• Basal Alignment Project

    The Basal Alignment Project offers replacement lessons for Basal readers developed prior to the Common Core State Standards. Hundreds of teachers worked collaboratively to develop these materials. Each lesson has been authored, edited, and reviewed by a team of teachers to improve CCSS alignment.

    These lessons have been developed with an emphasis on key aspects of the Common Core, including quality sequenced text-dependent questions, improved integrated writing tasks, and a focus on academic vocabulary. The resources below explain how to identify and create text-dependent and text-specific questions that deepen student understanding and how to identify academic vocabulary.

    Please note: as Basal readers are updated, the page numbers referenced and unit/week designations found within these lessons may no longer be accurate, and the context of the questions and tasks will need to be used to determine the specific pages.

  • Create Your Own Basal AlignmentLessons

    These lessons can be used immediately in the classroom and for professional development. Learn how to create your own CCSS-aligned lessons using high quality trade books, or train educators in your district.

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  • Creating Text-Dependent Questions

    The Common Core State Standards expect students to use evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. One critical way to help students develop these skills is through the use of text-dependent questions: questions that can only be answered by referring back to the text.

    The Text-Dependent Question Resources include tools to help write and evaluate text-dependent questions, as well as a link to lesson materials featuring sequences of text -dependent questions meant to deepen student understanding of the text.

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  • Identifying Academic Vocabulary

    Tier 2 (academic vocabulary) words appear in many different contexts and are often subtle or precise ways to say relatively simple things, for example “relative” or “accumulate". Since these aren't words that will typically be used in a student's conversations and they aren't domain-specific, they should be given more focus than Tier 1 and Tier 3 vocabulary.

    The Academic Word Finder pulls the most useful academic vocabulary words from a given text - those that are not too common and not too rare. There may be other academic vocabulary words the tool does not highlight that a teacher determines are important to the text. This tool doesn't replace teacher judgment; rather it helps to support the teacher in identifying which academic words to consider first. Teachers also must gauge what words are most effective for their students' current vocabulary levels. 

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  • Highlighted Aspects of the Shifts

    All of the lessons presented on achievethecore.org are designed to highlight one or more aspects of the ELA/Literacy Shifts. The Basal Alignment Project lessons particularly emphasize:

    Complexity: Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
    Evidence: Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational

    Learn more about the ELA/Literacy Shifts.

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