed to help make text complexity a vital, everyday part of classroom instruction and
curriculum planning.
Qualitative Measures of Text Complexity
Using qualitative measures of text complexity involves making an informed decision about the difficulty of a text in
terms of one or more factors discernible to a human reader applying trained judgment to the task. In the Standards,
qualitative measures, along with professional judgment in matching a text to reader and task, serve as a necessary
complement and sometimes as a corrective to quantitative measures, which, as discussed below, cannot (at least at
present) capture all of the elements that make a text easy or challenging to read and are not equally successful in rating the complexity of all categories of text.
Built on prior research, the four qualitative factors described below are offered here as a first step in the development
of robust tools for the qualitative analysis of text complexity. These factors are presented as continua of difficulty
rather than as a succession of discrete “stages” in text complexity. Additional development and validation would be
needed to translate these or other dimensions into, for example, grade-level- or grade-band-specific rubrics. The
qualitative factors run from easy (left-hand side) to difficult (right-hand side). Few, if any, authentic texts will be low
or high on all of these measures, and some elements of the dimensions are better suited to literary or to informational
texts.
(1) Levels of Meaning (literary texts) or Purpose (informational texts). Literary texts with a single level of meaning tend
to be easier to read than literary texts with multiple levels of meaning (such as satires, in which the author’s literal message is intentionally at odds with his or her underlying message). Similarily, informational texts with an explicitly stated
purpose are generally easier to comprehend than informational texts with an implicit, hidden, or obscure purpose.
(2) Structure. Texts of low complexity tend to have simple, well-marked, and conventional structures, whereas texts
of high complexity tend to have complex, implicit, and (particularly in literary texts) unconventional structures. Simple
literary texts tend to relate events in chronological order, while complex literary texts make more frequent use of
flashbacks, flash-forwards, and other manipulations of time and sequence. Simple informational texts are likely not to
deviate from the conventions of common genres and subgenres, while complex informational texts are more likely to
conform to the norms and conventions of a specific discipline. Graphics tend to be simple and either unnecessary or
merely supplementary to the meaning of texts of low complexity, whereas texts of high complexity tend to have similarly complex graphics, graphics whose interpretation is essential to understanding the text, and graphics that provide
an independent source of information within a text. (Note that many books for the youngest students rely heavily on
graphics to convey meaning and are an exception to the above generalization.)
(3) Language Conventionality and Clarity. Texts that rely on literal, clear, contemporary, and conversational language tend
to be easier to read than texts that rely on figurative, ironic, ambiguous, purposefully misleading, archaic or otherwise unfamiliar language or on general academic and domain-specific vocabulary.
(4) Knowledge Demands. Texts that make few assumptions about the extent of readers’ life experiences and the
depth of their cultural/literary and content/discipline knowledge are generally less complex than are texts that make
many assumptions in one or more of those areas.
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appendix a |
5
Common Core State Standards for LITERACY in ALL subjects
Common Core State StandardS for engliSh language artS & literaCy in hiStory/SoCial StudieS, SCienCe, and teChniCal SubjeCtS
Figure 2: Qualitative Dimensions of Text Complexity
•
Explicitly stated purpose  Implicit purpose, may be hidden or obscure
Single level of meaning  Multiple levels of meaning
Levels of Meaning (literary texts) or Purpose (informational texts)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Graphics unnecessary or merely supplementary to understanding the text  Graphics essential to understanding the text
and may provide information not otherwise conveyed in the text
Simple graphics  Sophisticated graphics
Traits of a common genre or subgenre  Traits specific to a particular discipline (chiefly informational texts)
Events related in chronological order  Events related out of chronological order (chiefly literary texts)
Conventional  Unconventional (chiefly literary texts)
Explicit  Implicit
Simple  Complex
Structure
•
•
•
•
Conversational  General academic and domain-specific
Contemporary, familiar  Archaic or otherwise unfamiliar
Clear  Ambiguous or purposefully misleading
Literal  Figurative or ironic
Language Conventionality and Clarity
•
•
•
•
•
Perspective(s) like one’s own  Perspective(s) unlike or in opposition to one’s own
Single perspective  Multiple perspectives
Common, everyday experiences or clearly fantastical situations  Experiences distinctly different from one’s own
Single themes  Multiple themes
Simple theme  Complex or sophisticated themes
Knowledge Demands: Life Experiences (literary texts)
•
•
Low intertextuality (few if any references/allusions to other texts)  High intertextuality (many references/allusions to other
texts)
Everyday knowledge and familiarity with genre conventions required  Cultural and literary knowledge useful
Knowledge Demands: Cultural/Literary Knowledge (chiefly literary texts)
•
•
Low intertextuality (few if any references to/citations of other texts)  High intertextuality (many references to/citations of
other texts)
Everyday knowledge and familiarity with genre conventions required  Extensive, perhaps specialized discipline-specific
content knowledge required
Knowledge Demands: Content/Discipline Knowledge (chiefly informational texts)
•
Adapted from ACT, Inc. (2006). Reading between the lines: What the ACT reveals about college readiness in reading. Iowa City, IA: Author; Carnegie
Council on Advancing Adolescent Literacy. (2010). Time to act: An agenda for advancing adolescent literacy for college and career success.
New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York; Chall, J. S., Bissex, G. L., Conrad, S. S., & Harris-Sharples, S. (1996). Qualitative assessment of text
difficulty: A practical guide for teachers and writers. Cambridge, UK: Brookline Books; Hess, K., & Biggam, S. (2004). A discussion of “increasing
text complexity.” Published by the New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont departments of education as part of the New England Common
Assessment Program (NECAP). Retrieved from www.nciea.org/publications/TextComplexity_KH05.pdf
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COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS appendix a |
6
Quantitative Measures of Text Complexity
A number of quantitative tools exist to help educators assess aspects of text complexity that are better measured
by algorithm than by a human reader. The discussion is not exhaustive, nor is it intended as an endorsement of one
method or program over another. Indeed, because of the limits of each of the tools, new or improved ones are needed
quickly if text complexity is to be used effectively in the classroom and curriculum.
Numerous formulas exist for measuring the readability of various types of texts. Such formulas, including the widely
used Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test, typically use word length and sentence length as proxies for semantic and
syntactic complexity, respectively (roughly, the complexity of the meaning and sentence structure). The assumption behind these formulas is that longer words and longer sentences are more difficult to read than shorter ones; a
text with many long words and/or sentences is thus rated by these formulas as harder to read than a text with many
short words and/or sentences would be. Some formulas, such as the Dale-Chall Readability Formula, substitute word
frequency for word length as a factor, the assumption here being that less familiar words are harder to comprehend
than familiar words. The higher the proportion of less familiar words in a text, the theory goes, the harder that text is
to read. While these readability formulas are easy to use and readily available—some are even built into various word
processing applications—their chief weakness is that longer words, less familiar words, and longer sentences are not
inherently hard to read. In fact, series of short, choppy sentences can pose problems for readers precisely because
these sentences lack the cohesive devices, such as transition words and phrases, that help establish logical links
among ideas and thereby reduce the inference load on readers.
Like Dale-Chall, the Lexile Framework for Reading, developed by MetaMetrics, Inc., uses word frequency and sentence
length to produce a single measure, called a Lexile, of a text’s complexity. The most important difference between the
Lexile system and traditional readability formulas is that traditional formulas only assign a score to texts, whereas the
Lexile Framework can place both readers and texts on the same scale. Certain reading assessments yield Lexile scores
based on student performance on the instrument; some reading programs then use these scores to assign texts to
students. Because it too relies on word familiarity and sentence length as proxies for semantic and syntactic complexity, the Lexile Framework, like traditional formulas, may underestimate the difficulty of texts that use simple, familiar
language to convey sophisticated ideas, as is true of much high-quality fiction written for adults and appropriate for
older students. For this reason and others, it is possible that factors other than word familiarity and sentence length
contribute to text difficulty. In response to such concerns, MetaMetrics has indicated that it will release the qualitative ratings it assigns to some of the texts it rates and will actively seek to determine whether one or more additional
factors can and should be added to its quantitative measure. Other readability formulas also exist, such as the ATOS
formula associated with the Accelerated Reader program developed by Renaissance Learning. ATOS uses word difficulty (estimated grade level), word length, sentence length, and text length (measured in words) as its factors. Like
the Lexile Framework, ATOS puts students and texts on the same scale.
A nonprofit service operated at the University of Memphis, Coh-Metrix attempts to account for factors in addition to
those measured by readability formulas. The Coh-Metrix system focuses on the cohesiveness of a text—basically, how
tightly the text holds together. A high-cohesion text does a good deal of the work for the reader by signaling relationships among words, sentences, and ideas using repetition, concrete language, and the like; a low-cohesion text, by
contrast, requires the reader him- or herself to make many of the connections needed to comprehend the text. Highcohesion texts are not necessarily “better” than low-cohesion texts, but they are easier to read.
The standard Coh-Metrix report includes information on more than sixty indices related to text cohesion, so it can be
daunting to the layperson or even to a professional educator unfamiliar with the indices. Coh-Metrix staff have worked
to isolate the most revealing, informative factors from among the many they consider, but these “key factors” are not
yet widely available to the public, nor have the results they yield been calibrated to the Standards’ text complexity
grade bands. The greatest value of these factors may well be the promise they offer of more advanced and usable
tools yet to come.
Reader and Task Considerations
The use of qualitative and quantitative measures to assess text complexity is balanced in the Standards’ model by the
expectation that educators will employ professional judgment to match texts to particular students and tasks. Numerous considerations go into such matching. For example, harder texts may be appropriate for highly knowledgeable or
skilled readers, and easier texts may be suitable as an expedient for building struggling readers’ knowledge or reading
skill up to the level required by the Standards. Highly motivated readers are often willing to put in the extra effort required to read harder texts that tell a story or contain information in which they are deeply interested. Complex tasks
may require the kind of information contained only in similarly complex texts.
Numerous factors associated with the individual reader are relevant when determining whether a given text is appropriate for him or her. The RAND Reading Study Group identified many such factors in the 2002 report Reading for
Understanding:
The reader brings to the act of reading his or her cognitive capabilities (attention, memory, critical analytic
ability, inferencing, visualization); motivation (a purpose for reading, interest in the content, self-efficacy as
a reader); knowledge (vocabulary and topic knowledge, linguistic and discourse knowledge, knowledge of
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appendix a |
7
comprehension strategies); and experiences.
As part of describing the activity of reading, the RAND group also named important task-related variables, including the reader’s purpose (which might shift over the course of reading), “the type of reading being done, such as
skimming (getting the gist of the text) or studying (reading the text with the intent of retaining the information for a
period of time),” and the intended outcome, which could include “an increase in knowledge, a solution to some realworld problem, and/or engagement with the text.”4
Key considerations in Implementing text complexity
Texts and Measurement Tools
The tools for measuring text complexity are at once useful and imperfect. Each of the qualitative and quantitative
tools described above has its limitations, and none is completely accurate. The development of new and improved
text complexity tools should follow the release of the Standards as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the Standards recommend that multiple quantitative measures be used whenever possible and that their results be confirmed
or overruled by a qualitative analysis of the text in question.
Certain measures are less valid or inappropriate for certain kinds of texts. Current quantitative measures are suitable
for prose and dramatic texts. Until such time as quantitative tools for capturing poetry’s difficulty are developed, determining whether a poem is appropriately complex for a given grade or grade band will necessarily be a matter of a
qualitative assessment meshed with reader-task considerations. Furthermore, texts for kindergarten and grade 1 may
not be appropriate for quantitative analysis, as they often contain difficult-to-assess features designed to aid early
readers in acquiring written language. The Standards’ poetry and K–1 text exemplars were placed into grade bands by
expert teachers drawing on classroom experience.
Many current quantitative measures underestimate the challenge posed by complex narrative fiction. Quantitative
measures of text complexity, particularly those that rely exclusively or in large part on word- and sentence-level factors, tend to assign sophisticated works of literature excessively low scores. For example, as illustrated in example 2
below, some widely used quantitative measures, including the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test and the Lexile Framework for Reading, rate the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Grapes of Wrath as appropriate for grades 2–3. This counterintuitive result emerges because works such as Grapes often express complex ideas in relatively commonplace
language (familiar words and simple syntax), especially in the form of dialogue that mimics everyday speech. Until
widely available quantitative tools can better account for factors recognized as making such texts challenging, including multiple levels of meaning and mature themes, preference should likely be given to qualitative measures of text
complexity when evaluating narrative fiction intended for students in grade 6 and above.
Measures of text complexity must be aligned with college and career readiness expectations for all students. Qualitative scales of text complexity should be anchored at one end by descriptions of texts representative of those required in typical first-year credit-bearing college courses and in workforce training programs. Similarly, quantitative
measures should identify the college- and career-ready reading level as one endpoint of the scale. MetaMetrics, for
example, has realigned its Lexile ranges to match the Standards’ text complexity grade bands and has adjusted upward its trajectory of reading comprehension development through the grades to indicate that all students should be
reading at the college and career readiness level by no later than the end of high school.
6–8
4–5
2–3
K–1
Text Complexity Grade
Band in the Standards
960–1115
860–1010
645–845
450–725
N/A
Old Lexile Ranges
1215–1355
1080–1305
955–1155
770–980
450–790
N/A
Lexile Ranges Aligned
to
CCR expectations
Figure 3: Text Complexity Grade Bands and Associated Lexile Ranges (in Lexiles)
9–10
1070–1220
11–CCR
RAND Reading Study Group. (2002). Reading for understanding: Toward an R&D program in reading comprehension. Santa
Monica, CA: RAND. The quoted text appears in pages xiii–xvi.
4
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appendix a |
8
Readers and Tasks
Students’ ability to read complex text does not always develop in a linear fashion. Although the progression of Reading standard 10 (see below) defines required grade-by-grade growth in students’ ability to read complex text, the
development of this ability in individual students is unlikely to occur at an unbroken pace. Students need opportunities to stretch their reading abilities but also to experience the satisfaction and pleasure of easy, fluent reading within
them, both of which the Standards allow for. As noted above, such factors as students’ motivation, knowledge, and
experiences must also come into play in text selection. Students deeply interested in a given topic, for example, may
engage with texts on that subject across a range of complexity. Particular tasks may also require students to read
harder texts than they would normally be required to. Conversely, teachers who have had success using particular
texts that are easier than those required for a given grade band should feel free to continue to use them so long as
the general movement during a given school year is toward texts of higher levels of complexity.
Students reading well above and well below grade-band level need additional support. Students for whom texts within
their text complexity grade band (or even from the next higher band) present insufficient challenge must be given the
attention and resources necessary to develop their reading ability at an appropriately advanced pace. On the other
hand, students who struggle greatly to read texts within (or even below) their text complexity grade band must be
given the support needed to enable them to read at a grade-appropriate level of complexity.
