Sometimes the Common Core Standards seem like an insurmountable challenge for students. However, just like learning to ride a bike can seem like an overwhelming challenge, we can use tools and strategies to help students get to where they need to be in stages. These graphic organizers can be thought of “training wheels” to help students accomplish the skills included in each standard.
These graphic organizers help break down each standard for reading informational texts into more easily tackled parts. They will help guide students in reading and thinking about texts more closely in order to practice and achieve the skills mapped out for their grade level. While doing a good job with these graphic organizers is not the end-goal for any of these standards, practicing the skills with these organizers helps students acquire tools that they can later use in more open-ended text analysis tasks.
We all know that the students we have in our classrooms may not be at a stage where the grade-level standard is appropriate for them. Some students will need to work on tackling the skills in a standard at a lower grade level than their own; other students are already proficient with the skills for their grade level and need their next challenge. We offer graphic organizers for all Reading Informational text standards from grades 4-12. Consider using other grade-level sets of our Graphic Organizers as easy-to-use tools for differentiation.
Preparing Students for Success:
These graphic organizers should not be mistaken for stand-alone instruction that can teach students on their own. You will still need to position students for success through your instruction, modeling, and guided practice. Consider using our other CCSS lessons and tools to help you instruct students and prepare them for success.
Helping Student Transfer the Skills:
You should help your students realize that the skills these sheets help them practice can be used when they are reading and analyzing other texts that they read. The goal is not for them to be able to complete these sheets well and then put the skills aside. Instead, they should think of the skills they practice with these sheets as “tools” that they should keep in their “toolboxes.” When they encounter a task or text to analyze in the future, they should pull out the “tools” that will help them tackle the task or text and apply them at that time.
All of our Graphic Organizers for Informational Texts, grades 4-12, are included in our Common Core: Informational Reading Tools(Pre-Tests,Strategy Sheets,Skill Charts) product. That resource also includes growth charts and diagnostic tests.