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Looking deeper at Craft and Structure for Reading with Common Core Standards

Looking deeper at

Craft and Structure 

for Reading 

with Common Core Standards

Common core

Craft and Structure are numbers 4-6 in the Common Core standards.  Did you know that 10 out of 14 assessed claims are based on these standards?  Yet after some empirical data,  it has been found that most Language Arts instruction resides in standards 1-3 -Key ideas and details.  We need to be focusing more on these standards.

Let's break down each one of the craft and structure standards...

Craft and Structure Reading Standard #4
"Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone."

First of all, this is not about vocabulary lists and context clues.  It's more about the author and their choices.   

Some questions that should guide your lesson planning...

  • Why do you think the author used this particular word?
  • What images does the author paint when he uses the word _______?
Remember to focus on the intent of the author.

Craft and Structure Reading Standard #5
"Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole."

This can be easily confused with text structures used with informational text.  This is not that.  This is more about the authors choices in what structure the text is written in.  Is it a narrative?  A poem?  Free verse?
Then within that structure, what is the big picture?  Did the author write a long detailed paragraph to offer the most information?  Or did the author choose a one sentence or a very small paragraph to pack a punch?

Craft and Structure Reading Standard #6
"Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text."

In the past when we asked author's purpose, the answer was inform, entertain or persuade.  This standard goes much deeper than that!  Here the analysis is on the point of view of the author or the specific purpose in writing this text.

As you can see all the questions focus on the author and the intentionality in using certain words or structures in demonstrating a point of view or writing for a specific purpose.

common core

Hope this gave you a little more clarity.  If you need help with close reading, check out these close reading guides I created for you!

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You can find me on these platforms (as well as my blog!)

How can I make your job easier this year?  Let me know in the comments.  If I use your ideas for a blog post, you will win $10 to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Even better, if I use your ideas to make a resource in my store, LisaTeachR's Classroom, I'll send you a free copy of that resource! 


  1. Thank you for breaking down these standards!

  2. Thanks so much for this helpful post.

  3. Love the way you broke down these two standards. They aren't easy ones, that's for sure!

  4. So important to dig a little deeper into the standards, as you point out! I look forward to your next post as you make it more specific. Very usable info here that can be implemented tomorrow in class. Thank you!

  5. This is such a great recap & reminder. These 2 standards are so important! Thanks, Lisa!

  6. I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. common core workbooks


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