ELS/ELD Curriculum Guide Corner

English Language Arts: Standards and Resources

California Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects contain several overarching ideas, often called “key shifts,” that define changes in teaching and learning that the California Standards require. Although different sources define these ideas in varying ways, SMMUSD defines them as follows:

Balance of Fiction and Nonfiction Texts
Students need to read a balance of fiction and nonfiction texts; teachers can achieve this balance through reading in English language arts and in the content areas. The standards emphasize both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Disciplinary Literacy Students need to develop competency with literacy within the disciplines; teachers in grades 6-12 need to teach the literacy skills associated with their subject areas.

Text Complexity Students need to be able to read increasingly complex texts. Teachers can facilitate students' capacity to read and comprehend complex texts through facilitating close readings of challenging texts and providing opportunities for students to read a wide variety of genres and levels, some challenging and some easier than the standards define.

Writing to Sources Students need to develop the ability to analyze texts and to use evidence from texts to construct arguments.

Text-Based Answers Students need to engage in text-based conversations that develop their abilities to construct arguments rooted in textual evidence.

Academic Vocabulary Students need explicit instruction in academic vocabulary that spans disciplines and is characteristic of mature language users. Teachers can support this by providing explicit vocabulary instruction in specific words as well as instruction in word learning behaviors.


Essential ELA Components K-2 Literacy Block Examples 3-5 Literacy Block Examples
K-2 ELA Block Guidelines 3-5 ELA Block Guidelines

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
1651 16th Street
Santa Monica, California 90404