Even many students on course for college and career readiness are likely to need scaffolding as they master higher
levels of text complexity. As they enter each new grade band, many students are likely to need at least some extra
help as they work to comprehend texts at the high end of the range of difficulty appropriate to the band. For example, many students just entering grade 2 will need some support as they read texts that are advanced for the
grades 2–3 text complexity band. Although such support is educationally necessary and desirable, instruction must
move generally toward decreasing scaffolding and increasing independence, with the goal of students reading independently and proficiently within a given grade band by the end of the band’s final year (continuing the previous
example, the end of grade 3).
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the standards’ Grade-specific text complexity Demands
As illustrated in figure 4, text complexity in the Standards is defined in grade bands: grades 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, 9–10, and
11–CCR.5 Students in the first year(s) of a given band are expected by the end of the year to read and comprehend
proficiently within the band, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. Students in the last year of a
band are expected by the end of the year to read and comprehend independently and proficiently within the band.
Figure 4: The Progression of Reading Standard 10
5
4
3
2
1
K
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as
needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts] at the high end of the
grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts] in the grades 4–5 text
complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts] at the high end of the
grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts] in the grades 2–3 text
complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
With prompting and support, read prose and poetry [informational texts] of appropriate complexity
for grade 1.
Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
Reading Standard 10 (individual text types omitted)
6
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as
needed at the high end of the range.
Grade(s)
7
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently
and proficiently.
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] in the grades 11–CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding
as needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently
and proficiently.
By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as
needed at the high end of the range.
8
9–10
11–12
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature [informational texts, history/social studies
texts, science/technical texts] at the high end of the grades 11–CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
5
As noted above in “Key Considerations in Implementing Text Complexity,” K–1 texts are not amenable to quantitative measure. Furthermore, students in those grades are acquiring the code at varied rates. Hence, the Standards’ text complexity
requirements begin formally with grade 2.
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10
Writing
Definitions of the standards’ three text types
Argument
Arguments are used for many purposes—to change the reader’s point of view, to bring about some action on the
reader’s part, or to ask the reader to accept the writer’s explanation or evaluation of a concept, issue, or problem.
An argument is a reasoned, logical way of demonstrating that the writer’s position, belief, or conclusion is valid. In
English language arts, students make claims about the worth or meaning of a literary work or works. They defend
their interpretations or judgments with evidence from the text(s) they are writing about. In history/social studies,
students analyze evidence from multiple primary and secondary sources to advance a claim that is best supported by
the evidence, and they argue for a historically or empirically situated interpretation. In science, students make claims
in the form of statements or conclusions that answer questions or address problems. Using data in a scientifically acceptable form, students marshal evidence and draw on their understanding of scientific concepts to argue in support
of their claims. Although young children are not able to produce fully developed logical arguments, they develop a
variety of methods to extend and elaborate their work by providing examples, offering reasons for their assertions,
and explaining cause and effect. These kinds of expository structures are steps on the road to argument. In grades
K–5, the term “opinion” is used to refer to this developing form of argument.
Informational/Explanatory Writing
Informational/explanatory writing conveys information accurately. This kind of writing serves one or more closely
related purposes: to increase readers’ knowledge of a subject, to help readers better understand a procedure or process, or to provide readers with an enhanced comprehension of a concept. Informational/explanatory writing addresses matters such as types (What are the different types of poetry?) and components (What are the parts of a motor?);
size, function, or behavior (How big is the United States? What is an X-ray used for? How do penguins find food?);
how things work (How does the legislative branch of government function?); and why things happen (Why do some
authors blend genres?). To produce this kind of writing, students draw from what they already know and from primary
and secondary sources. With practice, students become better able to develop a controlling idea and a coherent focus on a topic and more skilled at selecting and incorporating relevant examples, facts, and details into their writing.
They are also able to use a variety of techniques to convey information, such as naming, defining, describing, or differentiating different types or parts; comparing or contrasting ideas or concepts; and citing an anecdote or a scenario
to illustrate a point. Informational/explanatory writing includes a wide array of genres, including academic genres
such as literary analyses, scientific and historical reports, summaries, and précis writing as well as forms of workplace
and functional writing such as instructions, manuals, memos, reports, applications, and résumés. As students advance
through the grades, they expand their repertoire of informational/explanatory genres and use them effectively in a
variety of disciplines and domains.
Although information is provided in both arguments and explanations, the two types of writing have different aims.
Arguments seek to make people believe that something is true or to persuade people to change their beliefs or behavior. Explanations, on the other hand, start with the assumption of truthfulness and answer questions about why or
how. Their aim is to make the reader understand rather than to persuade him or her to accept a certain point of view.
In short, arguments are used for persuasion and explanations for clarification.
The narrative category does not include all of the possible forms of creative writing, such as many types of
poetry. The Standards leave the inclusion and evaluation
of other such forms to teacher discretion.
Creative Writing beyond Narrative
Like arguments, explanations provide information about causes, contexts, and consequences of processes, phenomena, states of affairs, objects, terminology, and so on. However, in an argument, the writer not only gives information
but also presents a case with the “pros” (supporting ideas) and “cons” (opposing ideas) on a debatable issue. Because an argument deals with whether the main claim is true, it demands empirical descriptive evidence, statistics, or
definitions for support. When writing an argument, the writer supports his or her claim(s) with sound reasoning and
relevant and sufficient evidence.
Narrative Writing
Narrative writing conveys experience, either real or
imaginary, and uses time as its deep structure. It
can be used for many purposes, such as to inform,
instruct, persuade, or entertain. In English language
arts, students produce narratives that take the form
of creative fictional stories, memoirs, anecdotes, and
autobiographies. Over time, they learn to provide
visual details of scenes, objects, or people; to depict
specific actions (for example, movements, gestures,
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23
postures, and expressions); to use dialogue and interior monologue that provide insight into the narrator’s and characters’ personalities and motives; and to manipulate pace to highlight the significance of events and create tension
and suspense. In history/social studies, students write narrative accounts about individuals. They also construct event
models of what happened, selecting from their sources only the most relevant information. In science, students write
narrative descriptions of the step-by-step procedures they follow in their investigations so that others can replicate
their procedures and (perhaps) reach the same results. With practice, students expand their repertoire and control of
different narrative strategies.
Texts that Blend Types
Skilled writers many times use a blend of these three text types to accomplish their purposes. For example, The Longitude
Prize, included above and in Appendix B, embeds narrative elements within a largely expository structure. Effective student writing can also cross the boundaries of type, as does the grade 12 student sample “Fact vs. Fiction and All the Grey
Space In Between” found in Appendix C.
the special Place of argument in the standards
While all three text types are important, the Standards put
particular emphasis on students’ ability to write sound argu“Argument” and “Persuasion”
ments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is critical
When writing to persuade, writers employ a
to college and career readiness. English and education professor
variety of persuasive strategies. One common
Gerald Graff (2003) writes that “argument literacy” is fundamenstrategy is an appeal to the credibility, chartal to being educated. The university is largely an “argument culacter, or authority of the writer (or speaker).
ture,” Graff contends; therefore, K–12 schools should “teach the
When writers establish that they are knowlconflicts” so that students are adept at understanding and enedgeable and trustworthy, audiences are
gaging in argument (both oral and written) when they enter colmore likely to believe what they say. Another
lege. He claims that because argument is not standard in most
is an appeal to the audience’s self-interest,
school curricula, only 20 percent of those who enter college are
sense of identity, or emotions, any of which
prepared in this respect. Theorist and critic Neil Postman (1997)
can sway an audience. A logical argument, on
calls argument the soul of an education because argument
the other hand, convinces the audience beforces a writer to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of mulcause of the perceived merit and reasonabletiple perspectives. When teachers ask students to consider two
ness of the claims and proofs offered rather
or more perspectives on a topic or issue, something far beyond
than either the emotions the writing evokes in
surface knowledge is required: students must think critically and
the audience or the character or credentials
deeply, assess the validity of their own thinking, and anticipate
of the writer. The Standards place special
counterclaims in opposition to their own assertions.
emphasis on writing logical arguments as a
particularly important form of college- and
The unique importance of argument in college and careers is ascareer-ready writing.
serted eloquently by Joseph M. Williams and Lawrence McEnerney (n.d.) of the University of Chicago Writing Program. As part
of their attempt to explain to new college students the major
differences between good high school and college writing, Williams and McEnerney define argument not as “wrangling” but as “a serious and focused conversation among people
who are intensely interested in getting to the bottom of things cooperatively”:
Those values are also an integral part of your education in college. For four years, you are asked to
read, do research, gather data, analyze it, think about it, and then communicate it to readers in a
form . . . which enables them to assess it and use it. You are asked to do this not because we expect
you all to become professional scholars, but because in just about any profession you pursue, you
will do research, think about what you find, make decisions about complex matters, and then explain those decisions—usually in writing—to others who have a stake in your decisions being sound
ones. In an Age of Information, what most professionals do is research, think, and make arguments.
(And part of the value of doing your own thinking and writing is that it makes you much better at
evaluating the thinking and writing of others.) (ch. 1)
In the process of describing the special value of argument in college- and career-ready writing, Williams and McEnerney also establish argument’s close links to research in particular and to knowledge building in general, both of which
are also heavily emphasized in the Standards.
Much evidence supports the value of argument generally and its particular importance to college and career readiness. A 2009 ACT national curriculum survey of postsecondary instructors of composition, freshman English, and survey of American literature courses (ACT, Inc., 2009) found that “write to argue or persuade readers” was virtually tied
with “write to convey information” as the most important type of writing needed by incoming college students. Other
curriculum surveys, including those conducted by the College Board (Milewski, Johnson, Glazer, & Kubota, 2005) and
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the states of Virginia and Florida6, also found strong support for writing arguments as a key part of instruction. The
2007 writing framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (National Assessment Governing Board, 2006) assigns persuasive writing the single largest targeted allotment of assessment time at grade 12
(40 percent, versus 25 percent for narrative writing and 35 percent for informative writing). (The 2011 prepublication
framework [National Assessment Governing Board, 2007] maintains the 40 percent figure for persuasive writing at
grade 12, allotting 40 percent to writing to explain and 20 percent to writing to convey experience.) Writing arguments or writing to persuade is also an important element in standards frameworks for numerous high-performing
nations.7
Specific skills central to writing arguments are also highly valued by postsecondary educators. A 2002 survey of
instructors of freshman composition and other introductory courses across the curriculum at California’s community
colleges, California State University campuses, and University of California campuses (Intersegmental Committee of
the Academic Senates of the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of
California, 2002) found that among the most important skills expected of incoming students were articulating a clear
thesis; identifying, evaluating, and using evidence to support or challenge the thesis; and considering and incorporating counterarguments into their writing. On the 2009 ACT national curriculum survey (ACT, Inc., 2009), postsecondary faculty gave high ratings to such argument-related skills as “develop ideas by using some specific reasons, details,
and examples,” “take and maintain a position on an issue,” and “support claims with multiple and appropriate sources
of evidence.”
The value of effective argument extends well beyond the classroom or workplace, however. As Richard Fulkerson
(1996) puts it in Teaching the Argument in Writing, the proper context for thinking about argument is one “in which
the goal is not victory but a good decision, one in which all arguers are at risk of needing to alter their views, one in
which a participant takes seriously and fairly the views different from his or her own” (pp. 16–17). Such capacities are
broadly important for the literate, educated person living in the diverse, information-rich environment of the twentyfirst century.
Unpublished data collected by Achieve, Inc.
See, for example, frameworks from Finland, Hong Kong, and Singapore as well as Victoria and New South Wales in Australia.
6
7
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speaking and Listening
the special role of speaking and Listening in K–5 Literacy
If literacy levels are to improve, the aims of the English language arts classroom, especially in the earliest grades, must
include oral language in a purposeful, systematic way, in part because it helps students master the printed word. Besides having intrinsic value as modes of communication, listening and speaking are necessary prerequisites of reading
and writing (Fromkin, Rodman, & Hyams, 2006; Hulit, Howard, & Fahey, 2010; Pence & Justice, 2007; Stuart, Wright,
Grigor, & Howey, 2002). The interrelationship between oral and written language is illustrated in the table below, using
the distinction linguists make between receptive language (language that is heard, processed, and understood by an
individual) and expressive language (language that is generated and produced by an individual).
Oral
Language
Reading
(decoding + comprehension)
Listening
Receptive Language
Writing
(handwriting, spelling,
written composition)
Speaking
Expressive Language
Figure 14: Receptive and Expressive Oral and Written Language
Written
Language
Oral language development precedes and is the foundation for written language development; in other words, oral
language is primary and written language builds on it. Children’s oral language competence is strongly predictive of
their facility in learning to read and write: listening and speaking vocabulary and even mastery of syntax set boundaries as to what children can read and understand no matter how well they can decode (Catts, Adolf, & Weismer, 2006;
Hart & Risley, 1995; Hoover & Gough, 1990: Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).
For children in preschool and the early grades, receptive and expressive abilities do not develop simultaneously or at
the same pace: receptive language generally precedes expressive language. Children need to be able to understand
words before they can produce and use them.
Oral language is particularly important for the youngest students. Hart and Risley (1995), who studied young children
in the context of their early family life and then at school, found that the total number of words children had heard
as preschoolers predicted how many words they understood and how fast they could learn new words in kindergarten. Preschoolers who had heard more words had larger vocabularies once in kindergarten. Furthermore, when the
students were in grade 3, their early language competence from the preschool years still accurately predicted their
language and reading comprehension. The preschoolers who had heard more words, and subsequently had learned
more words orally, were better readers. In short, early language advantage persists and manifests itself in higher levels of literacy. A meta-analysis by Sticht and James (1984) indicates that the importance of oral language extends well
beyond the earliest grades. As illustrated in the graphic below, Sticht and James found evidence strongly suggesting
that children’s listening comprehension outpaces reading comprehension until the middle school years (grades 6–8).
Figure 15: Listening and Reading Comprehension, by Age
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The research strongly suggests that the English language arts classroom should explicitly address the link between
oral and written language, exploiting the influence of oral language on a child’s later ability to read by allocating instructional time to building children’s listening skills, as called for in the Standards. The early grades should not focus
on decoding alone, nor should the later grades pay attention only to building reading comprehension. Time should be
devoted to reading fiction and content-rich selections aloud to young children, just as it is to providing those same
children with the skills they will need to decode and encode.
