Friday, March 26, 2010

Topic: Reading Standards for Literature, K-5 (2)

10-second review: Selected highlights of literature standards for grades 3, 4 and 5. Lessons or morals for stories, etc. Main characters. Literal and figurative language. Common features of legends, etc. Compare and contrast. Summarize. Theme. Allusions. Poetry and prose. Structure of poems. Point of view. Quotes. Metaphor’s meaning. Drama and prose. Narrator’s point of view. Images and imagination.

Title: “CCSSI (Common Core State Standards Initiative) for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies and Science.” March 10, 2010, p. 9. You will find the standards at

Grade 3: Ask and answer questions using the text as the basis for the answers. Determine the lessons or morals for stories, fables, folk tales or myths. Describe the main characters in a story (traits, motivations, feelings). Distinguish literal and figurative language. Demonstrate common features of legends, myths, folk tales and fairy tales. Compare and contrast the plots, settings and themes of stories by the same authors.

Grade 4: Use details and examples to support statements about the text. Summarize a text.. Derive a theme of a story, drama or poem. Describe in detail a character, event or setting. Identify allusions to characters in mythology. Explain differences between poetry and prose. Explain structural elements of poems (stanza, rhythm, meter). Identify point of view in stories, first and third person. Compare and contrast thematically similar tales, myths and accounts of events from various cultures.

Grade 5: Quote from a text to support statements. Determine the theme of a text. Compare and contrast two or more characters, events or settings. Identify how metaphor, similes, rhymes and repetitions of sounds (alliteration) supply meaning. Explain differences between drama and prose. Identify how a narrators’ perspective or point of view influences how events are described. Compare treatments of similar ideas and themes. Explain how images, sounds and movements differ from the reader’s imagination when reading.

Comment: Heavy on the use of legends, myths, folk tales and fairy tales. Does not mention the hundreds of fine children’s books available. To be fair to the writers of these standards, they did say that the standards do not cover all that can and should be taught. Still, ignoring children’s literature is a significant omission. RayS.

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