• Learn About In Common

    K-12 annotated student writing samples illustrate the integration of content understanding and writing in the three types of writing expected by the CCSS: argument/opinion writing, informative/explanatory writing, and narrative writing. This bank of annotated student work will provide a foundation for analysis and discussions that lead to a deep and nuanced understanding of the Common Core Writing Standards. In Common offers hundreds of examples of competent, content-integrated student writing. Each piece has been carefully annotated to show how it reflects one of the three Common Core writing types within the framework of strong content understanding.

  • What In Common Includes

    Two types of writing are included in the In Common resources.

    • On-demand writing: The pieces in this set were written independently to a text-based prompt. Use them to more deeply understand each writing type at a particular grade level or to trace the progression of a standard from grade level to grade level.
    • Range of writing: Students need to “write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes and audiences ”. The pieces in this set provide some examples of what a “range of writing” deeply integrated with classroom content might include. Pieces are drawn from a variety of content areas and written for a variety of purposes and audiences.

    Each piece has been transcribed as the student wrote it, with the same errors in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation as the original. Only CCSS Writing Standards 1, 2, and 3 were considered when selecting these pieces. Mastery of conventions (addressed in the Language Standards) was not evaluated.

     Pieces are annotated to show their relationship to CCSS Writing Standards 1-3. Some annotations appear in the sidebars. In the sidebar annotations, exact wording from the Standard is distinguished by bold font. Care was taken to use the exact wording of the Standard where possible. More extensive commentary is available in a box at the end of each piece.

    There are at least two versions of the same piece in each file. The first is annotated and includes commentary designed to help educators better understand how the features of the piece relate to the descriptors in the Standard. Each file also contains a version of the piece that has been transcribed, but not annotated. This version may be used for a variety of purposes, including professional development.

  • How to Use In Common

    This bank of annotated student work will provide a foundation for analysis and discussions that lead to a deep and nuanced understanding of the Common Core Writing Standards.   Ideas for use include:

    • Use one of the professional development activities  at your next staff meeting or with your PLC. 
    • Use the Common Core Standards to annotate one of the un-annotated pieces. Discuss your observations with your colleagues, and compare them to the annotated version in the collection.
    • Analyze a span of on-demand prompted pieces in a single writing type (for example, K-5 opinion pieces) to develop a clearer understanding of the developmental progression across grade levels.
    • Use the “Revised and Edited” version of a piece as a model for students when you are teaching writing. Discuss the elements of effective writing described in the Standards. In what ways is this an effective piece? How might this piece be improved?
    • Look at a set of grade-level pieces in all of the three writing types and note the differences and similarities between the pieces. How, for example, are the argument pieces similar to the informative/explanatory pieces at your grade level? Which skills and techniques can be practiced and reinforced across writing types?
    • Compare the on-demand prompted piece at your grade level with the range of writing pieces. What are the similarities and differences in writing independently from a prompt and writing that stems from classroom content and instruction? What does this imply for your practice?
    • Look, across several grade levels, at the range of writing pieces in one writing type. Each Common Core writing type is broad and encompasses many familiar genres. What kinds of pieces (reports, response to text, procedure, etc.) are part of informative/explanatory writing? Argument/opinion? Narrative? What does this imply for your instruction?
    • Examine a collection of range of writing pieces at, above, and below the grade you teach. What ideas can you get from these pieces about integrating writing and content in the curriculum?
    • In Common User Guide

      Navigating and using the resource to improve instruction. 3-pg doc.

    • In Common FAQ

      A Common Core implementation resource for writing instruction

  • The Story of In Common
    • The Story of In Common: Where the Standards Meet the Students

      By James P. Patterson, a lead writer of the CCSS. 4-pg doc.

  • Collection of All In Common, Writing Samples, K-12
    • Collection of All In Common, Writing Samples, K-12

      Includes all samples from all three writing types below in a single, printable document. 648-pg PDF.