This focus on oral language is of greatest importance for the children most at risk—children for whom English is a
second language and children who have not been exposed at home to the kind of language found in written texts
(Dickinson & Smith, 1994). Ensuring that all children in the United States have access to an excellent education requires that issues of oral language come to the fore in elementary classrooms.
read-alouds and the reading-speaking-Listening Link
Generally, teachers will encourage children in the upper elementary grades to read texts independently and reflect
on them in writing. However, children in the early grades—particularly kindergarten through grade 3—benefit from
participating in rich, structured conversations with an adult in response to written texts that are read aloud, orally
comparing and contrasting as well as analyzing and synthesizing (Bus, Van Ijzendoorn, & Pellegrini, 1995; Feitelstein,
Goldstein, Iraqui, & Share, 1993; Feitelstein, Kita, & Goldstein, 1986; Whitehurst et al., 1988). The Standards acknowledge the importance of this aural dimension of early learning by including a robust set of K–3 Speaking and Listening
standards and by offering in Appendix B an extensive number of read-aloud text exemplars appropriate for K–1 and
for grades 2–3.
Because, as indicated above, children’s listening comprehension likely outpaces reading comprehension until the
middle school years, it is particularly important that students in the earliest grades build knowledge through being
read to as well as through reading, with the balance gradually shifting to reading independently. By reading a story
or nonfiction selection aloud, teachers allow children to experience written language without the burden of decoding, granting them access to content that they may not be able to read and understand by themselves. Children are
then free to focus their mental energy on the words and ideas presented in the text, and they will eventually be better
prepared to tackle rich written content on their own. Whereas most titles selected for kindergarten and grade 1 will
need to be read aloud exclusively, some titles selected for grades 2–5 may be appropriate for read-alouds as well as
for reading independently. Reading aloud to students in the upper grades should not, however, be used as a substitute
for independent reading by students; read-alouds at this level should supplement and enrich what students are able to
read by themselves.
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appendix a |
27
Language
overview
The Standards take a hybrid approach to matters of conventions, knowledge of language, and vocabulary. As noted
in the table below, certain elements important to reading, writing, and speaking and listening are included in those
strands to help provide a coherent set of expectations for those modes of communication.
Figure 16: Elements of the Language Standards
in the Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening Strands
Reading
W.ccr.5. Develop and strengthen writing as
needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or
trying a new approach.
r.ccr.4. Interpret words and phrases as they are
used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how
specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Standard
Writing
sL.ccr.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts
and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Strand
Speaking
and Listening
In many respects, however, conventions, knowledge of language, and vocabulary extend across reading, writing,
speaking, and listening. Many of the conventions-related standards are as appropriate to formal spoken English as
they are to formal written English. Language choice is a matter of craft for both writers and speakers. New words and
phrases are acquired not only through reading and being read to but also through direct vocabulary instruction and
(particularly in the earliest grades) through purposeful classroom discussions around rich content.
The inclusion of Language standards in their own strand should not be taken as an indication that skills related to
conventions, knowledge of language, and vocabulary are unimportant to reading, writing, speaking, and listening;
indeed, they are inseparable from such contexts.
conventions and Knowledge of Language
Teaching and Learning the Conventions of Standard English
Development of Grammatical Knowledge
Grammar and usage development in children and in adults rarely follows a linear path. Native speakers and language
learners often begin making new errors and seem to lose their mastery of particular grammatical structures or print
conventions as they learn new, more complex grammatical structures or new usages of English, such as in collegelevel persuasive essays (Bardovi-Harlig, 2000; Bartholomae, 1980; DeVilliers & DeVilliers, 1973; Shaughnessy, 1979).
These errors are often signs of language development as learners synthesize new grammatical and usage knowledge
with their current knowledge. Thus, students will often need to return to the same grammar topic in greater complexity as they move through K–12 schooling and as they increase the range and complexity of the texts and communicative contexts in which they read and write. The Standards account for the recursive, ongoing nature of grammatical
knowledge in two ways. First, the Standards return to certain important language topics in higher grades at greater
levels of sophistication. For instance, instruction on verbs in early elementary school (K–3) should address simple
present, past, and future tenses; later instruction should extend students’ knowledge of verbs to other tenses (progressive and perfect tenses8 in grades 4 and 5), mood (modal auxiliaries in grade 4 and grammatical mood in grade
8) and voice (active and passive voice in grade 8). Second, the Standards identify with an asterisk (*) certain skills and
understandings that students are to be introduced to in basic ways at lower grades but that are likely in need of being
Though progressive and perfect are more correctly aspects of verbs rather than tenses, the Standards use the more familiar
notion here and throughout for the sake of accessibility.
8
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retaught and relearned in subsequent grades as students’ writing and speaking matures and grows more complex.
(See “Progressive Language Skills in the Standards,” below.)
Making Appropriate Grammar and Usage Choices in Writing and Speaking
Students must have a strong command of the grammar and usage of spoken and written standard English to succeed
academically and professionally. Yet there is great variety in the language and grammar features of spoken and written standard English (Biber, 1991; Krauthamer, 1999), of academic and everyday standard English, and of the language
of different disciplines (Schleppegrell, 2001). Furthermore, in the twenty-first century, students must be able to communicate effectively in a wide range of print and digital texts, each of which may require different grammatical and
usage choices to be effective. Thus, grammar and usage instruction should acknowledge the many varieties of English
that exist and address differences in grammatical structure and usage between these varieties in order to help students make purposeful language choices in their writing and speaking (Fogel & Ehri, 2000; Wheeler & Swords, 2004).
Students must also be taught the purposes for using particular grammatical features in particular disciplines or texts;
if they are taught simply to vary their grammar and language to keep their writing “interesting,” they may actually
become more confused about how to make effective language choices (Lefstein, 2009). The Standards encourage
this sort of instruction in a number of ways, most directly through a series of grade-specific standards associated with
Language CCR standard 3 that, beginning in grade 1, focuses on making students aware of language variety.
Using Knowledge of Grammar and Usage for Reading and Listening Comprehension
Grammatical knowledge can also aid reading comprehension and interpretation (Gargani, 2006; Williams, 2000,
2005). Researchers recommend that students be taught to use knowledge of grammar and usage, as well as knowledge of vocabulary, to comprehend complex academic texts (García & Beltrán, 2003; Short & Fitzsimmons, 2007;
RAND Reading Study Group, 2002). At the elementary level, for example, students can use knowledge of verbs to
help them understand the plot and characters in a text (Williams, 2005). At the secondary level, learning the grammatical structures of nonstandard dialects can help students understand how accomplished writers such as Harper
Lee, Langston Hughes, and Mark Twain use various dialects of English to great advantage and effect, and can help
students analyze setting, character, and author’s craft in great works of literature. Teaching about the grammatical
patterns found in specific disciplines has also been shown to help English language learners’ reading comprehension
in general and reading comprehension in history classrooms in particular (Achugar, Schleppegrell, & Oteíza, 2007;
Gargani, 2006).
As students learn more about the patterns of English grammar in different communicative contexts throughout their
K–12 academic careers, they can develop more complex understandings of English grammar and usage. Students can
use this understanding to make more purposeful and effective choices in their writing and speaking and more accurate and rich interpretations in their reading and listening.
Progressive Language Skills in the Standards
While all of the Standards are cumulative, certain Language skills and understandings are more likely than others to
need to be retaught and relearned as students advance through the grades. Beginning in grade 3, the Standards note
such “progressive” skills and understandings with an asterisk (*) in the main document; they are also summarized in
the table on pages 29 and 55 of that document as well as on page 34 of this appendix. These skills and understandings should be mastered at a basic level no later than the end of the grade in which they are introduced in the Standards. In subsequent grades, as their writing and speaking become more sophisticated, students will need to learn to
apply these skills and understandings in more advanced ways.
The following example shows how one such task—ensuring subject-verb agreement, formally introduced in the Standards in grade 3—can become more challenging as students’ writing matures. The sentences in the table below are
taken verbatim from the annotated writing samples found in Appendix C. The example is illustrative only of a general
development of sophistication and not meant to be exhaustive, to set firm grade-specific expectations, or to establish
a precise hierarchy of increasing difficulty in subject-verb agreement.
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Indefinite pronoun as subject, with
increasing distance between subject and
verb
Intervening phrase between each subject
and verb suggesting a different number
for the verb than the subject calls for
Intervening phrase between subject and
verb
Compound subject joined by or; each
subject takes a singular verb1
Compound subject joined by and
Subject and verb next to each other
Condition
Figure 17: Example of Subject-Verb Agreement Progression across Grades
Example
Horses are so beautiful and fun to ride.
[Horses, grade 3]
When I started out the door, I noticed that Tigger and Max were following me to school.
[Glowing Shoes, grade 4]
A mother or female horse is called a mare.
[Horses, grade 3]
The first thing to do is research, research, research!
[Zoo Field Trip, grade 4]
If the watershed for the pools is changed, the condition of the pools
changes.
[A Geographical Report, grade 7]
Another was the way to the other evil places.
[Getting Shot and Living Through It, grade 5]
All his stories are the same type.
[Author Response: Roald Dahl, grade 5]
All the characters that Roald Dahl ever made were probably fake characters.
[Author Response: Roald Dahl, grade 5]
One of the reasons why my cat Gus is the best pet is because he is a
cuddle bug.
[A Pet Story About My Cat . . . Gus, grade 6]
1
In this particular example, or female horse should have been punctuated by the student as a nonrestrictive appositive, but the
sentence as is illustrates the notion of a compound subject joined by or.
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Figure 18: Language Progressive Skills, by Grade
3
4
5
6
7
Grade(s)
8
9–10
11–12
The following standards, marked with an asterisk (*) in the main Standards document, are particularly likely to require
continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking.
Standard
L.3.1f. Ensure subject-verb and pronounantecedent agreement.
L.3.3a. Choose words and phrases for effect.
L.4.1f. Produce complete sentences, recognizing
and correcting inappropriate fragments and runons.
L.4.1g. Correctly use frequently confused words
(e.g., to/too/two; there/their).
L.4.3a. Choose words and phrases to convey
ideas precisely.*
L.4.3b. Choose punctuation for effect.
L.5.1d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts
in verb tense.
L.5.2a. Use punctuation to separate items in a
series.†
L.6.1c. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts
in pronoun number and person.
L.6.1d. Recognize and correct vague pronouns
(i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous
antecedents).
L.6.1e. Recognize variations from standard English
in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and
identify and use strategies to improve expression
in conventional language.
L.6.2a. Use punctuation (commas, parentheses,
dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical
elements.
L.6.3a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning,
reader/listener interest, and style.‡
L.6.3b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.
L.7.1c. Place phrases and clauses within a
sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced
and dangling modifiers.
L.7.3a. Choose language that expresses ideas
precisely and concisely, recognizing and
eliminating wordiness and redundancy.
L.8.1d. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts
in verb voice and mood.
L.9–10.1a. Use parallel structure.
*
Subsumed by L.7.3a
Subsumed by L.9–10.1a
Subsumed by L.11–12.3a
†
‡
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Vocabulary
Acquiring Vocabulary
Words are not just words. They are the nexus—the interface—between communication and thought.
When we read, it is through words that we build, refine, and modify our knowledge. What makes
vocabulary valuable and important is not the words themselves so much as the understandings
they afford.
Marilyn Jager Adams (2009, p. 180)
The importance of students acquiring a rich and varied vocabulary cannot be overstated. Vocabulary has been empirically connected to reading comprehension since at least 1925 (Whipple, 1925) and had its importance to comprehension confirmed in recent years (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000). It is widely accepted among researchers that the difference in students’ vocabulary levels is a key factor in disparities in academic
achievement (Baumann & Kameenui, 1991; Becker, 1977; Stanovich, 1986) but that vocabulary instruction has been
neither frequent nor systematic in most schools (Biemiller, 2001; Durkin, 1978; Lesaux, Kieffer, Faller, & Kelley, 2010;
Scott & Nagy, 1997).
Research suggests that if students are going to grasp and retain words and comprehend text, they need incremental, repeated exposure in a variety of contexts to the words they are trying to learn. When students make multiple
connections between a new word and their own experiences, they develop a nuanced and flexible understanding of
the word they are learning. In this way, students learn not only what a word means but also how to use that word in a
variety of contexts, and they can apply appropriate senses of the word’s meaning in order to understand the word in
different contexts (Landauer & Dumais, 1997; Landauer, McNamara, Dennis, & Kintsch, 2007; Nagy, Herman, & Anderson, 1985).
Initially, children readily learn words from oral conversation because such conversations are context rich in ways that
aid in vocabulary acquisition: in discussions, a small set of words (accompanied by gesture and intonation) is used
with great frequency to talk about a narrow range of situations children are exposed to on a day-to-day basis. Yet as
children reach school age, new words are introduced less frequently in conversation, and consequently vocabulary
acquisition eventually stagnates by grade 4 or 5 unless students acquire additional words from written context (Hayes
& Ahrens, 1988).
Written language contains literally thousands of words more than are typically used in conversational language. Yet
writing lacks the interactivity and nonverbal context that make acquiring vocabulary through oral conversation relatively easy, which means that purposeful and ongoing concentration on vocabulary is needed (Hayes & Ahrens, 1988).
In fact, at most between 5 and 15 percent of new words encountered upon first reading are retained, and the weaker a
student’s vocabulary is the smaller the gain (Daneman & Green, 1986; Hayes & Ahrens, 1988; Herman, Anderson, Pearson, & Nagy, 1987; Sternberg & Powell, 1983). Yet research shows that if students are truly to understand what they
read, they must grasp upward of 95 percent of the words (Betts, 1946; Carver, 1994; Hu & Nation, 2000; Laufer, 1988).
The challenge in reaching what we might call “lexical dexterity” is that, in any given instance, it is not the entire spectrum of a word’s history, meanings, usages, and features that matters but only those aspects that are relevant at that
moment. Therefore, for a reader to grasp the meaning of a word, two things must happen: first, the reader’s internal
representation of the word must be sufficiently complete and well articulated to allow the intended meaning to be
known to him or her; second, the reader must understand the context well enough to select the intended meaning
from the realm of the word’s possible meanings (which in turn depends on understanding the surrounding words of
the text).
Key to students’ vocabulary development is building rich and flexible word knowledge. Students need plentiful opportunities to use and respond to the words they learn through playful informal talk, discussion, reading or being read
to, and responding to what is read. Students benefit from instruction about the connections and patterns in language.
Developing in students an analytical attitude toward the logic and sentence structure of their texts, alongside an
awareness of word parts, word origins, and word relationships, provides students with a sense of how language works
such that syntax, morphology, and etymology can become useful cues in building meaning as students encounter
new words and concepts (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2008). Although direct study of language is essential to student
progress, most word learning occurs indirectly and unconsciously through normal reading, writing, listening, and
speaking (Miller, 1999; Nagy, Anderson, & Herman, 1987).
