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Common Core Standards for English Language Arts

The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects are composed of the following elements. There are three key components you should know:

  • ELA grade-level standards for K-12: The ELA grade-level standards set expectations for students in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. These standards are organized in two ways:

    • By anchor standards: The College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards set broad expectations for what students should know upon graduation from high school in each of the ELA domains: reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. These standards outline the central concepts addressed in each domain without the grade-level specifics.

    • By domain and grade level: ELA standards are presented first by domain and then by grade level within the domain. The ELA domains for reading are literature, informational text, and foundational skills. The ELA domains for writing are speaking and listening, and language. To look up standards for a specific grade level, go to the domain first and then the grade level within that domain.

    • By text complexity: A final component of each domain is the “range, quality, and complexity” of texts used to accomplish the skills in each domain.

  • Grades 6-12 literacy standards: The literacy standards apply to Grades 6-12 in history, social studies, science, and technical subjects, and very likely to any subject areas not specifically mentioned. Common Core Standards for literacy are presented in three categories:

    • History/social studies

    • Science and technical subjects

    • Writing

    Within each of these domains, standards are divided not by individual grades but by three grade bands: Grades 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12. These standards are listed side by side in the paper version so you can easily see how they progress in difficulty from one grade band to the next.

    Separate reading standards are provided for social studies and for science and technical subjects. One set of writing standards addresses skills for writing in all of these subjects.

  • ELA appendixes: The ELA standards include three appendixes (Appendix A, B, and C), each containing background material and resources you may find useful.

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