If you’re transitioning to Common Core, consider revising your writing prompts to reflect Common Core language. This practice introduces students to academic words and also prepares them for the language that is likely to be on standardized tests. Increasing students’ word knowledge is also an important UDL Guideline (Checkpoint 2.1), as students are more successful and more engaged when teachers clarify important vocabulary for them.
Recently, I created the following list of “CCSS power words,” which are words that appear in the Core Anchor standards for ELA. I thought I’d share. Teach the words to your students, model strategies for each skill, and use the words consistently in your writing prompts to push students to the next level.
Common Core Goals for Students (aligned to Anchor standards)
Analyze (R.2, R.3, R.5, R.9) – To break apart – to study something carefully
Compare (R.9) – Discuss how things are the same
Contrast (R.9) – Discuss how things are different
Draw evidence (W.9) – To support and back up with evidence
Evaluate (R.8, SL.2, SL.3) – Judge, have an opinion, based on evidence
Infer (R.1) – Read between the lines, make a guess based on evidence
Interpret (R.4) – Explain the meeting of, try to figure out the meaning of something
Integrate (R.7, W.8, SL.2) – Bring evidence into writing
Summarize (R.2) – Give a short version using evidence