If you’re wondering how to start to understand and use the ELA Common Core Standards, this blog will help. Make sure you have ready access to the standards, which you can find here in PDF or on the “Standards” page of The Literacy Cookbook in Excel (PS–To download the “K-12 ELA Common Core Tracking Spreadsheet,” which is easier to use, you’ll need to subscribe to the Website. As a reader of this blog, you’re entitled to a 50%-off discount membership. Click here and use this code: TLCBOOK50. NOTE: The code must be entered in ALL caps in order to work.)
As crazy as it might sound, my advice is to just dive in. But specifically, look at Writing Standard 5.9. More specifically, compare W.5.9a to W.5.9b.
Here is W.5.9a: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”)
Here is W.5.9b: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).
Both writing standards could be boiled down to this: “Show in writing what you learned from the reading.” The key principle is this: effective writing is based on effective reading. Or, as I say in my forthcoming book, You must read well in order to write well.
So you have to start there. Check out my next post for details.