Reading: Complex Texts and Growing Comprehension
The reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. Standard 10 defines a grade-by-grade “staircase” of increasing text complexity that rises from beginning reading to the college and career readiness level. With standards for reading literature and informational texts, students must also demonstrate a steadily growing proficiency in learning more from text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts, considering a wider range of textual evidence, and becoming more sensitive to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and reasoning.
Writing: Text types, Responding to Reading, and Research
The writing standards acknowledge the fact that some writing skills, such as planning, revising, editing, and publishing, are applicable to many types of writing. Other skills are more properly defined in terms of specific writing types: arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives. Standard 9 stresses the importance of the writing-reading connection by requiring students to draw upon and write about evidence from literary and informational texts. The importance of writing to most forms of inquiry is such that research standards are prominently included in this standard, though skills important to research are infused throughout the document.
Speaking and Listening: Flexible Communication and Collaboration
The speaking and listening standards require students to develop a range of broadly useful oral communication and interpersonal skills, including but not limited to skills necessary for formal presentations. Students must learn to work together, to express and listen carefully to ideas, to integrate information from oral, visual, quantitative, and media sources, to evaluate what they hear, use media and visual displays strategically in support of achieve communicative purposes, and to adapt speech to context and task.
Language: Conventions, Effective Use, and Vocabulary
The ELA standards include the essential “rules” of standard written and spoken English. They also approach language as a matter of craft and informed choice among alternatives. The vocabulary standards focus on understanding words and phrases, their relationships, and their nuances, and on acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.
The ELA portion of the Michigan Merit Curriculum is grounded in the Michigan ELA Standards . Appendix A includes the research that
supports the key elements of the standards.
Suggestions for complex text can be found
in Appendix B. Student writing samples are
provided in Appendix C.