Posted by: nancyisanders | November 26, 2014

Working with the Common Core

It was so much fun to hear from so many of you yesterday! I’m so glad so many of you are rolling up your sleeves and exploring the world of nonfiction. If you posted a comment yesterday and didn’t yet get my pdf file, check your spam folder or junk mail. Also, e-mail me at and I’ll hit reply to send you the file. Perhaps I typed in your e-mail address wrong.

And I wanted to thank you Donna for asking such a super great question in my personal e-mail yesterday after receiving the pdf file, that I thought I’d post the answer for you all to see and benefit from!

Here’s the question:

May I ask how you pair up subject matter with sections of the Common Core? How do you know what grade it should be geared for?

And here’s the answer:

In a general sort of way, any time you write informational text or nonfiction for students to use, it will support the Common Core for Language Arts.

And if you want it to support specific standards, just make certain you incorporate elements of specific standards into your finished product. For example, if you include captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, or icons in your text for second graders, your manuscript supports the CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5 Standard.

Another factor to consider is the readability level of the text. Run it through the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Check and see what grade level of student your text can be read by.

Another factor to consider is which grade teaches what subject. I address this in depth on pages 49-55 in Section 3.2 STATE AND NATIONAL STANDARDS in my book YES! YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO WRITE BEGINNING READERS AND CHAPTER BOOKS. In a nutshell, though, you can visit the site of Education World to see what topics are taught at what grade level. Then when you find where your topic would fit in, write your manuscript to match the reading level of the Flesch-Kincaid score, and choose some of the Common Core standards at that grade level to incorporate into your manuscript.

Hope this makes sense! If you have any more questions about all this, just let me know.


  1. What a great question! Nancy, thank you for sharing your secrets. šŸ™‚ I have your book, so I’ll refer to Section 3.2. šŸ™‚

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