The Common Core Standards for reading history/social studies, science, and technical subjects don’t tell students what they should read but rather how they should use reading skills to fully comprehend a text. Because these standards are grouped into grade bands, you may be confused about how these standards are used.

Basically, teachers apply the reading standards to the content and related reading materials for each course. A Grade 7 science teacher may use the reading standards for Grades 6-8 and apply the skills to specific lessons and activities.

For example, he may choose an article that describes how pollution affects the process of photosynthesis in a certain plant. Students may be asked to read the article, identifying important information and key details (as outlined by the reading standards for science and technical subjects for Grades 6-8).

Then the teacher may have the students organize their information into an argumentative essay in the form of a newspaper editorial, drawing from the writing standards for Grades 6-8, that outlines the harmful effects of pollution on local plant life and on the community.

It’s important to understand the role of Standard 10 in each set of reading standards. Standard 10 ensures that students are reading texts that are appropriately complex for each grade level. Although the content of reading materials may vary, the standards outline expectations for complexity (whether quantitative or qualitative) that serve as guidelines for each grade.