Common Core Standards: Grades 11-12 Reading Comprehension in History/Social Studies

To be ready for graduation and life after graduation, the Common Core Standards push students to understand difficult texts in History/Social Studies. In Grades 11-12, students are asked to do even more with the texts they read. The emphasis in these grades shifts to evaluating how and why certain inclusions in a text impact the overall meaning of what was written.

Take a look at some of the skills students encounter in this grade band:

  • Find and explain the connection between details in a text and the bigger picture of what a text means.

  • Examine potential reasons why something occurs that are supported by specific evidence from the text.

  • Determine the various points of view of multiple writers on the same subject and consider how well they support their points of view with details.

  • Use several sources to research a particular question.

  • Agree or disagree with information presented in a text based on how well an author uses supporting details.

  • Pull together research from various sources to grasp the significant ideas and events described within. Students should be able to recognize any differences between the sources.

Much of the emphasis in Grades 11-12 is on managing information from multiple sources. This is a pretty difficult task, and students usually need a lot of practice.

One way to help your child master these skills is to find three texts that address a similar topic, such as a political speech on a new initiative and two newspaper editorials on the initiative (one supporting and one opposing). After reading the political speech and identifying key details, your child can then read the two editorials and analyze the arguments and opinions presented by all three writers.

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