What You Should Know about Common Core Literacy Standards

In Grades 6-12, the reading and writing standards in history, social studies, science, and technical subjects are separated from English Language Arts Common Core Standards. The reading standards are divided into two sections, one for each of the following:

  • History and social studies

  • Science and technical subjects

One set of writing standards sets the bar for writing in all three subjects. The literacy standards are covered in just a few pages, so they’re easy to use as a quick reference when reading and writing in these subjects.

History and social studies

The reading standards for history and social studies focus heavily on the use and analysis of primary and secondary sources. Students determine the central idea(s), cite evidence to support conclusions, and analyze the structure of writings and an author’s purpose in writing. Each of these skills is then utilized when students begin to write for the purposes of conveying information or arguing a particular position.

Because the reading standards are designed for use alongside other subjects (to facilitate the fluent reading of documents that are central to the subject being studied), the skills should be viewed as tools that enable students to access deeper levels of knowledge and to convey ideas through structured and well-reasoned writings.

Science and technical subjects

The reading standards for science and technical subjects are geared for use with texts that explain processes and procedures or involve information presented in the form of data or other media. Students primarily work to find meaning in these texts and compare the information contained in multiple sources.

The writing standards for these subjects are the same as those used in history and social studies, but students direct their efforts toward the integration of the knowledge and ideas garnered from their reading of informational texts.

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