Common Core Standards: Grades 9-10 Reading Comprehension in History/Social Studies

By Jared Myracle

The Common Core Standards for reading History/Social Studies requires students to be exposed to increasingly difficult texts. In Grades 9-10, students continue to focus on the details of a text while also paying attention to when it was written and where it came from. They also take a closer look at authors’ purpose, perspective, and techniques for communicating meaning.

Here are a few of the expectations for students in these grades:

  • Summarize the emergence and progression of specific details in a text, whether it’s an idea that arises or an event that takes place.

  • Distinguish between causation and correlation. In the former, something happens to make another event happen; in the latter, an event’s timing is not the direct result of a preceding event.

  • Understand how the organization of writing contributes to its meaning and a student’s ability to grasp the main points.

  • Use numerical (quantitative) data and written descriptions (qualitative data) as a means of digging deeper into a specific subject.

  • Determine how well an author is able to back up what he says in a text.

  • Analyze how a specific subject is presented and/or portrayed in multiple primary and secondary sources.

As students move into higher grades, they encounter more primary sources that are written in unfamiliar and dated language. For example, a book of eighteenth-century presidential letters may include vocabulary and spellings that aren’t common today. Slowly and thoughtfully unpacking these texts is a great way to practice the skills contained in the standards.