As students are exposed to and interact with language throughout their school careers, they are able to acquire understandings of word meanings, build awareness of the workings of language, and apply their knowledge to comprehend and produce language.
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Three Tiers of Words
Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan (2002, 2008) have outlined a useful model for conceptualizing categories of words readers encounter in texts and for understanding the instructional and learning challenges
that words in each category present. They describe three levels, or tiers, of words in terms of the words’ commonality
(more to less frequently occurring) and applicability (broader to narrower).
While the term tier may connote a hierarchy, a ranking of words from least to most important, the reality is that all
three tiers of words are vital to comprehension and vocabulary development, although learning tier two and three
words typically requires more deliberate effort (at least for students whose first language is English) than does learning tier one words.
• tier one words are the words of everyday speech usually learned in the early grades, albeit not at the same
rate by all children. They are not considered a challenge to the average native speaker, though English language
learners of any age will have to attend carefully to them. While Tier One words are important, they are not the
focus of this discussion.
• tier two words (what the Standards refer to as general academic words) are far more likely to appear in written
texts than in speech. They appear in all sorts of texts: informational texts (words such as relative, vary, formulate,
specificity, and accumulate), technical texts (calibrate, itemize, periphery), and literary texts (misfortune,
dignified, faltered, unabashedly). Tier Two words often represent subtle or precise ways to say relatively simple
things—saunter instead of walk, for example. Because Tier Two words are found across many types of texts, they
are highly generalizable.
• tier three words (what the Standards refer to as domain-specific words) are specific to a domain or field of
study (lava, carburetor, legislature, circumference, aorta) and key to understanding a new concept within a
text. Because of their specificity and close ties to content knowledge, Tier Three words are far more common
in informational texts than in literature. Recognized as new and “hard” words for most readers (particularly
student readers), they are often explicitly defined by the author of a text, repeatedly used, and otherwise heavily
scaffolded (e.g., made a part of a glossary).
Tier Two Words and Access to Complex Texts
Because Tier Three words are obviously unfamiliar to most students, contain the ideas necessary to a new topic, and
are recognized as both important and specific to the subject area in which they are instructing students, teachers often define Tier Three words prior to students encountering them in a text and then reinforce their acquisition throughout a lesson. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case with Tier Two words, which by definition are not unique to a
particular discipline and as a result are not the clear responsibility of a particular content area teacher. What is more,
many Tier Two words are far less well defined by contextual clues in the texts in which they appear and are far less
likely to be defined explicitly within a text than are Tier Three words. Yet Tier Two words are frequently encountered
in complex written texts and are particularly powerful because of their wide applicability to many sorts of reading.
Teachers thus need to be alert to the presence of Tier Two words and determine which ones need careful attention.
Tier Three Words and Content Learning
This normal process of word acquisition occurs up to four times faster for Tier Three words when students have
become familiar with the domain of the discourse and encounter the word in different contexts (Landauer & Dumais,
1997). Hence, vocabulary development for these words occurs most effectively through a coherent course of study
in which subject matters are integrated and coordinated across the curriculum and domains become familiar to the
student over several days or weeks.
Examples of Tier Two and Tier Three Words in Context
The following annotated samples call attention to tier two and tier three words in particular texts and, by singling
them out, foreground the importance of these words to the meaning of the texts in which they appear. Both samples
appear without annotations in Appendix B.
Example 1: Volcanoes (Grades 4–5 Text Complexity Band
Excerpt
In early times, no one knew how volcanoes formed or why they spouted red-hot molten rock. In
modern times, scientists began to study volcanoes. They still don’t know all the answers, but they
know much about how a volcano works.
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Our planet made up of many layers of rock. The top layers of solid rock are called the crust. Deep
beneath the crust is the mantle, where it is so hot that some rock melts. The melted, or molten,
rock is called magma.
Volcanoes are formed when magma pushes its way up through the crack in Earth’s crust. This is
called a volcanic eruption. When magma pours forth on the surface, it is called lava.
Simon, Seymour. Volcanoes. New York: HarperCollins, 2006. (2006)
Of the Tier Two words, among the most important to the overall meaning of the excerpt is layers. An understanding
of the word layers is necessary both to visualize the structure of the crust (“the top layers of solid rock are called the
crust”) and to grasp the notion of the planet being composed of layers, of which the crust and the mantle are uppermost. Perhaps equally important are the word spouted and the phrase pours forth; an understanding of each of these
is needed to visualize the action of a volcano. The same could be said of the word surface. Both layers and surface
are likely to reappear in middle and high school academic texts in both literal and figurative contexts (“this would
seem plausible on the surface”; “this story has layers of meaning”), which would justify more intensive instruction in
them in grades 4–5.
Tier Three words often repeat; in this excerpt, all of the Tier Three words except mantle and lava appear at least twice.
Volcano(es) appears four times—five if volcanic is counted. As is also typical with Tier Three words, the text provides
the reader with generous support in determining meaning, including explicit definitions (e.g., “the melted, or molten,
rock is called magma”) and repetition and overlapping sentences (e.g., . . . called the crust. Deep beneath the crust . . .).
Example 2: Freedom Walkers (Grades 6–8 Text Complexity Band)
Excerpt
From the Introduction: “Why They Walked”
Not so long ago in Montgomery, Alabama, the color of your skin determined where you could sit on
a public bus. If you happened to be an African American, you had to sit in the back of the bus, even
if there were empty seats up front.
Back then, racial segregation was the rule throughout the American South. Strict laws—called “Jim
crow” laws—enforced a system of white supremacy that discriminated against blacks and kept
them in their place as second-class citizens.
People were separated by race from the moment they were born in segregated hospitals until the
day they were buried in segregated cemeteries. Blacks and whites did not attend the same schools,
worship in the same churches, eat in the same restaurants, sleep in the same hotels, drink from the
same water fountains, or sit together in the same movie theaters.
In Montgomery, it was against the law for a white person and a Negro to play checkers on public
property or ride together in a taxi.
Most southern blacks were denied their right to vote. The biggest obstacle was the poll tax, a
special tax that was required of all voters but was too costly for many blacks and for poor whites as
well. Voters also had to pass a literacy test to prove that they could read, write, and understand the
U.S. Constitution. These tests were often rigged to disqualify even highly educated blacks. Those
who overcame the obstacles and insisted on registering as voters faced threats, harassment and
even physical violence. As a result, African Americans in the South could not express their grievances in the voting booth, which for the most part, was closed to them. But there were other ways
to protest, and one day a half century ago, the black citizens in Montgomery rose up in protest and
united to demand their rights—by walking peacefully.
It all started on a bus.
Freedman, Russell. Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
New York: Holiday House, 2006. (2006)
The first Tier Two word encountered in the excerpt, determined, is essential to understanding the overall meaning of
the text. The power of determined here lies in the notion that skin color in Montgomery, Alabama, at that time was
the causal agent for all that follows. The centrality of determined to the topic merits the word intensive attention. Its
study is further merited by the fact that it has multiple meanings, is likely to appear in future literary and informational
texts, and is part of a family of related words (determine, determination, determined, terminate, terminal).
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Understanding the excerpt’s Tier Three words is also necessary to comprehend the text fully. As was the case in example 1, these words are often repeated and defined in context. segregation, for example, is introduced in the second
paragraph, and while determining its meaning from the sentence in which it appears might be difficult, several closely
related concepts (white supremacy, discriminated, second-class) appears in the next sentence to provide more context.
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Glossary of Key terms
Every effort has been made to ensure that the phrasing of the Standards is as clear and free of jargon as possible.
When used, specialized and discipline-specific terms (e.g., simile, stanza, declarative sentence) typically conform to
their standard definition, and readers are advised to consult high-quality dictionaries or standard resources in the
field for clarification. The terms defined below are limited to those words and phrases particularly important to the
Standards and that have a meaning unique to this document. CCSS refers to the main Common Core State Standards
document; the names of various sections (e.g., “Reading”) refer to parts of this appendix.
Definitions of many important terms associated with reading foundational skills appear in Reading Foundational Skills,
pages 17–22. Descriptions of the Standards’ three writing types (argument, informative/explanatory writing, and narrative) can be found in Writing, pages 23–24.
Domain-specific words and phrases – Vocabulary specific to a particular field of study (domain), such as the human
body (CCSS, p. 33); in the Standards, domain-specific words and phrases are analogous to Tier Three words (Language, p. 33).
editing – A part of writing and preparing presentations concerned chiefly with improving the clarity, organization,
concision, and correctness of expression relative to task, purpose, and audience; compared to revising, a smaller-scale
activity often associated with surface aspects of a text; see also revising, rewriting
emergent reader texts – Texts consisting of short sentences comprised of learned sight words and CVC words; may
also include rebuses to represent words that cannot yet be decoded or recognized; see also rebus
evidence – Facts, figures, details, quotations, or other sources of data and information that provide support for claims
or an analysis and that can be evaluated by others; should appear in a form and be derived from a source widely accepted as appropriate to a particular discipline, as in details or quotations from a text in the study of literature and
experimental results in the study of science
Focused question – A query narrowly tailored to task, purpose, and audience, as in a research query that is sufficiently precise to allow a student to achieve adequate specificity and depth within the time and format constraints
Formal english – See standard English
General academic words and phrases – Vocabulary common to written texts but not commonly a part of speech; in
the Standards, general academic words and phrases are analogous to Tier Two words and phrases (Language, p. 33)
Independent(ly) – A student performance done without scaffolding from a teacher, other adult, or peer; in the Standards, often paired with proficient(ly) to suggest a successful student performance done without scaffolding; in the
Reading standards, the act of reading a text without scaffolding, as in an assessment; see also proficient(ly), scaffolding
more sustained research project – An investigation intended to address a relatively expansive query using several
sources over an extended period of time, as in a few weeks of instructional time
Point of view – Chiefly in literary texts, the narrative point of view (as in first- or third-person narration); more broadly,
the position or perspective conveyed or represented by an author, narrator, speaker, or character
Print or digital (texts, sources) – Sometimes added for emphasis to stress that a given standard is particularly likely
to be applied to electronic as well as traditional texts; the Standards are generally assumed to apply to both
Proficient(ly) – A student performance that meets the criterion established in the Standards as measured by a
teacher or assessment; in the Standards, often paired with independent(ly) to suggest a successful student performance done without scaffolding; in the Reading standards, the act of reading a text with comprehension; see also
independent(ly), scaffolding
rebus – A mode of expressing words and phrases by using pictures of objects whose names resemble those words
revising – A part of writing and preparing presentations concerned chiefly with a reconsideration and reworking of
the content of a text relative to task, purpose, and audience; compared to editing, a larger-scale activity often associated with the overall content and structure of a text; see also editing, rewriting
rewriting – A part of writing and preparing presentations that involves largely or wholly replacing a previous, unsatisfactory effort with a new effort, better aligned to task, purpose, and audience, on the same or a similar topic or theme;
compared to revising, a larger-scale activity more akin to replacement than refinement; see also editing, revising
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scaffolding – Temporary guidance or assistance provided to a student by a teacher, another adult, or a more capable
peer, enabling the student to perform a task he or she otherwise would not be able to do alone, with the goal of fostering the student’s capacity to perform the task on his or her own later on*
short research project – An investigation intended to address a narrowly tailored query in a brief period of time, as in
a few class periods or a week of instructional time
source – A text used largely for informational purposes, as in research.
standard english – In the Standards, the most widely accepted and understood form of expression in English in the
United States; used in the Standards to refer to formal English writing and speaking; the particular focus of Language
standards 1 and 2 (CCSS, pp. 26, 28, 52, 54)
technical subjects – A course devoted to a practical study, such as engineering, technology, design, business, or other
workforce-related subject; a technical aspect of a wider field of study, such as art or music
text complexity – The inherent difficulty of reading and comprehending a text combined with consideration of reader
and task variables; in the Standards, a three-part assessment of text difficulty that pairs qualitative and quantitative
measures with reader-task considerations (CCSS, pp. 31, 57; Reading, pp. 4–16)
text complexity band – A range of text difficulty corresponding to grade spans within the Standards; specifically, the
spans from grades 2–3, grades 4–5, grades 6–8, grades 9–10, and grades 11–CCR (college and career readiness)
textual evidence – See evidence
With prompting and support/with (some) guidance and support – See scaffolding
*
Though Vygotsky himself does not use the term scaffolding, the educational meaning of the term relates closely to his concept of the zone of proximal development. See L. S. Vygotsky (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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Section 4
Wisconsin Research and
Resources
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 101
Guiding Principles
for Teaching and Learning:
Research, Probing Questions, Resources, and References
1.Every student has the right to learn.
4.Learning is a collaborative responsibility.
It is our collective responsibility as an education community to make
certain each child receives a high-quality, challenging education designed
to maximize potential; an education that reflects and stretches his or her
abilities and interests. This belief in the right of every child to learn forms
the basis of equitable teaching and learning. The five principles that follow
cannot exist without this commitment guiding our work.
Teaching and learning are both collaborative processes. Collaboration
benefits teaching and learning when it occurs on several levels: when
students, teachers, family members, and the community collectively
prioritize education and engage in activities that support local schools,
educators, and students; when educators collaborate with their
colleagues to support innovative classroom practices and set high
expectations for themselves and their students; and when students are
given opportunities to work together toward academic goals in ways
that enhance learning.
2.Instruction must be rigorous and relevant.
To understand the world in which we live, there are certain things we
all must learn. Each school subject is made up of a core of essential
knowledge that is deep, rich, and vital. Every student, regardless of age
or ability, must be taught this essential knowledge. What students learn
is fundamentally connected to how they learn, and successful instruction
blends the content of a discipline with processes of an engaging learning
environment that changes to meet the dynamic needs of all students.
5.Students bring strengths and experiences to learning.
Every student learns. Although no two students come to school with the
same culture, learning strengths, background knowledge, or experiences,
and no two students learn in exactly the same way, every student’s
unique personal history enriches classrooms, schools, and the community.
This diversity is our greatest education asset.
3.Purposeful assessment drives instruction and affects learning.
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Purposeful
assessment practices help teachers and students understand where
they have been, where they are, and where they might go next. No
one assessment can provide sufficient information to plan teaching and
learning. Using different types of assessments as part of instruction
results in useful information about student understanding and progress.
Educators should use this information to guide their own practice and in
partnership with students and their families to reflect on learning and set
future goals.
6.Responsive environments engage learners.
Meaningful learning happens in environments where creativity, awareness,
inquiry, and critical thinking are part of instruction. Responsive learning
environments adapt to the individual needs of each student and
encourage learning by promoting collaboration rather than isolation of
learners. Learning environments, whether classrooms, schools, or other
systems, should be structured to promote engaged teaching and learning.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 103
Guiding Principle 1:
Every student has the right to learn.
