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Common Core Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts: Grades 6-8 Paperback – Oct 4 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118108213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118108215
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 1.4 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #828,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are meant to be taught within the context of a "content-rich curriculum," but they don't specify what content students need to master. Common Core Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts, written by teachers, for teachers, is designed to assist teachers by providing detailed curriculum "maps" for teaching the CCSS for English Language Arts within a coherent sequence of thematic units by grade level.

  • Each grade includes a "standards checklist" showing which standards are covered in which unit.

  • Each unit contains focus standards, student objectives, suggested works, sample activities and assessments, a sample lesson plan with guidance for differentiated instruction, and more.

  • Standards citations are included after each sample activity/assessment to indicate alignment.

  • Every standard in the CCSS is covered in the maps; most more than once.

The maps are flexible and adaptable to accommodate diverse teaching styles. Any teacher, school, or district can use this book to plan their year and to craft their own more detailed lesson plans with confidence that they are adhering to the standards.

"Common Core Curriculum Maps in English Language Arts is a wonderful tool for classroom teachers who have all they can do to handle their countless daily responsibilities. With the inclusion of essential questions, and even ways to bring in music and art, the maps in this book are ready-made for teachers to use as they see fit. The maps are a helpful tool for implementing the Common Core State Standards in the classroom and provide a welcome and long overdue system of support for America's educators."—David P. Driscoll, former president of the Council of Chief State School Officers and current chair of the National Assessment Governing Board

"The curriculum maps in this book offer us a magnificent opportunity to rekindle the magic of learning in America's classrooms! Teachers will be excited to bring content-rich, integrated learning experiences to life using these maps as a guide." —Teresa Chance, Professional Development Director for Rogers Public Schools, Arkansas

About the Author

Common Core is a non-profit organization formed in 2007 to advocate for a content-rich liberal arts education in America's K-12 schools. To improve education in America, Common Core creates curriculum tools and also promotes programs, policies, and initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels that provide students with challenging, rigorous instruction in the full range of liberal arts and sciences. Common Core is not affiliated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For more information, go to

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa532b87c) out of 5 stars 42 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5335480) out of 5 stars Only a Map, but a Useful One Jan. 9 2012
By Elvin Ortiz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The text is not a discussion or debate about methodologies or proper strategies; its title is quite clear. This book offers a map that makes connection between the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) and English Language Arts content. Following some recent curriculum designs, such as Wiggins & McTighe's Understanding by Design, Erickson's Concept-Based Curriculum, or Backward Design (these texts are not mentioned in this book), the text aims at designing six thematic units per grade, taking the common core standards as the catapult for each lesson. Themes may have to with values (e.g. Courage or perseverance) or literature (e.g. Action is character; the importance of setting in fiction) and the texts suggested are a combination of fiction and non-fiction. This is because the CCSS are designed to raise the standards to greater depth and to motivate students to participate in their own learning.

The description of the text provided above is quite accurate. I like the overview because it is a brief summary of what students are expected to do with the unit; and I also like the fact that it reminds teachers that learning from this lesson requires students to have knowledge acquired in the previous grade, stressing the importance of continuity in designing curriculum and expecting successful results. The only weakness would be to expect that every student read the same text from the previous grade, since there is a part in the lesson plan that makes connections between texts from both grades (e.g. A sixth grade text and a seventh grade text). However, this can be ignored since the "map" is a tool that can be adapted to different circumstances.It also provides a variety of suggested activities meant for advanced and slow learners, and student-centered as well as teacher-centered activities. Since each lesson provides in detail all the standards, the possible objectives, at least 12 assessment activities, the book turns out to be quite useful.

I read above that six units may not be enough, but I believe that they are sufficient to prepare a learner for the next grade considering the in-depth coverage given to the theme by each lesson or unit (also all language skills are included here).

Although the book states that it is for those responsible for implementing the state curriculum in their schools any interested teacher can benefit from its content.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53356cc) out of 5 stars Organized Units with Tons of Resources March 26 2012
By Helen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is more than I thought! It gives more than just the CCSS. It provides a clearer understanding about the Common Core and adds at least 6 organized teaching units per grade level with more than enough resource references and ideas to use! Teachers who buy this book now, can start collecting their materials and plan for next year! This is also a great guidance for teachers who want to develop lessons on an interactive white board, since the units are laid out. The lessons are a way to unfold what CCSS should look like with flexibility to change or add to the lessons provided. Here's a book that spells it out for teachers that is made by teachers!! I am looking forward to teaching from these units!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5335690) out of 5 stars A call to challenge our students July 23 2012
By Shannon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Common Core Curriculum Maps in ELA: Grades 6-8 is a fabulous resource, but you must look at it as that, a resource. It won't give you a full curriculum with meticulously planned lesson plans with detailed formative and summarize assessments with accompanying rubrics. What it will give you is a great example and starting point. I have been very lucky to be in a school that has been intensively working on bringing our curriculum in line with he CCSSs for 2 years. I stumbled across this while looking for some guidance on 2 units I need to replace due to the new text complexity that will be required for the new standards. What a find!

The resources referenced within the maps are too many to mention and varied, including fiction and nonfiction novel texts as well as poetry, art pieces, film, and informational articles. All of the published books seem to be readily available right here on Amazon and the magazine and newspaper articles are very easy to gain access to through a search using your favorite search engine. I realize that the suggested texts may seem daunting and "above" many of our students but this is where education is headed and the suggestions are in line with the CCSSs. Many of the texts used in these maps are either exemplar texts taken from the indices of the standards themselves or are alternate texts by the authors of the exemplar texts.

I currently teach in a Title 1 school where many of my kids are ESL/ELL. Will some of what is suggested be a challenge for them? Yes, most certainly! But I say, "Bring it on!" Let's challenge them, they're worth it aren't they?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5335984) out of 5 stars A good guide, nothing more Aug. 5 2013
By sierra benton - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this text to help me design the middle school English curriculum at my school. We don't have a set curriculum in place, and I needed something to simply use as a starting block. For this purpose, this book is excellent. It offers cohesive units that flow from one to the next very smoothly, and it addresses the standards in a logical and natural way. The most valuable part of this text, I think, is the materials list it offers for each unit. As a new teacher, I don't yet know, for example, all of the great books that might address setting. However, I do wish the materials list would rely a little more heavily on short stories and poems, as purchasing class sets of many of the books suggested is simply out of the question for my school. Also, be sure to take the editor's advice, and do not try to complete every activity suggested. There's no way you'd have time to do that! Just browse the suggested activities and materials and use them as a springboard.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa53359e4) out of 5 stars eighth grade teacher Dec 9 2011
By 8th grade teacher - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has very good units in it for 8th grade and gives a good sketch of what unit plans should look like with the common core. The only thing that would make it better is more units.