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Getting Started, Moving Forward, Part 3: More from Achieve the Core! - By Marn Frank, STAR & Literacy Coord.

In this final article of a three-part series on the CCRS reading-writing connection, I will share samples from Achieve the Core at achievethecore.org. This comprehensive website (recommended by Paula Freiermuth and Kristine Kelly) offers “free, ready-to-use classroom resources designed to help educators understand and implement college and career ready standards.”

To begin my search, I linked from the homepage to Student Writing Samples, under ELA / Literacy in the Classroom Resources menu at the top. There are two types of resources: On-Demand Writing, which provides samples across grades, and Range of Writing, which provides samples within a grade. There are also filters for grade (K-12) and category (Opinion/Argument, Informative/Explanatory, and Narrative Writing). I chose to browse On-Demand, at grades K-5, for basic Opinion/Argument prompts such as “Which is best for you?" or "Which do you like best?” Below are talking and writing tasks that can follow close listening, watching, or oral reading of texts and be applied to other opinion/argument prompts for ABE/ESL students at Levels A-C.

LEVEL A (K-1)

  • Talk with a partner about your answer and why.
  • Draw a picture about your answer and write some words. 
  • Tell me your answer and I will write it in a sentence.
If students are ready:
  • Write a sentence about your answer and why. Use a capital, the word because, and period. 
  • Write 2-3 sentences about your answer and why. Use capitals, the word because, and periods.

LEVEL B (2-3)

  • Reread the same text with a partner and talk about your answer and reasons again.
  • Write one paragraph about your answer or opinion and reasons. Use the words because or since.
  • Check your draft and fix mistakes in capitals, periods, grammar, and spelling. 
If students are ready:
  • Listen to a different text about the same topic, reread with a partner, and talk more about your opinion and reasons.
  • Write an essay (more than one paragraph) that introduces the topic, states your opinion, lists your reasons, uses words like because, since, therefore, or for example, and ends with a conclusion. 
  • Check your draft and fix mistakes in capitals, periods, grammar, and spelling.

LEVEL C (4-5)

  • Write notes on the text pages or highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each option or choice. 
  • Reread the same texts with a partner and make more notes or highlights on the pages.
  • Explain your opinion to a partner and refer to facts or details from the texts.
  • Write an essay (more than one paragraph) that clearly introduces the topic or texts, states your opinion, lists facts or details in a logical order, uses words like consequently or specifically, and ends with a conclusion. 
  • Check your draft and fix mistakes in capitals, periods, grammar, and spelling.
I hope you will choose to further explore other Achieve the Core resources for ELA and Math!