Writing and the CCSS: What Resources Are Out There?

open resources

Teachers are incredibly busy.  Creating all new lessons aligned to the CCSS is time consuming, to put it mildly.  With this in mind, we’ve looked for some online resources that can help teachers as they create new writing lessons.


One of the  great sites we’ve found is The Teaching Channel.  This site includes videos of teachers in real classrooms.  In the sample we’ve selected, students have to cite evidence from a text as they write.  This middle school lesson can easily be adapted for other grade levels.

Getting Ready to Write:  Citing Textual Evidence

For years, The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has set the gold standard for high quality teaching.  In these videos you can see some recently released classrooms of TC teachers/students.

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

 Edutopia is another of our favorite sites.  Their video and lessons are always top quality!  You will find videos and writing ideas for all grade levels.  Their This I Believe lesson is one that we’ve used with high school students very successfully.

Common Core in Action:  Writing for an Audience

 Student Writing Samples

In Common:  Effective Writing for All Students is a resource by the Vermont Writing Collaborative, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Student Achievement Partners.  This collection of annotated student writing samples is aligned to the CCSS writing standards.  You will find all the types of writing required in the CCSS at this site.  You will also find the writing prompts, as well as the articles and texts used by students.  And clean copies are available to use for training purposes.  These materials can be used by teachers in classrooms or by instructional coaches for professional development and training.

In Common:  Effective Writing for All Students

 Narrative Writing

Pathways to the Common Core:  Narrative Writing offers videos of teachers in real classrooms teaching real students at a variety of grade levels. If you’re a visual learner who learns best by watching, then this is a site that you won’t want to miss.

Pathways to the Common Core:  Narrative Writing


 Writing for an Authentic Audience

We all know that writing for a REAL audience, one that goes beyond the teacher and the classroom, provides a purpose for students to write their best.  Teen Ink provides students with a venue that is high quality, where they can publish, and where they can also read work from other students across the country.  If you have adolescent writers who need a greater purpose for writing, check this site out–and have them check it out, too!

Support for Every Standard

LearnNC is an amazing find.  Created by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it provides an array of resources for the different writing (as well as reading) standards.  You simply find the standard you’re interested in, click on it, and it will take you to a page that links incredible resources from around the country.


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