It is our collective responsibility as an education community to make certain
each child receives a high-quality, challenging education designed to maximize
potential, an education that reflects and stretches his or her abilities and
interests.This belief in the right of every child to learn forms the basis of
equitable teaching and learning.The five principles that follow cannot exist
without this commitment guiding our work.
Every student’s right to learn provides the overarching vision for
Wisconsin’s Guiding Principles for education. To be successful,
education must be committed to serving the learning needs of students
from various social, economic, cultural, linguistic, and developmental
backgrounds. For all students to have a guaranteed right to learn,
schooling must be equitable.
Research Summary
Focusing on Equity
The belief that each student has the right to learn despite differences
in educational needs and backgrounds has important implications
for ensuring an equitable education for all students. In the education
research literature, the term educational equality refers to the notion that
all students should have access to an education of similar quality—the
proxy for which is frequently educational inputs such as funding, facilities,
resources, and quality teaching and learning. In contrast, the term
educational equity connotes the requirement that all students receive
an education that allows them to achieve at a standard level or attain
standard educational outcomes (Brighouse & Swift, 2008). Importantly,
equality in terms of educational resources or inputs may not guarantee
equity in educational outcomes because not all students reach the same
level of achievement with the same access to resources (Brighouse &
Swift, 2008). To serve students of varying economic, social, developmental,
or linguistic backgrounds, achieving equity in education may require more
resources to meet the greater educational needs of certain students
(Berne & Stiefel, 1994).
The research literature offers several components that provide
a framework for understanding what an equitable education for
all students looks like at the classroom level. These components
include a call for all students to be provided with the following:
•Access to resources and facilities
•Instruction in all areas tailored to their needs
•Curriculum that is rigorous and relevant
•Educators who are culturally sensitive and respectful
•Interactions with staff and other students that are positive and
encouraging in an atmosphere of learning
•Assessment that is varied to give each student the opportunity to
demonstrate learning (Education Northwest, 2011)
Access
Access to resources and facilities largely refers to various legal mandates
that all children have the right to attend school and participate in all
school activities. Since the landmark ruling Brown v. Board of Education of
Topeka (1954), court decisions and federal regulations have mandated
equality of access to all educational opportunities for students regardless
of race, ethnicity, or gender
(Civil Rights Act, 1964), disability (Education for All Handicapped Children
Act, 1975), or language (Lau v. Nichols, 1974). Equity in the provision of
educational resources and funding was improved with the passage of
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA; 1965),
which provided additional resources for economically disadvantaged
students to meet their learning needs. Since Title I, research on equity
in education has grown, and with the reauthorization of ESEA in the No
Child Left Behind Act in 2001, equity in educational outcomes for all
students was emphasized in the law. Access to an equitable education is
a legal right for all children, and the quality of that access in classroom
instruction is a moral and ethical right.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 104
Instruction
Climate
Instruction that is tailored to meet all students’ needs goes beyond
simply providing equal access to education. High-quality instruction has
increasingly been defined in the literature as a key factor in student
achievement. High-quality instruction includes differentiated instructional
strategies, teaching to students’ learning styles, and provision of
instructional support for students who are educationally, socially, or
linguistically challenged. Differentiated instruction involves utilizing
unique instructional strategies for meeting individual student needs
as well as modifying curriculum for both high- and low-performing
students. Assessing and teaching to student learning styles is one form
of differentiation. Research has shown the value of adapting instructional
strategies to different student learning styles (Gardner, 1999) and
supports the practice of classroom differentiation (Mulroy & Eddinger,
2003; Tomlinson, 2005).
Interactions with staff and students that are positive and focused on
learning are part of an emotionally safe school climate, but the literature
also supports the need for a climate of high academic expectations
(Haycock, 2001). Schools with large numbers of high-poverty and racially
diverse students have shown significant academic growth when teachers
and staff members create an environment of high expectations for
achievement (Reeves, 2010). In addition, research on school climate has
asserted the need for students to feel emotionally safe and respected as
well as physically safe in school (Gronna & Chin-Chance, 1999).
A positive, respectful learning environment with high expectations and
curricular and instructional supports for all students offers an avenue to
genuine educational equity.
Probing Questions
Curriculum
Designing curriculum that is rigorous and relevant provides an
important foundation for a high-quality learning environment by helping
make standards-based content accessible to all students. A relevant,
rigorous curriculum has been found to be important for all students.
Although advanced and rigorous curriculum is generally viewed to be
an important factor of academic success for high-achieving students,
research also indicates that using challenging, interesting, and varied
curriculum for students of all achievement levels improves student
achievement (Daggett, 2005). Rigorous curriculum can be adapted for
low-performing students in a way that challenges them and helps them
meet learning standards. For example, the universal design for learning
(UDL) offers strategies for making the general curriculum accessible
to special education students (Rose, Hasselbring, Stahl, & Zabala, 2009).
Similarly, research on lesson scaffolding emphasizes strategies for
providing a rigorous content curriculum to student who are culturally
or linguistically diverse or who need additional context to understand
certain concepts (Gibbons, 2002).
•What are some of the needs and challenges your school faces in
moving toward a fully equitable education for all students?
•How could you provide leadership in your school to work to
ensure an equitable education for all students?
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 105
Resources
A variety of resources are available for teachers and leaders on
educational equity for all students. A few websites and links are
highlighted below:
The School Improvement Center developed activities to help
districts develop an equity framework. These resources can be
found at Actualizing Equity: The Equity Framework: http://www.
gapsc.com/EducatorPreparation/NoChildLeftBehind/Admin/Files/
conference_032010/Actualizing_Equity.pdf.
Education Northwest. (2011). Key components of educational equity
[Website]. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://educationnorthwest.org/
equity-program/educational
Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Pub. L. No. 94-142 (1975).
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-10)
(1965).
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st
century. New York: Basic Books.
The Education Equality Project developed a website with useful
resources for educators. It can be found at http://www.edequality.org.
Gibbons, P. (2002). Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning:Teaching second
language learners in the mainstream classroom. Westport, CT: Heinemann.
The Equity Center has a website with a variety of resources. The
resources can be found at http://educationnorthwest.org/project/
Equity%20Program/resource/.
Gronna, S. S., & Chin-Chance, S. A. (1999, April). Effects of school safety
and school characteristics on grade 8 achievement. Paper presented at the
American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
(ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 430292). Retrieved June 3,
2011, from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED430292.pdf
The Midwest Equity Assistance Center has a website with many
resources. It can be found at http://www.meac.org/Publications.html.
The Office for Civil Rights has a useful website for educators. It can be
found at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html.
Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance Program. Resources
can be found at http://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/teaching-tolerance.
References
Berne, R., & Stiefel, L. (1994). Measuring educational equity at the school
level: The finance perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,
16(4), 405–421.
Brighouse, H., & Swift, A. (2008). Putting educational equality in its place.
Education, Finance and Policy, 3(4), 444–446.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Pub. L. No. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (1964).
Daggett, W. R. (2005). Achieving academic excellence through rigor
and relevance [White paper]. Rexford, NY: International Center for
Leadership in Education. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://www.
leadered.com/pdf/Academic_Excellence.pdf
Haycock, K. (2001). Closing the achievement gap. Educational Leadership,
58(6), 6–11.
Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 565 (1974).
Mulroy, H., & Eddinger, K. (2003, March). Differentiation and literacy. Paper
presented at the Institute on Inclusive Education, Rochester, NY.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425
(2002). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/
esea02/107-110.pdf
Reeves, D. B. (2010). The 90/90/90 schools: A case study. In D. B. Reeves,
Accountability in action (2nd ed., 185–196). Denver, CO: Advanced Learning
Press.
Rose, D., Hasselbring, T., Stahl, S., & Zabala, J. (2009). Assistive technology,
NIMAS, and UDL: From some students to all students. In D. Gordon, J.
Gravel, & L. Schifter (Eds.), A policy reader in universal design for learning
(pp. 133–154). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Tomlinson, C. A. (2005). Grading and differentiation: Paradox or good
practice? Theory Into Practice, 44(3) 262–269.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 106
Guiding Principle 2:
Instruction must be rigorous and relevant.
To understand the world in which we live, there are certain things we all must
learn. Each school subject is made up of a core of essential knowledge that is
deep, rich, and vital. Every student, regardless of age or ability, must be taught
this essential knowledge.What students learn is fundamentally connected to
how they learn, and successful instruction blends the content of a discipline
with processes of an engaging learning environment that changes to meet the
dynamic needs of all students.
In August 2010, the Institutes of Education Sciences reported the results
of a randomized control trial showing that a problem-based curriculum
boosted high school students’ knowledge of economics. This research
suggests that students using this learning system and its variants score
similarly on standardized tests as students who follow more traditional
classroom practices. The research also suggests that students learning
through problem-solving and projects are more adept at applying what
they know and are more deeply engaged.
Research Summary
Instruction should connect directly to students’ lives and must deeply
engage them with the content in order for students to be better
prepared for college and careers. To succeed in postsecondary education
and in a 21st century economy, students must be afforded opportunities
to practice higher-order thinking skills, such as how to analyze an
argument, weigh evidence, recognize bias (their own and others’ bias),
distinguish fact from opinion, balance competing principles, work
collaboratively with others, and be able to communicate clearly what
they understand (Wagner, 2006). In order to accomplish these goals,
instruction must be rigorous and meaningful.
The notion of a meaningful curriculum is not a new one. John Dewey
(1990), writing in 1902, called for a curriculum that involves a critical but
balanced understanding of the culture and the prior knowledge of each
child in order to extend learning. According to Spillane (2000), presenting
content in more authentic ways—disciplinary and other real-world
contexts—has become a central theme of current reform movements.
Schools should be places where “the work students are asked to do [is]
work worth doing” (Darling-Hammond, 2006, p. 21). Research collected
by the International Center for Leadership in Education shows that
“students understand and retain knowledge best when they have applied
it in a practical, relevant setting” (Daggett, 2005, p. 2). A skilled 21st
century educator helps students master learning targets and standards
using purposefully crafted lessons and teaches with appropriate
instructional strategies incorporated. The students understand why they
are learning particular skills and content and are engaged in learning
opportunities that allow them to use their inquiry skills, creativity, and
critical thinking to solve problems.
The definition of rigor varies greatly in both research and practice.
Bower and Powers (2009) conducted a study to determine the essential
components of rigor. They defined rigor through their research as “how
the standard curriculum is delivered within the classroom to ensure
students are not only successful on standardized assessments but also
able to apply this knowledge to new situations both within the classroom
and in the real world.” They also identified higher-order thinking and
real-world application as two critical aspects of rigor, suggesting that it
is not enough for students to know how to memorize information and
perform on multiple-choice and short-answer tests. Students must have
deep and rich content knowledge, but rigor also includes the ability to
apply that knowledge in authentic ways.
Teaching and learning approaches that involve students collaborating
on projects that culminate with a product or presentation are a way to
bring rigor into the classroom. Students can take on real problems, use
what they know and research to come up with real solutions to real
problems. They must engage with their subject and with their peers.
According to Brown, Collins, and Duguid (1989), instruction connected
to individual contexts has been found to have a significant impact on
learning. Research conducted by Sanbonmatsu, Shavitt, and Sherman
(1991) and Petty and Cacioppo (1984) also contends that student
learning is directly influenced by how well it is connected to a context.
Much of this research began with the analysis of how people learn when
they find the ideas significant to their own world. It begins to show
the importance of connecting content and instruction to the world of
the students. Weaver and Cottrell (1988) point out that how content
is presented can affect how students retain it. They state instruction
that connects the content to the students’ lives and experiences helps
students to internalize meaning. Sass (1989) and Keller (1987) suggest
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 107
that if teachers can make the content familiar to the students and link it
to what they are familiar with, students’ learning will increase. Shulman
and Luechauer (1993) contend that these connections must be done
by engaging students with rigorous content in interactive learning
environments.
Higher-Order Thinking
Higher-order thinking, according to Newmann (1990), “challenges the
student to interpret, analyze, or manipulate information” (p. 45). This
definition suggests that instruction must be designed to engage students
through multiple levels in order for them to gain a better understanding
of the content. An analysis of the research by Lewis and Smith (1993)
led to their definition of higher-order thinking: “when a person takes new
information and information stored in memory and interrelates and/
or rearranges and extends this information to achieve a purpose or
find possible answers in perplexing situations” (p. 44). This definition
emphasizes the level of complexity necessary to help students reach a
deeper and higher level of understanding of the content. Shulman (1987)
points out teachers will need an in-depth knowledge of their content to
be able to fit these types of strategies to their instruction.
Real-World Application
VanOers and Wardekker (1999) indicate that connecting instruction
to real-world applications gives meaning to learning, makes it practical,
and can help to develop connections with the greater community.
Incorporating real-world examples becomes more authentic to students
because they will be able to connect the learning to the bigger picture
rather than just the classroom. Newmann and Wehlage (1993) describe
the three criteria developed by Archbald and Newmann (1988) for this
type of authentic learning: “Students construct meaning and produce
knowledge, students use disciplined inquiry to construct meaning, and
students aim their work toward production of discourse, products, and
performances that have value or meaning beyond success in school” (p. 8)
These criteria, when reflected upon by teachers, can be a useful tool to
ensure that instruction is authentic and engaging for all students.
Authentic Learning
Authentic learning builds on the concept of “learning by doing” to
increase a student’s engagement. To succeed, this method needs to
have meaning or value to the student, embody in-depth learning in the
subject and allow the student to use what he or she learned to produce
something new and innovative (Lemke & Coughlin, 2009). For example,
in project-based learning, students collaborate to create their own
projects that demonstrate their knowledge (Bell, 2010). Students start by
developing a question that will guide their work. The teacher acts as the
supervisor. The goal is greater understanding of the topic, deeper learning,
higher-level reading, and increased motivation (Bell, 2010). Research has
shown that students who engage in project-based learning outscore their
traditionally educated peers in standardized testing (Bell, 2010).
Constructivist learning is also a way to bring authenticity to the
classroom. Richard Mayer (2004) defines constructivist learning as an
“active process in which learners are active sense makers who seek to
build coherent and organized knowledge.” Students co-construct their
learning, with the teacher serving as a guide or facilitator (oftentimes
using technology as a facilitating tool). The teacher doesn’t function in a
purely didactic manner. Neo and Neo (2009) state that constructivism
helps students develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking and creative
skills and apply them in meaningful ways. Inquiry-based instruction, a type
of constructivist learning, has students identify real world problems and
then pose and find answers to their own questions. A study by Minner,
Levy and Century (2010) has shown this method can improve student
performance. They found inquiry-based instruction has a larger impact
(approximately 25-30% higher) on a student’s initial understanding and
retention of content than any other variable.
