English Language Arts Common Core Standards: Reading Anchor Standards

The anchor standards are a great place to start when getting familiar with the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. The anchor standards, formally called the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards, indicate a “finish line” of sorts.

The ten anchor standards for reading give you a clear picture of the reading skills needed for college and career. The major components include:

  • Determining and using key ideas and details: The first three anchor standards are grouped under this heading. After mastering all of the standards in this strand, your child should be able to read a text and make inferences, draw conclusions, and cite evidence to support these thoughts.

    For example, your child can use clues in the text to figure out something that is not specifically stated, and she can cite events in a story that support conclusions she draws from the text. She should also be able to read and determine the main ideas or themes using specific details from what she has read.

    Finally, your child looks at how specific individuals or actions develop or unfold during the course of the plot or timeline in what she is reading.

  • Analyzing craft and structure: These three anchor standards involve diving into the nuts and bolts of what is being read. Students look at specific vocabulary used; the overall structure of a text, including why certain information is given at certain times; and the point of view of the author or the overall perspective of the writing.

  • Pulling together knowledge and ideas: The three anchor standards under this heading involve using information gathered from multiple sources, making determinations about the reasoning and/or argumentation used by authors, and comparing how multiple texts address a similar topic.

  • Considering the range and complexity of texts: This standard rounds out the anchor standards for reading and addresses the need for students to successfully comprehend literature and informational texts as they read independently. This standard relies more on the successful completion of the previous nine anchor standards rather than introducing new skills.

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