Curriculum Development for English and Language Arts (ELA)
The Delaware State Standards for English and Language Arts define general, cross-disciplinary literacy expectations that must be met for students to be prepared to enter college and workforce training programs ready to succeed. By emphasizing required outcomes, a great deal is left to the discretion of curriculum developers and teachers to determine how these outcomes should be reached. Furthermore, while the standards make references to some particular forms of content, including mythology, foundational U.S. documents, and Shakespeare, they do not—indeed, cannot—enumerate all or even most of the content that students should learn.
The Delaware State Standards for English and Language Arts must therefore be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum consistent with their defined expectations.
(Delaware English, Language Arts Standards, Key Design Considerations)
The State of Delaware does not mandate the use of any particular curriculum. As always, local education agencies can select and/or develop their own materials; however, curriculum must be aligned to the appropriate grade-level standards. Guidance for evaluating, selecting, and creating instructional materials and curricula appear below.
Curricular Assessment Tools
Explains the elements of the TriState Quality Rubric and the review process to evaluate the quality of lessons and units for ELA/Literacy.
A tool for evaluating a comprehensive textbook or textbook series for alignment to the Shifts and major features of the ELA/Literacy standards. For use with ELA/literacy materials for grades K-2 or 3-12.
This rubric is a tool for evaluating reading/language arts instructional materials for grades K–5. Based on rigorous research, the rubric can be used by state-, district-, and school level practitioners and by university faculty who review instructional materials.
EdReports is an independent non profit designed to improve K-12 education that provides free reviews of K-12 instructional materials based on alignment to college and career-ready standards.
From EdReports - A guide to helps districts analyze how well instructional materials are aligned and what adjustments may need to be considered in order to ensure all students have access to high quality resources.
From EdReports - inventory to assist districts with making informed decisions regarding adoption decisions.
Online reviews of instructional materials by the Louisiana Department of Education
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviews the existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education.
A tool for evaluating grade or course-level assessments for alignment to the Shifts and major features of the standards.
Publishers Criteria in ELA and Literacy, K-2 (Revised 5/2/12)
Designed to guide educators in providing support as they work to align materials and instruction with Delaware's standards in Kindergarten through Grade 2. Briefly describes how to respond to various standards-based questions during the transition to full standards-aligned implementation.
Publishers Criteria in ELA and Literacy, 3-12 (Revised 5/12/12)
Designed to guide educators in providing support as they work to align materials and instruction with Delaware's standards in Grades 3 through 12. Briefly describes how to respond to various standards-based questions during the transition to full standards-aligned implementation.
Provides qualitative and quantitative measures and guides for choosing text for instruction.
The Lexile Framework - The Lexile Framework is a way to match readers with text. Lexile levels help to address the quantitative leg of the text complexity model.
Tools to assist with standards implementation
Implementing Early Literacy
Foundational skills standards are essential for students in kindergarten through second grade and are embedded in all college- and career-ready standards, including the Delaware English Language Arts/Literacy Standards. Foundational skills standards include print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency.
The resources provided here are meant to assist educators with implementing foundational skills instruction in Delaware schools.
- Foundational Skills in the Standards
- Achieve the Core resources and protocols that can be immediately implemented to support foundational skills instruction.
- Lexile measures for beginning readers
- K-2 Read Aloud Project from Achieve the Core
- ELA/Literacy Lessons from Achieve the Core
- K-2 Foundational Skills Guidance Documents
For information on engaging all learners visit:
Discusses the six shifts that affect the Delaware English Language Arts/Literacy Standards. This document can be utilized by curriculum developers, administrators, and teachers individually or for group study and discussion.
Provides guidance on seven issues proven challenging to teachers, principals, administrators, and others who are charged with implementing standards for English Language Arts. Developed by International Literacy Association.
Offers a fresh approach to incorporating literacy into middle and high school content areas. Designed to make literacy instruction the foundation of the core subjects by allowing teachers to build content on top of a coherent approach to literacy.
Literacy Concept Organizers
Assists teachers in standards-aligned instruction. Teachers can select appropriate Knowledge, Understandings, and Dos to develop their own unit(s) of instruction.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn.
- CAST Resources
CAST is a nonprofit education research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning
- UDL Blog
Provides resources and general information about UDL guidelines
- HCPSS UDL Blog
Provides resources for training curriculum writers
These documents were created by literacy leaders across the state in an attempt to articulate what educators could expect to see from students throughout the year on their way to achieving the ELA/Literacy Standards. These guides are not empirically-based learning progressions, but merely reflect one group’s understanding of the subskills and knowledge inherent in each standard. Teaching progressions for instruction and assessment should be determined by the curriculum teachers are using; however, understanding each standard in this way allows teachers to be more responsive to students’ learning needs.
Reading: Informational Text
Standard 1 K-12 Standard 2 K-12 Standard 3 K-12 Grade KN STD 1-3 Grade 1 STD 1-3 Grade 2 STD 1-3 Grade 3 STD 1-3 Grade 4 STD 1-3 Grade 5 STD 1-3 Grade 6 STD 1-3 Grade 7 STD 1-3 Grade 8 STD 1-3 Grades 9-10 STD 1-3 Grades 11-12 STD 1-3
Speaking and Listening
Standard 1 K-5 Standard 1 6-12 Standard 2 K-5 Standard 2 6-12 Standard 3 K-5 Standard 3 6-12 Standard 4 K-5 Standard 4 6-12 Standard 5 K-5 Standard 5 6-12 Standard 6 K-5
Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment Connections
Links below are provided for teachers who work with students who access the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessments
Tested Essential Elements for English Language Arts - Mini Maps
Dynamic Learning Maps - Delaware
Delaware Department of Education Revised Writing Rubrics for use with stand-alone and text-based writing. The rubrics are fully aligned to the Delaware English Language Arts Standards by grade level and discourse. It is highly recommended that these rubrics be used for instruction and classroom assessment. For more information on how to use the rubrics, please see the Writing/Rubric Self-Paced eLearning courses.
- ELA/Literacy: Writing Standards and the Delaware Writing Rubrics (Elementary & Secondary) 101 [Course #24580]
For more information on ELA Standards in Delaware, contact Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development at 302-735-4180.