Rhode Island Core Standards for ELA/Literacy

The Rhode Island Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy articulate clear, consistent expectations about the knowledge, skills, and practices students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

Rhode Island transitioned to the Rhode Island Core Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) on March 9, 2021. Cohesive and aligned standards, curriculum, and assessment are critical to increasing student achievement. The Rhode Island Core Standards for ELA/Literacy are tightly aligned to the assessments in the Rhode Island state assessment program, including the RICAS assessment. These standards maintain the focus, coherence, and rigor of the CSS, while providing greater clarity and highlighting connections among the standards.


Resources for Educators

Part 1: A Focus on General Academic Vocabulary

This module explores the Common Core State Standards' focus on General Academic Vocabulary as a way to provide greater access to complex texts. Educators will learn how to identify The Three Tiers of Vocabulary, become familiar with criteria for selecting Tier Two words for explicit instruction, and explore some instructional resources.

Part 2: Selecting Tier Two Words for Explicit Instruction

In this module, participants will gain additional experience selecting Tier Two words for instruction by using a set of criteria. Participants will have an opportunity to work with an instructional guide to begin planning for explicit vocabulary instruction.

Part 3: Planning for Instruction

Participants will have the opportunity to extend their understanding of planning explicit vocabulary instruction with Tier Two words by using their own classroom texts and sharing instructional approaches.

Recently, there has been some discussion around the topic of pre-reading and how it fits within the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards require students to read increasingly complex texts with growing independence. Because the standards articulate what students should know and be able to do, they, the standards do not tell us how we need to accomplish this expectation. Therefore, this module takes an in-depth look at pre-reading and asks participants to consider certain factors before determining whether a pre-reading lesson is warranted. Additionally, participants will use a guide to analyze their own practices so they may continue to be mindful of the goal, which is to allow students to work through these complex texts independently.

Considering Text Complexity

Module designed for participants to understand the reasoning and importance of the Common Core State Standards’ shift to increase the complexity of texts utilized in K-12 classrooms in order to prepare students for college and career readiness.

Measuring Text Complexity Part 1

Module designed for participants to use a protocol to determine text complexity grade bands for a selection of common texts.

Measuring Text Complexity Part 2

Module designed for participants to utilize a protocol to determine text complexity grade bands for texts that are currently used in their classrooms.


  • Why Text Complexity Matters [PPTX]

    The RIDE sponsored Text Complexity PD session, which supports the Text Complexity Modules, included a PowerPoint that provided background information regarding the need for increasing text complexity within our classrooms. Participants of the session have requested that we share this background knowledge to help support Module implementation.
  • The Challenge of Challenging Text article

    Dr. Timothy Shanahan, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey’s article, The Challenge of Challenging Text, addresses complex texts: “When teachers understand what makes texts complex, they can better support their students in reading them.”
  • Video Vignette: The Common Core State Standards: Complex Text & Its Implications in the Classroom

    Dr. Timothy Shanahan discusses the ELA Common Core State Standards readability requirements and how an increase in complex texts may shift the way teachers think about teaching students to read a challenging text. (Video 1:42)

Text Analyzer Tools

Part 1: Introduction

This part of the Writing an Argument Module enables participants to understand the definition, key terminology, and characteristics of argument writing in the ELA/Literacy Common Core State Standards. Participants learn why argument writing is given such prominence in the standards and are introduced to the distinction between persuasive writing and logical argumentation.

Part 2: Deconstructing Argument Writing

This module explores the rigor of the argument writing standard in the ELA Common Core State Standards by having participants deconstruct the standard at their own and other grade levels to identify what students are expected to know and be able to do. Participants think about the instructional implications of the expectations and begin to plan resources and strategies that they could use to teach argument writing.

Part 3: Arguments

In this module, participants gain a deeper understanding of the integration of the strands of the ELA/Literacy Common Core State Standards as it pertains to argumentation. They broaden their understanding of argumentation by reading and listening to Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention (1775)” and tracing the speaker’s argument.

Part 4: Analyzing and Writing Arguments

This module familiarizes participants with tools and resources to support the teaching of argument writing. Participants annotate a student sample of argument writing from Appendix C of the Common Core State Standards and also examine an argument writing rubric. Using a text set (a collection of resources on one topic), participants have an opportunity to practice argument writing.