Another form of authentic learning involves video simulated learning or
gaming. Research has shown that video games can provide a rich learning
context by fostering creative thinking. The games can show players how
to manage complex problems and how their decisions can affect the
outcome (Sharritt, 2008). This form of learning also can engage students
in collaboration and interaction with peers.
Multimodal Instruction
Multimodal teaching leverages various presentation formats—such
as printed material, videos, PowerPoints, and computers—to appeal
to different learning styles (Birch, 2009; Moreno & Mayer, 2007). It
accommodates a more diverse curriculum and can provide a more
engaging and interactive learning environment (Birch, 2009). According
to research, an effective way of learning is by utilizing different modalities
within the classroom, which can help students understand difficult
concepts—therefore improving how they learn (Moreno & Mayer, 2007).
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 108
An example of multimodal learning that incorporates technology is
digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is the practice of telling stories by
using technology tools (e.g., digital cameras, authoring tools, computers)
to create multimedia stories (Sadik, 2008). Researchers have found that
using this form of learning facilitates student engagement, deep learning,
project-based learning, and effective integration of technology into
instruction (Sadik, 2008).
Probing Questions
•Research emphasizes the need for higher-order thinking embedded
in instructional practice. How might you learn to incorporate
higher-order thinking strategies into your practice?
•The research also suggests the need to connect learning
experiences to the real world of the students. How can you use
real-world examples in your practice to better engage students in
their learning?
Resources
The Rigor/Relevance Framework created by Daggett (2005) is a useful
tool to create units, lessons, and assessments that ask students to engage
with content at a higher, deeper level. The model and examples are
available on the following website: http://www.leadered.com/rrr.html.
Newmann’s Authentic Intellectual Work Framework (Newmann, Secada
& Wehlage, 1995) gives teachers the tools to analyze instructional
practices and student work in regard to indicators of rigor. The research
and tools are available at the Center for Authentic Intellectual Work
website: http://centerforaiw.com/.
References
Archbald, D., & Newmann, F. M. (1988). Beyond standardized testing:
Assessing authentic academic achievement in the secondary school. Reston,
VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals.
Bell, S. (2010). Project-based learning for the 21st century: Skills for the
future. The Clearing House, 83, 39–43.
Birch, D. (2009). PowerPoint with audio: A breeze to enhance the student
learning experience. E-Journal of Business Education & Scholarship of
Teaching, 3(1), 36–42.
Bower, H. A., & Powers, J. D. (2009, Fall). What is rigor? A qualitative
analysis of one school’s definition. Academic Leadership Live:The Online
Journal, 7(4). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://www.academicleadership.
org/article/What_is_Rigor_A_Qualitative_Analysis_of_One_School_s_
Definition
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the
culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.
Daggett, W. R. (2005). Achieving academic excellence through rigor and
relevance. Rexford, NY: International Center for Leadership in Education.
Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Securing the right to learn: Policy and
practice for powerful teaching and learning. Educational Researcher, 35(7),
13–24.
Dewey, J. (1990). School and society [and] The child and the curriculum.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Finkelstein, Neal, Thomas Hanson, Chun-Wei Huang, Becca Hirschman,
and Min Huang. (2010). Effects of problem based economics on high
school economics instruction.” Institute For Education Sciences. West Ed.
Keller, J. M. (1987). Strategies for stimulating the motivation to learn.
Performance & Instruction, 26(8), 1–7.
Lemke, C., & Coughlin, E. (2009, September). The change agents:
Technology is empowering 21st century students in four key ways.
Educational Leadership, 67(1), 54–59.
Lewis, A., & Smith, D. (1993). Defining higher order thinking. Theory Into
Practice, 32(3), 131–137.
Mayer, R.E. (2004). Should There Be a Three-Strikes Rule Against Pure
Discovery Learning? The Case for Guided Methods of Instruction. American
Psychologist, 59(1), 14-19.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 109
Minner, Daphne D., Abigail Jurist Levy, and Jeanne Century. “InquiryBased Science Instruction—What Is It and Does It Matter? Results from
a Research Synthesis Years 1984 to 2002.” JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN
SCIENCE TEACHING 47.4 (April 2010): 474-96.
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments
[Special issue on interactive learning environment-contemporary issues
and trends]. Educational Psychology Review, 19, 309–326.
Neo, M. & Neo, T.K. (2009). Engaging students in multimedia-mediated
Constructivist learning-Students’ perceptions. Educational Technology &
Society, 12(2), 254-266.
Newmann, F. M. (1990). Higher order thinking in teaching social studies:
A rationale for the assessment of classroom thoughtfulness. Journal of
Curriculum Studies, 22(2), 41–56.
Newmann, F. M., Secada, W. G., & Wehlage, G. G. (1995). A guide to
authentic instruction and assessment:Vision, standards, and scoring. Madison,
WI: Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
Newmann, F. M., & Wehlage, G. G. (1993, April). Five standards of
authentic instruction. Educational Leadership, 50(7), 8–12.
Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1984). The effects of involvement on
responses to argument quality: Central and peripheral routes to
persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(1), 69–81.
Sadik, A. (2008). Digital storytelling: A meaningful technology-integrated
approach for engaged student learning. Educational Technology Research &
Development, 56, 487–506.
Sanbonmatsu, D. M., Shavitt, S., & Sherman, S. J. (1991). The role of
personal relevance in the formation of distinctiveness-based illusory
correlations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17(2), 124–132.
Sass, E. J. (1989). Motivation in the college classroom: What students tell
us. Teaching of Psychology, 16(2), 86–88.
Sharritt, M. J. (2008). Forms of learning in collaborative video game play.
Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(2), 97–138.
Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new
reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.
Shulman, G., & Luechauer, D. (1993). The empowering educator: A CQI
approach to classroom leadership. In D. L. Hubbard (Ed.), Continuous
quality improvement: Making the transition to education (pp. 424–453).
Maryville, MO: Prescott.
Spillane, J. P. (2000). A fifth-grade teacher’s reconstruction of mathematics
and literacy teaching: Exploring interactions among identity, learning, and
subject matter. Elementary School Journal, 100(4), 307–330.
VanOers, B., & Wardekker, K. (1999). On becoming an authentic learner:
Semiotic activity in the early grades. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 31(2),
229–249.
Wagner, T. (2006, January 11). Rigor on trial [Commentary]. Education
Week, 25(18), 28–29. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://www.edweek.
org/ew/articles/2006/01/11/18wagner.h25.html?tkn=NXVFlUJgch3u9KNo
YbF2gM%2BinCPa3hvbbWkj&print=1
Weaver, R. L., & Cottrell, H. W. (1988). Motivating students: Stimulating
and sustaining student effort. College Student Journal, 22, 22–32.
Wentling, R. M., & Waight, C. L. (2001). Initiative that assist and barriers
that hinder the successful transition of minority youth into the
workplace in the USA. Journal of Education and Work, 14(1), 71–89.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 110
Guiding Principle 3:
Purposeful assessment drives instruction
and affects learning.
Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning. Purposeful assessment
practices help teachers and students understand where they have been, where
they are, and where they might go next. No one assessment can provide
sufficient information to plan teaching and learning. Using different types of
assessments as part of instruction results in useful information about student
understanding and progress. Educators should use this information to guide
their own practice and in partnership with students and their families to reflect
on learning and set future goals.
Research Summary
Assessment informs teachers, administrators, parents, and other
stakeholders about student achievement. It provides valuable information
for designing instruction; acts as an evaluation for students, classrooms,
and schools; and informs policy decisions. Instruments of assessment can
provide formative or summative data, and they can use traditional or
authentic designs. Research on assessment emphasizes that the difference
between formative and summative assessment has to do with how the
data from the assessment is used.
Dunn and Mulvenon (2009) define summative assessment as assessment
“data for the purposes of assessing academic progress at the end of a
specified time period (i.e., a unit of material or an entire school year) and
for the purposes of establishing a student’s academic standing relative to
some established criterion” (p. 3).
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) (2008) define
formative assessment as a process “used by teachers and students
during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching
and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional
outcomes” (p. 3).
Wisconsin’s approach to balanced assessment www.dpi.wi.gov/oea/
balanced emphasizes the importance of identifying the purposes for
administering an assessment. Identifying the purpose or data needed
establishes whether a particular assessment is being used formatively
or summatively. There can be multiple purposes for giving a particular
assessment, but identifying how the data will be used helps to ensure
that the assessment is collecting the data that is needed for educators,
students and their families.
Assessments, whether formative or summative, can be designed as
traditional or authentic tools. Traditional assessment uses tools such as
paper and pencil tests, while authentic assessment focuses on evaluating
student learning in a more “real life” situation. The bulk of the research
on assessment design focuses on authentic assessment.
Formative Assessment
Using formative assessment as a regular part of instruction has been
shown to improve student learning from early childhood to university
education. It has been shown to increase learning for both lowperforming and high-performing students. Black and Wiliam’s (1998)
seminal study found that the use of formative assessment produces
significant learning gains for low-achieving students. Other researchers
have shown similar results for students with special learning needs
(McCurdy & Shapiro, 1992; Fuchs & Fuchs, 1986). Research also supports
the use of formative assessment in kindergarten classes (Bergan,
Sladeczek, Schwarz, & Smith, 1991), and university students (Martinez &
Martinez, 1992).
Formative assessment provides students with information on the gaps
that exist between their current knowledge and the stated learning
goals (Ramaprasad, 1983). By providing feedback on specific errors it
helps students understand that their low performance can be improved
and is not a result of lack of ability (Vispoel & Austin, 1995). Studies
emphasize that formative assessment is most effective when teachers
use it to provide specific and timely feedback on errors and suggestions
for improvement (Wininger, 2005), when students understand the
learning objectives and assessment criteria, and when students have
the opportunity to reflect on their work (Ross, 2006; Ruiz-Primo &
Furtak, 2006). Recent research supports the use of web-based formative
assessment for improving student achievement (Wang, 2007).
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 111
A number of studies emphasize the importance of teacher professional
development on formative assessment in order to gain maximum student
achievement benefits (Atkins, Black & Coffey, 2001; Black & Wiliam,
1998). A 2009 article in Educational Measurement asserts that teachers
are better at analyzing formative assessment data than at using it to
design instruction. Research calls for more professional development on
assessment for teachers (Heritage, Kim,Vendlinski, & Herman, 2009).
Authentic Assessment
Generating rich assessment data can be accomplished through the
use of an authentic assessment design as well as through traditional
tests. Authentic assessments require students to “use prior knowledge,
recent learning, and relevant skills to solve realistic, complex problems”
(DiMartino & Castaneda, 2007, p. 39). Research on authentic assessment
often explores one particular form, such as portfolios (Berryman &
Russell, 2001; Tierney et al., 1998); however, several studies examined
more than one form of authentic assessment: portfolios, projectbased assessment, use of rubrics, teacher observation, and student
demonstration (Darling-Hammond, Rustique-Forrester, & Pecheone,
2005; Herman, 1997; Wiggins, 1990). Authentic assessment tools can
be used to collect both formative and summative data. These data can
provide a more complete picture of student learning.
Balanced Assessment
Wisconsin’s Next Generation Assessment Task Force (2009) defines the
purpose and characteristics of a balanced assessment system:
Purpose: to provide students, educators, parents, and the public with a
range of information about academic achievement and to determine the
best practices and policies that will result in improvements to student
learning.
Characteristics: includes a continuum of strategies and tools that
are designed specifically to meet discrete needs–daily classroom
instruction, periodic checkpoints during the year, and annual snapshots of
achievement. (p. 6)
A balanced assessment system is an important component of quality
teaching and learning. Stiggins (2007) points out that a variety of quality
assessments must be available to teachers in order to form a clearer
picture of student achievement of the standards. Popham (2008)
believes that when an assessment is of high quality, it can accurately
detect changes in student achievement and can contribute to continuous
improvement of the educational system.
Probing Questions
•How might you use questioning and discussion in your classroom
in a way that gives you formative assessment information on all
students?
•How can you use assignments and tests as effective formative
assessment?
•How could you design and implement a balanced assessment
system that includes pre- and post assessments for learning?
Resources
Rick Stiggins, founder and director of the Assessment Training Institute,
provides resources on the practice of assessment at http://www.
assessmentinst.com/author/rick-stiggins/.
Margaret Heritage’s books Formative Assessment for Literacy and
Academic Language (2008, coauthored with Alison Bailey) and Formative
Assessment: Making It Happen in the Classroom (2010) provide
resources and practices. These books are available through bookstores.
ASCD has publications on assessment at http://www.ascd.org/
SearchResults.aspx?s=assessment&c=1&n=10&p=0.
The National Middle Schools Association provides assessment
information through a search for “assessment” at http://www.nmsa.org/.
Boston (2002) recommends the following resources for assessment:
•A Practical Guide to Alternative Assessment, by J. R. Herman, P. L.
Aschbacher, and L. Winters. Available at a variety of booksellers.
•Improving Classroom Assessment: A Toolkit for
Professional Developers
http://educationnorthwest.org/resource/700
•Classroom Assessment and the National Science Education
Standards
http:www.nap.edu/catalog/9847.html
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 112
References
Atkins, J. M., Black, P., & Coffey, J. (2001). Classroom assessment and the National
Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Martinez, J. G. R., & Martinez, N. C. (1992). Re-examining repeated testing and
teacher effects in a remedial mathematics course. British Journal of Educational
Psychology, 62(3), 356–363.
Bergen, J. R., Sladeczek, I. E., Schwarz, R. D., & Smith, A. N. (1991). Effects of a
measurement and planning system on kindergartners’ cognitive development
and educational programming. American Educational Research Journal, 28(3),
683–714.
McCurdy, B. L., & Shapiro, E. S. (1992). A comparison of teacher monitoring,
peer monitoring, and self-monitoring with curriculum-based measurement in
reading among student with learning disabilities. Journal of Special Education,
26(2), 162–180.
Berryman, L., & Russell, D. R. (2001). Portfolios across the curriculum: Whole
school assessment in Kentucky. English Journal, 90(6), 76–83.
Next Generation Assessment Task Force. (2009). Crafting a balanced system of
assessment in Wisconsin. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/oea/pdf/NGTFbr.pdf
Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment
in Education, 5(1), 7–74.
Popham, W. J. (2008). Transformative assessment. Alexandria,VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Boston, C. (2002). The concept of formative assessment. Practical Assessment,
Research, and Evaluation, 8(9). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://pareonline.
net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=9
Ramaprasad, A. (1983). On the definition of feedback. Behavioral Science, 28(1),
4–13.
