English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) Standards

To learn more about the ELA standards, use the menu on the left to select a strand; then choose an anchor standard and skill level.* You’ll find:

  • the complete text of the selected anchor standard,
  • the specific, leveled standards,
  • teacher notes that help to explain the language of the standards and outline instructional considerations,
  • a summary description and link to one or more sample activities targeting the selected standard and incorporating Virginia workforce readiness skills,
  • a list of assessment targets from the GED® Reasoning through Language Arts test that align with the selected standard,
  • a list of websites and other resources with information or activities relevant to teaching the selected standard.

You will also find links to classroom-ready activities in the right sidebar after you’ve selected a standard. To skip the supporting materials and go straight to the ELA Activities bank , or use the Search Activities feature in the left menu.

The English language arts/literacy (ELA) section the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education comprises four skill-focused strands:

  • Language standards address the conventions of English grammar, mechanics, and usage as well as vocabulary acquisition.
  • Reading standards address skills such as comprehension, including the ability to follow the development and nuances of authors’ ideas and to evaluate intricate arguments. In addition, Foundational Skills reading standards address phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency.
  • Speaking and Listening standards address the ability to communicate and collaborate in a variety of settings and using a variety of presentation tools.
  • Writing standards address skills such as planning and editing, writing to inform and explain, incorporating research, and crafting arguments.

Across these four language skills, the standards focus on regular practice with complex text and its academic language; reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from text; and building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction.

*A note about skill level: The CCRS ELA standards show the progression of each skill from the foundational to the college-ready level. Each overarching anchor skill is broken down into 5 grade-level groupings that correspond to adult education NRS Educational functional levels: A (K-1, Beginning Adult Basic Education Literacy), B (2-3, Beginning Basic Education), C (4-5, Low Intermediate Basic Education), D (6-8, High Intermediate Basic Education), and E (9-12, Low Adult Secondary and High Adult Secondary Education). For ease of use, especially in multilevel classrooms, the ELA curriculum frameworks are grouped in three levels: A/B, C/D, and E. Many of the activities included can be simply adapted for lower or higher levels.

  • Language Standards Examples / Activities

    Title / Description

    • The Affix Garden

      Students manipulate shapes (flower=prefix, stem=root word, suffix=leaf) to learn about affixes and create words.

      Leveled Standards: l4a Workforce Readiness Skills: Reading and Writing
    • Context Clues: Opening Night

      Students read a short passage and use context clues to determine word meanings.

      Leveled Standards: l4b Workforce Readiness Skills: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing
    • Categorizing Activity

      Teacher models identifying key words in a nonfiction reading and sorting them into categories; students read another short passage and apply their categorization skills.

      Leveled Standards: l5a Workforce Readiness Skills: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Time, Task, and Resource Management
    • Figurative Language: Tractors Take Over

      Students analyze the figurative language in a short passage from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

      Leveled Standards: l5c Workforce Readiness Skills: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Time, Task, and Resource Management
    • Job Search Vocabulary

      Students research specific jobs and markets using opens in a new window Virginia Workforce Connection; they identify and define unknown words and use them in resumé building, cover letter writing, and mock interviewing.

      Leveled Standards: l6e Workforce Readiness Skills: Integrity, Teamwork, Self-representation, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Lifelong Learning, Job Acquisition and Advancement, Internet Use and Security
  • Reading Standards Examples / Activities

    Title / Description

    • In Memory of Dr. King

      Students learn about and practice making inferences; they read and/or listen to a passage about the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

      Leveled Standards: r1ab Workforce Readiness Skills: Reading and Writing, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Internet Use and Security
    • Finding the Main Idea, Getting to Work on Time

      Students at A level will be introduced to finding a main idea through pictures, and students with reading levels as low as first-grade equivalent will read a passage, retell it, and determine the main idea. Extension activities include practicing time management skills, including filling out a timesheet

      Leveled Standards: r2a Workforce Readiness Skills: Positive Work Ethic, Conflict Resolution, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Time, Task, and Resource Management, Mathematics, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Too Broke to Learn

      Students will read a three-part blog series to gain a new perspective on student poverty and the stereotypes surrounding people who experience poverty through no choice of their own.

      Leveled Standards: r2cd Workforce Readiness Skills: Positive Work Ethic, Integrity, Self-representation, Diversity awareness, Creativity and resourcefulness, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Time, Task, and Resource Management, Mathematics, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Before It’s Too Late

      Students will read and summarize an 8-page chapter from a book on the subject of raising children to be responsible.

      Leveled Standards: r2e Workforce Readiness Skills: Positive Work Ethic, Teamwork, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing
  • Speaking And Listening Examples / Activities

    Title / Description

    • Conversational Fishbowl

      Students choose a question (from a list such as opens in a new window this one ) to discuss in order to become more comfortable talking in a discussion format. Instructional focus should be on learners speaking one at a time and listening to respond or add to the topic.

