Common Core Standards: ELA
Standard 1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Breakin’ it Down:
This standard looks almost the same for informational texts as it does for literature. It’s all about focusing on tiny details of a text to support a claim or an inference. The only difference here is that instead of making inferences about character motivations (as they would in literature), students need to make inferences about the author’s beliefs in the informational text or decide what the author would agree or disagree with, based on clues in the text.
At this advanced level, this standard also involves deducing the relationship between parts of a logically complex sentence. (Standardized tests often have questions that test a student’s ability to follow a syntactically difficult statement.)
Advanced informational texts also tend to trip students up because of the range of technical vocabulary in the texts, or because they use outdated language; some texts also assume that readers will have a certain amount of background knowledge about the subjects they cover. So, you will have to prepare students to logically sift through the arguments of a text, even if they are unfamiliar with the topic or language patterns.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Beowulf Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Death of a Salesman Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Hamlet Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Macbeth Teacher Pass
- Moby Dick Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Oedipus the King Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- Sula Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Crucible Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Lottery Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Odyssey Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- The Scarlet Letter Teacher Pass
- The Tell-Tale Heart Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- Things Fall Apart Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
- Wide Sargasso Sea Teacher Pass
- Wuthering Heights Teacher Pass
Teacher Feature: Ideas for the classroom
1. UNDERSTUDY: The Amazing Race
Who doesn’t like a good game? Take a complicated non-fiction piece and develop questions that focus on subtle details of the text. The first one to answer all the questions correctly wins!
Now, this standard is slightly different from the 9th/10th grade informational reading standards because it pushes students to examine spots in the text where the author leaves things open-ended or uncertain or unsaid. So maybe you can raise the stakes for this game by including one of the following answer choices for each question: “Author does not address this,” or, “This is not directly discussed.” It will force students to closely read the text for unanswered questions.
2. COLLEGIATE: Op-ed Challenge
Teaching a novel that deals with slavery? Pull a few op-ed articles or editorials about slavery from that historical time period—it would be best if you can get your hands on articles that argue for both sides of the issue. Ask students to scour the opinions for subtle similarities and differences. Also challenge them to find issues or situations that are only discussed by one author but skipped over by the other. This gives students an opportunity to use the smaller details of a text to explain the larger ideas.