Council of Chief State School Officers. (2008). Attributes of effective formative
assessment. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://www.
ccsso.org/Documents/2008/Attributes_of_Effective_2008.pdf
Ross, J. A. (2006). The reliability, validity, and utility of self-assessment. Practical
Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 11(10). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from
http://pareonline.net/pdf/v11n10.pdf
Darling-Hammond, L., Rustique-Forrester, E., & Pecheone, R. (2005). Multiple
measure approaches to high school graduation. Stanford, CA: School Redesign
Network at Stanford University.
Ruiz-Primo, M. A., & Furtak, E. M. (2006). Informal formative assessment
and scientific inquiry: Exploring teachers’ practices and student learning.
Educational Assessment, 11(2), 205–235.
DiMartino, J., & Castaneda, A. (2007). Assessing applied skills. Educational
Leadership, 64(7), 38–42.
Stiggins, R. J. (2007, November–December). Assessment for learning: A key to
student motivation and learning. EDge, 2(2), 1–20.
Dunn, K. E., & Mulvenon, S. W. (2009). A critical review of research on
formative assessment: The limited scientific evidence of the impact of
formative assessment in education. Practical Assessment, Research, and
Evaluation, 14(7). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://pareonline.net/pdf/v14n7.
pdf
Tierney, R., Clark, C., Fenner, L., Herter, R. J., Simpson, C. S., & Wiser, B. (1998).
Portfolios: Assumptions, tensions, and possibilities. Reading Research Quarterly,
33(4), 474–486.
Fuchs, L. S., & Fuchs, D. (1986). Effects of systematic formative evaluation: A
meta-analysis. Exceptional Children, 52(2), 199–208.
Heritage, M., Kim, J.,Vendlinski, T., & Herman, J. (2009). From evidence to
action: A seamless process in formative assessment? Educational Measurement:
Issues and Practice, 28(3), 24–31.
Herman, J. (1997). Assessing new assessments: Do they measure up? Theory
Into Practice, 36(4), 196–204.
Vispoel, W. P., & Austin, J. R. (1995). Success and failure in junior high school:
A critical incident approach to understanding students’ attributional beliefs.
American Educational Research Journal, 32(2), 377–412.
Wang, T. H. (2007). What strategies are effective for formative assessment in a
e-learning environment? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23(1), 171–186.
Wiggins, G. (1990). The case for authentic assessment. Practical Assessment,
Research, and Evaluation, 2(2). Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://pareonline.
net/getvn.asp?v=2&n=2
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 113
Guiding Principle 4:
Learning is a collaborative responsibility.
Teaching and learning are both collaborative processes. Collaboration benefits
teaching and learning when it occurs on several levels: when students, teachers,
family members, and the community collectively prioritize education and
engage in activities that support local schools, educators, and students; when
educators collaborate with their colleagues to support innovative classroom
practices and set high expectations for themselves and their students; and
when students are given opportunities to work together toward academic goals
in ways that enhance learning.
Research Summary
Collaborative learning is an approach to teaching and learning that
requires learners to work together to deliberate, discuss, and create
meaning. Smith and MacGregor (1992) define the term as follows:
“Collaborative learning” is an umbrella term for a variety of educational
approaches involving joint intellectual effort by students, or students
and teachers together. Usually, students are working in groups of two or
more, mutually searching for understanding, solutions, or meanings, or
creating a product. Collaborative learning activities vary widely, but most
center on students’ exploration or application of the course material,
not simply the teacher’s presentation or explication of it. (p. 1)
Collaborative learning has been practiced and studied since the early
1900s. The principles are based on the theories of John Dewey (2009),
Lev Vygotsky (1980), and Benjamin Bloom (1956). Their collective work
focusing on how students learn has led educators to develop more
student-focused learning environments that put students at the center
of instruction.Vygotsky specifically stated that learning is a social act
and must not be done in isolation. This principle is the foundation of
collaborative learning.
The research of Vygotsky (1980) and Jerome Bruner (1985) indicates
that collaborative learning environments are one of the necessities for
learning. Slavin’s (1989) research also suggests that students and teachers
learn more, are more engaged, and feel like they get more out of their
classes when working in a collaborative environment. Totten,
Sills, Digby, and Russ (1991) found that those involved in collaborative
learning understand content at deeper levels and have higher rates of
achievement and retention than learners who work alone. They suggest
that collaborative learning gives students opportunities to internalize
their learning.
A meta-analysis from the Cooperative Learning Center at the University
of Minnesota concluded that having students work collaboratively has
significantly more impact on learning than having students work alone
(Johnson, Maruyama, Johnson, Nelson, & Skon, 1981). An analysis of 122
studies on cooperative learning revealed:
•More students learn more material when they work together—
talking through the material with each other and making sure that
all group members understand—than when students compete with
one another or work alone individualistically.
•More students are motivated to learn the material when they
work together than when students compete or work alone
individualistically (and the motivation tends to be more intrinsic).
•Students have more positive attitudes when they work together
than when they compete or work alone individualistically.
•Students are more positive about the subject being studied, the
teacher, and themselves as learners in that class and are more
accepting of each other (male or female, handicapped or not, bright
or struggling, or from different ethnic backgrounds) when they
work together.
Collaboration can be between teachers, between students, and between
teacher and student.
Teacher-Teacher Collaboration
It is critical for teachers to have the time to collaborate. Professional
learning communities, which provide teachers with established time
to collaborate with other teachers, have become a more common
practice in recent years. Louis and Kruse (1995) conducted a case study
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 114
analysis that highlighted some of the positive outcomes associated with
professional learning communities, including a reduction in teacher
isolation, increases in teacher commitment and sense of shared
responsibility, and a better understanding of effective instructional
practices. Professional learning communities encourage collaborative
problem solving and allow teachers to gain new strategies and skills to
improve and energize their teaching and classrooms.
Another example of teacher-to-teacher collaboration is lesson study.
This professional development process began in Japan. Lesson study is a
collaborative approach to designing and studying classroom lessons and
practice. The most critical components of lesson study are observation
of the lesson, collection of data about teaching and learning, and a
collaborative analysis of the data to further impact instruction (Lewis,
2002; Lewis & Tsuchida, 1998; Wang-Iverson & Yoshida, 2005). Some
of these characteristics are similar to other forms of professional
development—analyzing student work, cognitive coaching, and action
research, to name a few—but the fact that it focuses on teachers
observing a live lesson that was collaboratively developed is different
than any other form of professional development. Lesson study is a way
for teachers to work together, collect data, and analyze data to reflect on
teaching and learning (Lewis, 2002).
Student-Student Collaboration
Collaborative learning not only allows students to engage deeply
with content but also helps students build the interpersonal skills
needed to be successful in college and careers. Johnson, Johnson, and
Holubec (1993) state that collaborative learning provides students
with the opportunity to develop social skills. They found that many
of the outcomes expected as part of a collaborative learning activity
corresponded with goals for student content understanding and skill
attainment. The strategies associated with collaborative learning—such
as role assignments, collaborative problem solving, and task and group
processing—all build the social skills that students need to be successful
when working with others. Additionally, these skills are important in
preparing students for the world of work, where collaborative writing
and problem-solving are key elements of many careers.
There is a plethora of instructional and learning strategies that
encourage student collaboration, including peer teaching, peer learning,
reciprocal learning, team learning, study circles, study groups, and work
groups, to name just a few (Johnson & Johnson, 1986). Collaborative
inquiry, which combines many of the elements of student collaboration
just mentioned, is a research-based strategy in which learners work
together through various phases “of planning, reflection, and action
as they explore an issue or question of importance to the group”
(Goodnough, 2005 88). Collaborative inquiry brings together many
perspectives to solve a problem, engaging students in relevant learning
around an authentic question. It allows students to work together
toward a common purpose to explore, make meaning, and understand
the world around them (Lee & Smagorinsky, 2000).
Teacher-Student Collaboration
The purpose for collaboration in an educational setting is to learn and
unpack content together to develop a shared understanding. HardingSmith (1993) points out that collaborative learning approaches are based
on the idea that learning must be a social act. It is through interaction
that learning occurs. Johnson and Johnson (1986) similarly emphasize
that when students and teachers talk and listen to each other, they gain a
deeper understanding of the content and can develop the skills necessary
to negotiate meaning throughout their lives.
Collaboration requires a shift from teacher-led instruction to
instruction and learning that is designed by both teachers and students.
Collaboration between student and teacher plays a critical role in
helping students reflect and engage in their own learning experiences.
The constructivist learning movement is one current example of efforts
to increase the amount of collaboration between student and teacher
occurring in the classroom. Mayer (2004) defines constructivist learning
as an “active process in which learners are active sense makers who
seek to build coherent and organized knowledge” (p. 14). Students coconstruct their learning, with the teacher serving as a guide or facilitator.
The teacher does not function in a purely didactic (i.e., lecturing) role.
Neo and Neo (2009) found that constructivism helps students develop
problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creative skills and apply them
in meaningful ways.
Probing Questions
•How can you use collaborative learning processes to engage
students in their learning?
•How might you create space for teacher-teacher collaboration
within your context?
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 115
Resources
All Things PLC website provides a number of resources on professional
learning communities. Links to these resources can be found at http://
www.allthingsplc.info/.
The Wisconsin Center for Education Research hosts a website with
many resources for collaborative and small group learning. It can be
found at http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/archive/cl1/cl/..
The Texas Collaborative for Teaching Excellence has created a
professional development module about collaborative learning, which
provides readings, research, and resources. It can be found at http://www.
texascollaborative.org/Collaborative_Learning_Module.htm.
A review of research on professional learning communities, presented
at the National School Reform Faculty research forum in 2006,
contains findings that outline what is known about professional learning
communities and how they should be structured. This paper is available
at http://www.nsrfharmony.org/research.vescio_ross_adams.pdf.
References
Bloom, B. S. (Ed.) (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives. Handbook 1:
Cognitive domain. White Plains, NY: Longman.
Bruner, J. (1985).Vygotsky: An historical and conceptual perspective. In J.
V. Wetsch (Ed.), Culture, communication, and cognition:Vygotskian perspectives
(pp. 21–34). London: Cambridge University Press.
Dewey, J. (2009). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy
of education. New York: Cosimo Classics.
Goodnough, Karen. (2005). Fostering teacher learning through
collaborative inquiry. The Clearing House 79(2), 88-92.
Harding-Smith, T. (1993). Learning together: An introduction to collaborative
learning. New York: HarperCollins.
Johnson, R. T., & Johnson, D. W. (1986). Action research: Cooperative
learning in the science classroom. Science and Children, 24(2), 31–32.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Holubec, E. J. (1993). Circles of learning:
Cooperation in the classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction.
Johnson, D. W., Maruyama, G., Johnson, R. T., Nelson, D., & Skon, L. (1981).
Effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic goal structures on
achievement: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 89(1), 47–62.
Lee, C. D., & Smagorinsky, P. (Eds.). (2000). Vygotskian perspectives
on literacy research: Constructing meaning through collaborative inquiry.
Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Lewis, C. (2002). Lesson study: A handbook of teacher-led instructional change.
Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools.
Lewis, C., & Tsuchida, I. (1998, Winter). A lesson is like a swiftly flowing
river: Research lessons and the improvement of Japanese education.
American Educator, 14–17, 50–52.
Wang-Iverson, P., & Yoshida, M. (2005). Building our understanding of
lesson study. Philadelphia: Research for Better Schools.
Louis, K. S., & Kruse, S. D. (1995). Professionalism and community:
Perspectives on reforming urban schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2004). Should there be a three strikes rule against pure
discovery? The case for guided methods of instruction. American
Psychologist, 59(1), 14–19.
Neo, M., & Neo, T.-K. (2009). Engaging students in multimedia-mediated
constructivist learning: Students’ perceptions. Educational Technology and
Society, 12(2), 254–266.
Slavin, R. E. (1989). Research on cooperative learning: An international
perspective. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 33(4), 231–243.
Smith, B. L., & MacGregor, J. T. (1992). What is collaborative learning?
Olympia, WA: Washington Center for Improving the Quality of
Undergraduate Education. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from http://
learningcommons.evergreen.edu/pdf/collab.pdf
Totten, S., Sills, T., Digby, A., & Russ, P. (1991). Cooperative learning: A guide
to research. New York: Garland.
Vygotsky, L. (1980). Mind in society:The development of higher psychological
processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 116
Guiding Principle 5:
Students bring strengths and experiences to
learning.
Every student learns. Although no two students come to school with the same
culture, learning strengths, background knowledge, or experiences, and no two
students learn in exactly the same way, every student’s unique personal history
enriches classrooms, schools, and the community.This diversity is our greatest
education asset.
Research Summary
The authors of the groundbreaking work How People Learn: Brain, Mind,
Experience, and School (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000) found that
students’ preconceptions may clash with new concepts and information
they learn in school. If those preconceptions are not addressed, students
may fail to grasp what is being taught or may learn only to pass a test.
In other words, a student might enter kindergarten believing the world
is flat because he or she has seen a flat map. Despite the presentation
of geographic names and principles, the student still maintains the
fundamental preconception about the shape of the world. Developing
competence—or in this case, a knowledge of the shape of the world—
requires that students have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, a
context or conceptual framework to place it in, and the opportunity to
explore how it connects to the real world. Ultimately, a metacognitive
approach—one that pushes students to think about their own thought
processes—can help them take control of their own learning.
As educational research on how people learn advances, so does our
approach to teaching and learning. Strategies to advance teaching and
learning are constantly evolving into new and innovative ways to reach
learners. When a teacher uses students’ interests, curiosity, and areas
of confidence as starting points in planning instruction, learning is more
productive. Teachers who are cognizant of these issues—and reflect on
how to use them as strengths upon which they can build—ensure that
all students have access to the content. Areas to consider are student
strengths, gender, background knowledge, and connections to the home
environment.
Building on Student Strengths
Teaching to students’ strengths can improve student engagement
(Sternberg, 2000, Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2000). Many students have
strengths that are unrecognized and neglected in traditional schooling.
Students in underrepresented minority groups have culturally relevant
knowledge that teachers can use to promote learning. Sternberg et
al. (2000) found that conventional instruction in school systematically
discriminates against students with creative and practical strengths and
tends to favor students with strong memory and analytical abilities. This
research, combined with Sternberg’s earlier (1988) research showing
that teaching for diverse styles of learning produces superior results,
suggests that capitalizing on the various strengths that all students
bring to the classroom can positively affect students’ learning. When
students are taught in a way that fits how they think, they do better in
school (Sternberg, 2000; Sternberg & Grigorenko, 2000). Sternberg and
O’Hara (2000) found that when students were taught in a way that
incorporated analytical thinking, creative thinking (creating, imagining,
and inventing) and practical thinking (applying, implementing, and putting
into practice)—students achieved at higher levels than when taught using
conventional instructional methods.