      Leveled Standards: sl1a Workforce Readiness Skills: Diversity Awareness, Conflict Resolution, Speaking and Listening
    • Teen Driving Pro/Con Discussion

      Following opens in a new window a lesson plan from the Teaching Channel, students read two articles on teen driving and the minimum driving age. After marking the readings and working collaboratively to make notes, learners use a jury-style philosophical chairs format to engage in productive student-led discussions.

      Leveled Standards: sl1cd Workforce Readiness Skills: Conflict Resolution, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing
    • Confederate Flag Controversy Discussion

      After reading an article on a controversy at a Virginia high school regarding the Confederate flag and viewing primary sources related to the flag’s role in history, learners discuss the flag’s symbolism and how the high school should have responded to the incident.

      Leveled Standards: sl1e Workforce Readiness Skills: Teamwork, Diversity Awareness, Conflict Resolution, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Understanding the Dyslexic Mind

      In Part 1, students listen to a radio interview with a dyslexic journalist and answer questions about the details. In Part 2, students listen and read along to a radio piece about successful dyslexics. Students answer questions found in the reading. In Part 3, students analyze a graph showing the divergence of IQ and reading ability in dyslexics.

      Leveled Standards: sl2abc Workforce Readiness Skills: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • The Soup Nazi and Customer Service

      In Part 1, students listen to a radio interview with a dyslexic journalist and answer questions about the details. In Part 2, students listen and read along to a radio piece about successful dyslexics. Students answer questions found in the reading. In Part 3, students analyze a graph showing the divergence of IQ and reading ability in dyslexics

      Leveled Standards: sl2cde Workforce Readiness Skills: Self-representation, Diversity Awareness, Conflict Resolution, Creativity and Resourcefulness, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Organizations, Systems, and Climates, Lifelong Learning, Customer Service, Information Technology, Internet use and security
    • Confessions of Nat Turner

      Students work in teams to integrate and evaluate information from slavery-era primary documents.

      Leveled Standards: sl2eh Workforce Readiness Skills: Speaking and Listening, Teamwork, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
    • Guest Speaker

      Invite an informative guest speaker to class (or ask a student to speak to classmates about an area of expertise). Before the visit, have students plan the questions they will ask; during the visit, encourage students to ask follow-up questions.

      Leveled Standards: sl3ab Workforce Readiness Skills: Teamwork, Self-representation, Speaking and Listening, Lifelong Learning
    • Summarizing Pro/Con Videos

      Have students work in groups to find a persuasive speech online, use a graphic organizer to analyze the speaker’s claims, and write a summary in five sentences or less.

      Leveled Standards: sl3cd Workforce Readiness Skills: Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Speaking and Listening, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Lifelong Learning, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Analyzing Rhetoric in a Video

      Have students work in groups to analyze the rhetorical elements of a persuasive speech. As a group, discuss how the parts work together to influence an audience.

      Leveled Standards: sl3e Workforce Readiness Skills: Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Speaking and Listening, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Lifelong Learning, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Workplace Safety Presentations

      Students read and listen to texts related to workplace safety. Then, students create their own multimedia presentations synthesizing the workplace safety lessons learned.

      Leveled Standards: sl4abcd Workforce Readiness Skills: Self-representation, Creativity and Resourcefulness, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Health and Safety, Organizations, Systems, and Climates, Lifelong Learning, Mathematics, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security, Telecommunications
    • Career Exploration and Workplace Safety Presentations

      Students read and listen to texts related to workplace safety. Then, students research jobs and create their own multimedia presentations synthesizing job information, workplace safety lessons learned, and personal career goals.

      Leveled Standards: sl4de Workforce Readiness Skills: Self-representation, Creativity and Resourcefulness, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Health and Safety, Organizations, Systems, and Climates, Lifelong Learning, Job Acquisition and Advancement, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security, Telecommunications
    • Using Multimedia Strategically

      Students discuss good and bad presentations and read tips for avoiding multimedia mistakes. Then, they revise one of their own presentations by adding or changing a multimedia element.

      Leveled Standards: sl5cde Workforce Readiness Skills: Self-representation, Creativity and Resourcefulness, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security, Telecommunications
    • “How To” Speeches

      Teacher models a simple “how to” speech. Then, students prepare and deliver their own speeches.

      Leveled Standards: sl6ab Workforce Readiness Skills: Self-representation, Creativity and Resourcefulness, Speaking and Listening, Time, Task, and Resource Management, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Classroom Debate

      Students select a debate topic, organize pro/con teams, conduct research, plan arguments, and carry out a classroom debate.

      Leveled Standards: sl6cde Workforce Readiness Skills: Teamwork, Self-representation, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, Time, Task, and Resource Management, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
    • Listening and Responding Across Subject Areas

      Students listen to and discuss informational audio presentations.

      Leveled Standards: sl6cde2 Workforce Readiness Skills: Self-representation, Speaking and Listening, Information Technology, Internet Use and Security
  • Writing Standards Examples / Activities

    Title / Description