Table of Contents

Unit 1: Understanding and Teaching the Common Core Writing Standards

1.1.1 Range and Content in Student Writing

Notice that each of the CCR Anchor Standards begins with an action verb that tells what students are expected to do. What students need to know and understand to produce writing that meets and exceeds these expectations — convey complex ideas; assess credibility; strengthen writing — requires higher order thinking skills (Wilhelm, 2012).

As you read through the anchor standards the first time, you might have found that you highlighted or underlined almost everything. Most statements spell out expectations for what students will do in their writing — write, support claims, research, gather, produce, draw evidence, revise, reflect, assess, and write routinely. During your second reading, you may have noted phrases such as: sufficient evidence, valid reasoning, well-structured event sequences, understanding of subject, etc.

Time to Check

To conclude this activity, take a few minutes to compare your observations to the key terms and phrases highlighted in bold on the documents available through the links below:

CCR “DO”

CCR “KNOW”

The statement below provides the rationale for what students are being asked to learn in writing — build their capacity and skills for college and career readiness and understand the importance of writing in preparation for the work of college and career. Take note of how the writers of the rationale have combined the CCR Anchor Standards for Writing to emphasize the interrelatedness of the standards.

To build a foundation for college and career readiness, students need to learn to use writing as a way of offering and supporting opinions, demonstrating understanding of the subjects they are studying, and conveying real and imagined experiences and events. They learn to appreciate that a key purpose of writing is to communicate clearly to an external, sometimes unfamiliar audience, and they begin to adapt the form and content of their writing to accomplish a particular task and purpose. They develop the capacity to build knowledge on a subject through research projects and to respond analytically to literary and informational sources. To meet these goals, students must devote significant time and effort to writing, producing numerous pieces over short and extended time frames throughout the year."

CCSS Initiative, 2010