Joshua McKerrow, Associated Press
In this photo taken on Dec. 2, 2013, Latoya Alexander teaches her third graders about the nation and culture of China at Pershing Hill Elementary School in Fort Meade, Md.

Common Core standards for reading include literature and informational texts. The standards detail the thinking skills students should learn. Although reading lists are provided as samples of rigor, no particular texts are required.

Examples of literature standards for grades 9-10 include:

Cite textual evidence to support your analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings.

Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (such as how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Examples of informational text standards for grades 9-10 include:

Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (such as Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.

Perhaps the surest way to discover the truth about the Common Core State Standards is to read them. They are online at

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