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Common Core Standards: ELA

Grades 11-12

A Quick Note: Teaching the Tough Stuff

In the K-12 educational marathon, your students just hit mile 18. And even worse—the rest of this race is uphill. Grab that energy drink because you are going to need it.

By the time students get to 11th and 12th grade, the kinds of texts they are expected to read are often long, outdated, and riddled with words that leave even the best readers scampering for their dictionaries. Just when they were cozying up to J.D. Salinger, here come the musings of Dickinson and Sophocles!

The Common Core Standards for Reading Literature boil the essential reading skills down to nine basic standards. As you read the standards, you will likely find yourself saying, “Wait, isn’t that one standard like twelve different skills combined?” Yep. But have no fear; we’ve outlined exactly what students need to be able to do.

Each standard is separated into two to three progressively more difficult skills (Novice, Intermediate, All-Star) that build to mastering that monolithic benchmark. And to help you with teaching the standard, we’ve put together some literary warm-ups and all-star training designed to turn your students into well-conditioned specimens of literary genius. Although each section has suggestions for ways to delve into the standards in your classroom, creativity and adaptation are totally encouraged. Once you’ve taken students through the classroom activities, test their readiness with our sample questions at the end of each standard.

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