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Common Core State Standards

Book Club provides many opportunities to integrate your curriculum with the Common Core State Standards. This chart shows how the Grade 5 CCSS for English Language Arts can be covered in the context of a Book Club unit. The tips in the right column are meant to provide ideas and examples that you can adapt for your own classroom. Your individual approach will depend on the specific grade-level standards you are using and on the content of your curriculum.

Integrating Reading Standards for Literature
Grade 5 Standard Tips for Integrating with Book Club
RL 1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. When students discuss and write about the book club novel, emphasize that they should refer back to the text and support their inferences and predictions with specific quotations from the novel.
RL 2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text. Introduce the term theme and lead students to infer themes whenever conflict and characters’ behavior are discussed. Many prompts require students to summarize parts of a story, so make them aware that they are doing it.
RL 3 Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact). As students discuss the traits of one character, look for opportunities to have them compare and contrast with another character. Also encourage students to compare events and settings within a story, identifying both parallels and contrasts.
RL 4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes. Point out any words in vocabulary lists or on the word wall that have multiple meanings. Have students locate these words in the text and discuss how the context indicates which meaning is intended. Draw attention to examples of figurative language and discuss their meanings in the context of the story.
RL 5 Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem. Tell students that the structure of a novel is a narrative structure. Discuss how the sequence of events and the stages of plot (exposition, rising action, climax, resolution) give the story its shape and make it logical and satisfying for readers.
RL 6 Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described. Ask students to identify the point of view at the beginning of the story. Later, discuss how the story would be different if told from another point of view.
RL 7 Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem). Include graphic novels in the special classroom library when appropriate.
RL 8 (Not applicable to literature)
RL 9 Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics. Select a read-aloud book in the same genre as the book club novel so that students may compare and contrast the two.
RL 10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Plan the school year so that students read novels of increasing complexity as their skills develop.
Integrating Reading Standards for Informational Text
Grade 5 Standard Tips for Integrating with Book Club
RI 1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. Emphasize that students should quote accurately from an informational text to support inferences about its meaning.
RI 2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text. Students often read informational texts to build background before reading the book club novel. When they summarize information from these texts, point out that they must first identify the main ideas and then restate the ideas in their own words.
RI 3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text. If the book club novel is historical fiction, students may read historical texts to build background. Encourage them to analyze interactions between key individuals, events, and ideas to deepen their understanding of the historical period.
RI 4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area. Depending on the subject of the novel students read in their book clubs, it may include domain-specific words and phrases. Draw attention to these words and work with students to define them. You might add them to a special section of the word wall. Encourage students to use the terms correctly in their book club and community share discussions, as well as in their writing.
RI 5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts. Ask students to identify the structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of any informational texts they read during the unit. Discuss how the structure of each text suits its content.
RI 6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent. This standard most often applies when students read historical texts as background for a historical novel. During background building or other research activities, encourage students to note similarities and differences between descriptions of the same event or topic. Point out that the author of a historical novel chooses a particular point of view on real events and weaves that perspective into the story.
RI 7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. Research activities provide an opportunity for students to draw from multiple sources of information to answer questions. Help students develop strategies to find the information they need quickly and efficiently—for example, by staying focused on research questions, using effective search terms, and scanning each potential source for relevant facts.
RI 8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s). This standard may be reinforced whenever students read appropriate informational texts. Ask them to identify reasons and evidence and explain how they support the author’s points. When students write in their logs, encourage them to support their points with reasons and evidence from the text.
RI 9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. Students may integrate information from several texts during book club and whole-class discussions and also at the end of a unit when they write essays to synthesize what they have learned.
RI 10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Keep in mind the complexity of the informational texts you choose for background building and for the special classroom library. Provide increasingly challenging books as the school year goes on.
Integrating Reading Standards: Foundational Skills
Grade 5 Standard Tips for Integrating with Book Club
RF 3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  1. Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.
Provide quick decoding practice at the beginning of the Book Club session by writing selected words from the vocabulary list on the board and calling on students to read the words aloud.
RF 4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  1. Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
  2. Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.
  3. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
  1. Suggest that students read the writing prompts before they do the assigned reading, to help them set a purpose for reading.
  2. Having students read the daily assignment aloud with a partner is always an alternative.
  3. When presenting vocabulary words, review the strategies of using context clues and rereading for clarification.
Integrating Writing Standards
Grade 5 Standard Tips for Integrating with Book Club
W 1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  1. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  2. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  3. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
  4. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
After reading and discussing a novel in book clubs, students may write opinion pieces on issues raised by the novel. Remind them to cite details from the novel and from other reading to support their ideas.
W 2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  1. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  2. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  3. Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
Students may use informative/explanatory writing during the early weeks of a Book Club unit to summarize the results of their background research. This genre is also appropriate for synthesis writing at the end of a unit. Remind students to cite specific details and facts to support their ideas, and review the use of direct quotations if necessary. Encourage students to use domain-specific vocabulary as appropriate.
W 3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  1. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
  2. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
  3. Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
  4. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
  5. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
Students may write personal narratives or original stories in response to their reading of the book club novel. Encourage them to incorporate literary elements that were discussed during the unit, which may include dialogue, description, pacing, and a logical sequence of events with a satisfying conclusion.