Gender Considerations
Changing instruction might help alleviate the gender gap in literacy
achievement. Research conducted by Sax (2005) reveals that boys fall
behind girls in reading and writing early on and never catch up. Sax
(2007) found that this dynamic plays a role in higher high school dropout
rates for males, particularly black males. The college graduation rate for
females approaches twice that of males in Hispanic and black populations.
Many classrooms are a better fit for the verbal-emotive, sit-still, takenotes, listen-carefully, multitasking girl (Sax, 2005). The characteristics that
boys bring to learning—impulsivity, single-task focus, spatial-kinesthetic
learning, and physical aggression—often are viewed as problems.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 117
Researchers such as Blum (1997) have identified more than 100
structural differences between the male and female brains. Altering
strategies to accommodate more typically male assets—for example, the
use of multimodal teaching (discussed on pages 10-11 of this report);
the use of various display formats, such as printed material, videos,
presentations, and computers; and an interactive learning environment
to appeal to different learning styles—can help bridge the gap between
what students are thinking and what they are able to put down on paper.
Sadik’s (2008) research suggests that using multimodal instructional
strategies like digital storytelling—allowing students to incorporate
digital cameras, creative and editing tools, computers, and other
technology to design multimedia presentations—deepens students’
learning.
Background Knowledge
Bransford et al. (2000) note in How People Learn, learning depends on
how prior knowledge is incorporated into building new knowledge, and
thus teachers must take into account students’ prior knowledge. Jensen’s
(2008) research on the brain and learning demonstrates that expertise
cannot be developed merely through exposure to information. Students
must connect the information to their prior knowledge to internalize
and deepen their understanding. Teachers can connect academic learning
with real-life experiences. Service learning, project-based learning, schoolbased enterprises, and student leadership courses are some examples
of how schools are trying to make the curriculum relevant. The key to
making the curriculum relevant is asking the students to help connect
the academics to their lives; this approach gets students actively engaged
in their learning, which builds a stronger connection and commitment
to school. Bell (2010) suggests that strategies such as project-based
approaches to learning can help ensure that content and skills are taught
together and connected to prior knowledge, which helps students
understand how to develop and apply new skills in various contexts.
Connections to the Home Environment
Cochran-Smith (2004) emphasizes family histories, traditions, and stories
as an important part of education. Often, children enter school and find
themselves in a place that does not recognize or value the knowledge
or experience they bring from their homes or communities. This
situation can create a feeling of disconnect for students—a dissonance
obliging them to live in and navigate between two different worlds, each
preventing them from full participation or success in the other. Districts
and schools can alleviate this dissonance by valuing and taking advantage
of the unique experiences that each student brings to the classroom.
Emphasizing connections to parents and community, recognizing and
utilizing student strengths and experiences, and incorporating varied
opportunities within the curriculum can help alleviate this dissonance.
Ferguson (2001) points out that it is particularly important to establish
connections that not only bring the parents into the school environment
but also encourage school understanding and participation within the
community. Social distinctions often grow out of differences in attitudes,
values, behaviors, and family and community practices (Ferguson, 2001).
Students need to feel their unique knowledge and experience is valued
by the school, and parents and community members need to feel they
are respected and welcome within the school.
Although much attention has been paid to No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
requirements for annual achievement tests and high-quality teachers, the
law also includes important requirements for schools, districts, and states
to organize programs of parental involvement and to communicate with
parents and the public about student achievement and the quality of
schools. Epstein (2005) offers perspectives on the NCLB requirements
for family involvement; provides a few examples from the field; suggests
modifications that are needed in the law; and encourages sociologists
of education to take new directions in research on school, family, and
community partnerships.
Probing Questions
•What are some ways that you currently use students’ background
knowledge to inform instruction?
•Does your experience teaching boys to read and write concur with
the research? What ideas do you have to address the achievement
gaps related to gender?
•What are ways you can uncover, acknowledge, and use students’
backgrounds and strengths to enhance learning?
•What are some strategies for valuing and taking advantage of the
unique experiences that each student brings to the classroom?
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 118
Resources
A good resource still valid today is Making Assessment Work for Everyone:
How to Build on Student Strengths. See the SEDL website to download this
resource: http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tl05/.
A short, easy-to-digest article from Carnegie Mellon University is titled
Theory and Research-Based Principles of Learning. The article and full
bibliography are at http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/principles/learning.html.
References
Bell, S. (2010). Project-based learning for the 21st century: Skills for the
future. The Clearing House, 83(2), 39–43. Retrieved June 3, 2011, from
http://teacherscollegesj.org/resources/publications/PBL%20for%20the%20
21%20Century.pdf
Blum, D. (1997). Sex on the brain:The biological differences between men and
women. New York:Viking.
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L. & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (2000). How people
learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded ed.). Washington, DC:
National Academy Press.
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Kappan, 89(6), 408–417.
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approach for engaged student learning. Educational Technology Research
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Sax, L. (2005). Why gender matters:What parents and teachers need to know
about the emerging science of sex differences. New York: Doubleday.
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unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. New York: Basic Books.
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intelligence. Arlington Heights, IL: Skylight Training.
Cochran-Smith, M. (2004). Walking the road: Race, diversity, and social
justice in teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press.
Sternberg, R. J., Grigorenko, E. L., Jarvin, L., Clinkenbeard, P., Ferrari, M.,
& Torff, B. (2000, Spring). The effectiveness of triarchic teaching and
assessment. NRC/GT Newsletter, 3–8. Retrieved June, 3, 2011, from http://
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Epstein, J. (2005). Attainable goals? The spirit and letter of the No Child
Left Behind Act on parental involvement. Sociology of Education, 78(2),
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psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 119
Guiding Principle 6:
Responsive environments engage learners.
Meaningful learning happens in environments where creativity, awareness,
inquiry, and critical thinking are part of instruction. Responsive learning
environments adapt to the individual needs of each student and encourage
learning by promoting collaboration rather than isolation of learners. Learning
environments, whether classrooms, schools, or other systems, should be
structured to promote engaged teaching and learning.
Research Summary
To be effective for all students, classroom learning environments must
be responsive to a broad range of needs among a diverse student
population. These diverse needs include cultural and linguistic differences
as well as developmental levels, academic readiness, and learning styles.
A responsive learning environment engages all students by providing
a respectful climate where instruction and curriculum are designed to
respond to the backgrounds and needs of every student.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Research on culturally responsive teaching emphasizes the importance
of teachers’ understanding the cultural characteristics and contributions
of various ethnic groups (Smith, 1998) and showing respect toward these
students and their culture (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Pewewardy & Cahape,
2003). Culturally responsive teaching is defined by Gay (2002) as “using
the cultural characteristics, experiences, and perspectives of ethnically
diverse students as conduits for teaching them more effectively” (p. 106).
Research on culturally responsive teaching has found that students
both are more engaged in learning and learn more effectively when the
knowledge and skills taught are presented within a context of their
experience and cultural frames of references (Au & Kawakami, 1994; Gay,
2000; Ladson-Billings, 1995). Areas considered part of creating a culturally
responsive learning environments are (1) understanding the cultural
lifestyles of their students, such as which ethnic groups give priority to
communal living and problem solving; (2) knowing differences in the
modes of interaction between children and adults in different ethnic
groups; and (3) becoming aware of cultural implications of gender role
socialization among different groups (Banks & Banks, 2001). To provide a
culturally responsive learning environment teachers need to:
•Communicate high expectations for all students (Gay, 2000; Hollins
& Oliver, 1999; Ladson-Billings, 1994, Nieto, 1999).
•Use active teaching methods and act as learning facilitators (Banks
& Banks, 2001; Gay, 2000).
•Maintain positive perspectives on families of diverse students
(Delgado-Gaitin & Trueba, 1991).
•Gain knowledge of cultures of the students in their classrooms
(Banks & Banks, 2001; Nieto, 1999).
•Reshape the curriculum to include culturally diverse topics (Banks
& Banks, 2001; Gay, 2000; Hilliard, 1991).
•Use culturally sensitive instruction that includes student-controlled
discussion and small-group work (Banks & Banks, 2001; Nieto,
1999).
Further research asserts that culturally responsive teachers help
students understand that knowledge is not absolute and neutral but has
moral and political elements. This knowledge can help students from
diverse groups view learning as empowering (Ladson-Billings, 1995; Tharp
& Gallimore, 1988).
Strategies for designing curriculum and instruction for culturally diverse
students are similar to the strategies for differentiating curriculum
and instruction. In fact, Mulroy and Eddinger (2003) point out that the
research on differentiation emerged, in part, because of the demand
on schools to serve an increasingly diverse student population. Heacox
(2002) asserts that classrooms are diverse in cognitive abilities, learning
styles, socioeconomic factors, readiness, learning pace, and gender and
cultural influences.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 120
Differentiation
Research on differentiation includes meeting the learning needs
of all students through modifying instruction and curriculum to
consider developmental level, academic readiness, and socioeconomic
backgrounds, as well as cultural and linguistic differences. Tomlinson
(2005) defines differentiated instruction as a philosophy of teaching
based on the premise that students learn best when their teachers
accommodate the difference in their readiness levels, interests, and
learning profiles. In a differentiated learning environment, each student is
valued for his or her unique strengths while being offered opportunities
to learn and demonstrate learning through a variety of strategies (Mulroy
& Eddinger, 2003). Hall (2002) states, “To differentiate instruction is to
recognize students’ varying backgrounds, readiness, language, learning
preferences, and interests and to react responsively” (p. 1).
According to Tomlinson (2005), who has written extensively on
differentiation, three elements guide differentiated instruction: content,
process, and product. Content means that all students are given access to
the same content but are allowed to master it in different ways. Process
refers to the ways in which the content is taught. Product refers to how
students demonstrate understanding. Corley (2005) provides three
questions that drive differentiation: (1) What do you want the student to
know? (2) How can each student best learn this? and (3) How can each
student most effectively demonstrate learning? Maker (1986) offers a
framework through which differentiation can occur in the classroom:
•Create an encouraging and engaging learning environment through
student-centered activities, encouraging independent learning,
accepting student contributions, using a rich variety of resources,
and providing mobility and flexibility in grouping.
•Modify the content according to abstractness and complexity.
Provide a variety of content and particularly content focused on
people.
•Modify the learning process through use of inquiry, higher-order
thinking activities, group interactions, variable pacing, creativity and
student risk-taking, and freedom of choice in learning
activities.
•Modify the product through facilitating different ways for students
to demonstrate learning, such as the use of authentic assessments.
In addition, researchers have found that the use of flexible grouping
and tiered instruction for differentiation increases student achievement
(Corley, 2005; Tomlinson & Eidson, 2003). Heacox (2002) describes
differentiation as follows:
The focus is not on the adjustment of the students, but rather the
adjustment of teaching and instructional strategies making it about
learning, not teaching. The teacher is the facilitator who…puts students
at the center of teaching and learning and lets his or her students’
learning needs direct instructional planning (p. 1).
Several studies conducted in elementary and middle school classroom
have found that student achievement is increased in differentiated
classrooms (Connor, Morrison, & Katch 2004; McAdamis, 2001).
Tomlinson and Eidson (2003) emphasize the need to include the
components of student readiness, student interest, and student learning
profile in differentiating instruction. Students’ interests and learning
profiles are often tied to their learning styles.
Learning Styles
The body of research on learning styles has coalesced around the work
of Howard Gardner, who introduced the theory of multiple intelligences
in 1983. Gardner’s work suggests that the concept of a pure intelligence
that can be measured by a single I.Q. score is flawed, and he has
identified nine intelligences that people possess to various degrees. His
theory asserts that a person’s type of intelligence determines how he or
she learns best (Gardner, 1999).
Learning style refers to how a student learns, and the concept takes into
account cultural background and social and economic factors as well as
multiple intelligences. Beishuizen and Stoutjesdjik (1999) define learning
style as a consistent mode of acquiring knowledge through study, or
experience. Research has shown that the quality of learning at all levels of
education (primary, secondary, and higher education) is enhanced when
instruction and curriculum take into account individual learning styles
(Dunn, Griggs, Olsen, Beasley & Gorman, 1995). Another study found that
student learning improved when the learning environment was modified
to allow students to construct personally relevant knowledge and to
engage in the materials at different levels and from different points of
view (Dearing, 1997).
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 121
A responsive classroom environment considers the individual learning
needs of all students. These learning needs include a variety of factors
that influence how students learn: culture, language, developmental level,
readiness, social and economic background, and learning style.
Creativity
Creativity is an essential component for creating an engaging and
accessible classroom environment. The Wisconsin Task Force on Arts
and Creativity in Education (2009) defines creativity as a process that
combines “imagination, creativity, and innovation to produce something
novel that has value” (p. 14). Sir Ken Robinson (2011) and Daniel Pink
(2006) both support the need for schools to focus on creating classroom
that foster this type of creativity in students. According to Robinson
(2011), classrooms that foster creativity and allow students to question
assumptions, look at content through various lenses, and create new
understandings can help students be more successful in postsecondary
education and the workplace.
Probing Questions
•Describe two or three ways you might differentiate the instruction
in your classroom. How might you share this with a new teacher?
•How might you implement a simple strategy for assessing your
students’ learning styles?
Resources
ASCD offers a number of resources on differentiated instruction,
including work by Carol Ann Tomlinson, at http://www.ascd.org.
For resources on culturally responsive teaching, the Center for Culturally
Responsive Teaching and Learning can be accessed at http://www.
culturallyresponsive.org/.
The website of the National Center for Culturally Responsive Education
Systems (NCCRESt) can be accessed at http://www.nccrest.org.
For learning styles and resources on multiple intelligences, Thomas
Armstrong hosts a website with information on Gardner’s Theory of
Multiple Intelligences and related teaching resources at http://www.
thomasarmstrong.com/multiple_intelligences.php.
Creativity: Its Place in Education is a report that offers suggestions for
creative classrooms and teaching. This report can be found at http://
www.jpb.com/creative/Creativity_in_Education.pdf.
The report of the Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in
Education offers recommendations for policy and practice. This report
can be found at ftp://doaftp04.doa.state.wi.us/doadocs/taskforce_report_
final2009pdf.
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Delgado-Gaitan, C., & Trueba, H. (1991). Crossing cultural borders: Education
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Dunn, R., Griggs, S., Olsen, J., Beasley, M., & Gorman, B. (1995). A metaanalytic validation of the Dunn and Dunn model of learning-style
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COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 122
Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st
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COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS for LITERACY in ALL SUBJECTS 123
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