Common Core Lessons & References
||Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.
If you're unfamiliar with the basics of the Common Core, we have the resources to help you adapt your own materials to these new standards.
Common Core Reading
- Leave Your Sleep Teacher's Guide
Leave Your Sleep is a collection of classic children's poetry set to music by Natalie Merchant and illustrated by Barbara McClintock. This teacher's guide for the book is divided into two parts, one for grades K-3 and one for grades 4-6. Both levels have pre-reading activities and thematic connections, curriculum connections, and multidisciplinary connections linked to the Common Core State Standards.
- A Core Curriculum Guide for Penguin Young Readers: A Leveled Reading Program for Beginning Readers
Reach beginning readers with twelve lesson plans to use in conjunction with the Penguin Young Readers program. Written by teachers for teachers, each lesson is aligned with Common Core State Standards and includes a step-by-step guide broken out into "before," "during," and "after" reading prompts. You'll also find extension activities for each book and additional Penguin Young Reader titles for further learning.
- Dead End in Norvelt Teacher's Guide
Jack Gantos's Dead End in Norvelt is the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Enrich students' reading experience with thematic questions for group discussion, cross-curricular activities aligned with Common Core State Standards, plus a Q&A with the author. Students will research historical events and New Deal communities; they'll also discuss family relationships, friendship, community, courage, honesty, and growing up.
- Mirror, Mirror: The Book of Reversible Verse Educator's Guide
Mirror, Mirror: The Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer and Josée Masse is more than a picture book! Read each poem forward and backwards for a different meaning. Use these lesson plans with the book to teach poetry, language, and fairy tales. Each activity is aligned with Common Core State Standards for grades 3-4.
- A Tale Dark and Grimm Educator's Guide
Perfect for independent or guided reading assignments, this comprehensive educator's guide to A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz includes lesson plans for a 5-7 week unit. For each chapter of this clever take on classic fairy tales, you'll find a vocabulary list paired with activities and comprehension questions that align with Common Core State Standards.
- Out of the Easy Discussion Guide
Use these discussion questions for Out of the Easy to talk about the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of the novel. This discussion guide is correlated to the Common Core reading standards. The story—a work of historical fiction by Ruta Sepetys— is set in New Orleans during the 1950s. Josie Moraine, the teenage daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is looking to escape the life of 'The Big Easy' and fulfill her dream of a college education.
Enter your high school seniors in Penguin's Out of the Easy Writing Scholarship Contest for their chance to win $5,000 towards college. Teachers must submit their qualifying students' essays by May 31, 2013. See www.outoftheeasy.com for the official rules and entry form.
- The Green Glass Sea Educator's Guide
Study World War II and the Manhattan Project through literature. The classroom lesson plans and post-reading activities in this educator's guide to The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages are aligned to Common Core State Standards for language arts. The novel—set in Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II—deals with multiple themes, such as self-discovery, abandonment, bullying, friendship, family, and death.
- Thirteen Reasons Why Educator's Guide
This educator's guide to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher includes activity and discussion prompts plus classroom lesson plans. Each resource is aligned with Common Core State Standards and includes suggestions for integrating technology. The novel makes an excellent companion to any school or community campaign for National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14, 2013) or Bullying Prevention Month (October).
- Matched Educator's Guide
This educator's guide to Matched by Ally Condie incudes classroom lesson plans, writing prompts, research questions, and enrichment activities aligned with Common Core State Standards. As students consider the dystopian novel's layered and complex themes, challenge them to think deeply about choice, loyalty, sacrifice, and the expectations of society.
- Between Shades of Gray Educator's Guide
Use these activities, assignments, writing prompts, and discussion questions with Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys to teach the book within the context of English and history class. The historical novel tells the story of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas and her family, taken from their home in Lithuania and sent on a harrowing journey as refugees from the Baltics to the Siberian tundra during the 1940s. All of the lesson planning resources in this educator's guide align with Common Core State Standards for grades 7-10.
- Educator's Guide for Playground
Reach reluctant readers with the semi-autobiographical novel Playground by 50 Cent. This printable guide features discussion questions and activities aligned with common core standards for reading and writing. Students will examine aspects of 50 Cent's life that influence the story, which provides a glimpse into the mind of a bully and explores themes of transformation and change.
- Vocabulary Game
Use this interactive game with terms from a nonfiction text to engage students in learning new vocabulary. For the game, students must use "yes" or "no" questions to figure out what word or definition they are assigned from a nonfiction text and find their match. This activity addresses Common Core State Standards for reading informational text.
- Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words Discussion & Activity Guide
Learn about Marcel Marceau—the world's most famous mime—through discussion questions and activities for Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words, a picture book biography by Leda Schubert and Gerard DuBois. The resources in this literature guide are designed to help students meet Common Core reading standards for grade 3.
- Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 Teacher's Guide
These text-based activities for Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose align with the Common Core State Standards. Students will consider the book's message about protecting the environment; they will research the rufa red knots' migratory circuit, environmental issues, and conservation efforts.