W 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.) For longer writing assignments, work with students to define the task, purpose, and audience before they begin writing. Use evaluation sheets and/or rubrics to keep students on track and to assess their final essays.
W 5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 5.) Have students exchange drafts and review each other’s writing. Peer-review evaluation sheets can guide students in this process.
W 6 With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting. Students may publish their essays as blog posts and invite comments from their classmates.
W 7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. Short research projects can help students build background before they start reading a new book in their book clubs.
W 8 Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources. Encourage students to summarize and paraphrase information from sources to make it easy for them to share important ideas from their research in class discussions. Also encourage them to share relevant information from their own experiences when discussing literature and related topics.
W 9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  1. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
  2. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).
Emphasize that students must always be prepared to support their ideas about a book with specific details from the text. As they read, suggest that they flag or write down key sentences for easy reference during later discussions.
W 10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. Book Club provides opportunities for a wide range of writing tasks, including research notes, daily reading log entries, and fully developed essays.
Integrating Speaking and Listening Standards
Grade 5 Standard Tips for Integrating with Book Club
SL 1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  1. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
  2. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
  3. Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
  4. Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
The discussion component of Book Club covers all aspects of this standard. Work with students to develop a list of criteria for good book club conversations. Prompt them as needed to include these specific skills: come to discussions prepared, follow the rules, pose and respond to questions, review key ideas, draw conclusions based on points raised in discussions.
SL 2 Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. To provide practice with this skill, call on a different student each day (or ask for a volunteer) to briefly summarize the section of the read-aloud book you have just finished reading.
SL 3 Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence. Community share discussions can provide opportunities to spot-check this skill. When one student makes a claim and clearly supports it with reasons and/or evidence, ask another student to briefly summarize the claim and support. You can also model the skill by summarizing the claim and support yourself and then asking students to confirm your accuracy.
SL 4 Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace. Students may give oral reports as part of the background-building phase of a unit or as a synthesis activity at the end of a unit. As students develop their reports, provide instruction and feedback to help them organize their ideas and support main ideas with facts and details. Allow them time to practice with partners who can give feedback on the clarity and pace of their delivery.
SL 5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes. When appropriate, encourage students to include multimedia components and visual displays in their oral reports. Be sure students have access to any materials and equipment they need. Remind them that these components should not be gratuitous; they must support main ideas and themes in their reports.
SL 6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 5 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.) Discuss the language that students use in discussions and in oral reports. Work with them to recognize and use language that is appropriately formal for the classroom setting.
Integrating Language Standards
Grade 5 Standard Tips for Integrating with Book Club
L 1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  1. Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
  2. Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
  3. Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
  4. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
  5. Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
Find examples in the book club novel of conjunctions, prepositions, interjections, perfect-tense verbs, correlative conjunctions, and so on. Discuss these grammar topics in the context of each sentence or paragraph, and encourage students to use the text examples as models for their own writing and speaking.
L 2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  1. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
  2. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
  3. Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
  4. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
  5. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.
Use sentences from the book club novel or the read-aloud book to demonstrate correct use of commas and semicolons. Encourage students to note other examples as they read, and to use correct punctuation in their own writing. Discuss the correct ways to write the titles of books, stories, poems, and articles that students read during the unit. When students complete longer writing assignments, remind them to check their spelling in the editing stage.
L 3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  1. Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.
  2. Compare and contrast the varieties of English (e.g., dialects, registers) used in stories, dramas, or poems.
  1. Display a rewritten paragraph from the book club novel in which some sentences have had important details removed, others have been divided to make them short and choppy, and still others have been made unnecessarily wordy. Have students compare this version with the original and discuss why the original is better. When students exchange essays for peer review, remind them to suggest places where sentences could be expanded, combined, or reduced to improve the writing.
  2. If the book club novel or the read-aloud book contains dialect, use this opportunity to have students compare the language with other varieties of English.
L 4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  1. Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  2. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
  3. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
  1. Review how to use context clues to figure out the meanings of unfamiliar words, and encourage students to apply this skill as they read the book club novel. In community share, invite students to share examples of how they used context clues to define specific words.
  2. Find examples of words with Greek and Latin roots in the book club novel. Discuss the roots before students read the relevant chapter, and encourage them to look for examples when they read. In community share, ask students to share their examples, and discuss how the meaning of each root relates to the word’s meaning.
  3. Remind students that they can always use reference sources to check the meanings and pronunciations of words they encounter while reading.
L 5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  1. Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
  2. Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
  3. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
Draw students’ attention to examples of figurative language, idioms, adages, and proverbs when they occur in the book club novel or in the read-aloud book. Discuss the meanings in the context of the book. To spark a discussion about nuances in word meaning, select an appropriate word from the lesson’s vocabulary list and have students look it up in a thesaurus. Discuss shades of meaning among the various synonyms and have students explain why the author’s choice works best in the context.
L 6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships (e.g., however, although, nevertheless, similarly, moreover, in addition). In the book club novel, find a good example of a transition word or phrase. Discuss how it shows the relationship between ideas in the paragraph, and then provide examples of other words that function as transitions. Encourage students to use transitions to clarify their ideas when writing and when speaking in book clubs and community share.
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