- Lincoln's Last Days Teacher's Guide
Examine the events leading up to Abraham Lincoln's assassination with this teacher's guide for Lincoln's Last Days by Bill O'Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman. Use the book as a supplemental text for history and English classes to bring Abraham Lincoln's last days to life. Students will review facts about the Civil War and and learn about Washington, D.C., in the 1860s. This literature guide includes pre-reading activities, discussion suggestions, and curriculum connections aligned with Common Core State Standards.
- Teacher's Guide for Bomb: The Race to Build – And Steal – The World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Newbery Honor book Bomb: The Race to Build – And Steal – The World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin is an exciting work of nonfiction that will kindle students' interest in history and science. Use this teacher's guide to examine the story of the atomic bomb through literature and text-based activities for science, history, language arts, theater, writing, film and debate. The questions and activities in this printable are aligned with Common Core State Standards.
- Common Core Lesson Plans for the Who Was...? Series
Use the activities throughout this guide with the Who Was...? Series for teaching specific historical events, studying famous figures, or covering a unit of popular biography subjects. Each group of lessons includes activities aligned with the Common Core State Standards for grades 3-6. The guide includes educational resources for studying famous African Americans, women's history, U.S. presidents, the American Revolution, explorers, leaders, scientists, artists, writers, and musicians.
- Hope's Gift Discussion & Activity Guide
Use literature to teach young children about slavery, the American Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation. This discussion and activity guide for Hope's Gift by Kelly Starling Lyons includes pre-reading questions, discussion questions, lesson plans, and activities that align with Common Core reading standards. After reading the book, students will make an Emancipation Proclamation timeline, listen to a Negro spiritual, and write a poem about freedom.
- Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children Common Core Lesson Plans
Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley presents students with the untold stories of Thomas Jefferson's enslaved children. Enrich your novel study with discussion questions, activities, and writing prompts aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and History and Social Studies for grades 5–7. Students will discuss prejudice and social class seen from a child's perspective, grapple with the themes of injustice and inequality, and learn about family and friendship in a time of slavery.
- The Lions of Little Rock Common Core Lesson Plans
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine is set in Little Rock, Arkansas one year after the Little Rock Nine integrated Central High School. Enrich your English or history unit by using the novel with these core curriculum lesson plans. Students will examine racial discrimination and social justice while learning how young people can be a part of political change. These lesson plans present discussion questions, activities, and writing prompts that align with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and History and Social Studies for grades 5–7.
- Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure Teacher's Guide
Appeal to kids' love for treasure-hunting and their natural curiosity with classroom activities for Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure, by Mike Wolfe. This teacher's guide provides many opportunities to meet Common Core State Standards as students learn about history and develop their research skills. Through these activities, students will develop an appreciation for repurposing old objects.
- Frog Song Teacher's Guide
Introduce young readers to frogs and the boreal forest. This printable teacher's guide to Frog Song aligns with first grade Common Core State Standards. It includes pre-reading activities, curriculum connections, and fun activities to accompany the nonfiction children's book.
Common Core Writing
- Two Sides to Every Story: Writing From a Different Perspective
Encourage students to create an original story based on an existing text. After reading a selected story, students imagine how the story would be different if it were told from the perspective of another character. This activity addresses Common Core State Standards for writing and reading literature.
- Realistic Fiction
After reading a realistic fiction story aloud to the class, students will brainstorm one-sentence story ideas for their own realistic plot outline. This activity addresses Common Core State Standards for reading literature, writing, speaking and listening.
- You're the Author, You Write the Sequel
Encourage creative writing with this reading extension activity. Students will read a story, brainstorm what might happen next, and use their imaginations to write and illustrate their own sequels. This activity addresses Common Core State Standards for writing.
Common Core Mathematics
Common Core & Speaking/Listening
- Cover Story
In this reading extension activity, students redesign a book cover to demonstrate their understanding of story elements. After discussing why books have covers, students use the cover of a book to predict the story. Then they compare the story with their predictions and make their own drawings. This activity is aligned to Common Core State Standards for reading literature and speaking and listening.
- TV News Reporter Book Report
This reading extension activity is a fun take on a book report. Students will read a story, review the facts, and give an oral presentation on the story in the style of a television news reporter. This activity addresses Common Core State Standards for speaking and listening.
- Introducing Nonfiction
Introduce nonfiction with this reading extension activity. After learning about nonfiction, read aloud a nonfiction book to the class. Students will draw a picture of something they learned from the text. This activity is aligned to Common Core State Standards for reading informational text and speaking and listening.
Common Core Resources & References
Confused about what the Common Core Standards entail? Get information on understanding the standards, plus further resources on using the Common Core Standards in your curriculum, with ELL students, in assessment, etc. The resources below will take you to another website from Pearson Education.
Common Core on Pinterest
Visit TeacherVision's Pinterest board to find even more lesson planning resources and information about the Common Core.
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Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.