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Center for Instructional Support

Literacy and Humanities

Office of Literacy and Humanities (OLH) supports schools to help all students become proficient readers, writers, and communicators. In addition to setting content area learning standards and curriculum frameworks, OLH designs projects to improve educator knowledge and capacity to deliver high-quality standards-based instruction.

Literacy and Humanities Curriculum Frameworks
English Language ArtsHistory and Social ScienceArtsForeign Languages
2017 ELA Curriculum Framework2003** History and Social Science Curriculum Framework1999** Arts Curriculum Framework1999** Foreign Languages Curriculum Framework

** Currently in revision

Standards-Based Learning Videos

The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks provide teachers, students and families with clear and shared expectations for what all students should know and be able to do at the end of each year. They represent a promise of equitable education for all students. They formalize the expectation that all students in the Commonwealth have access to the same academic content, regardless of their zip code, background, or abilities.

The following videos illustrate standards-based learning. They provide an overview of how educators are approaching standards based learning in different content areas and grades. We encourage you to share them with members of your educational community.

Elementary ELA

Secondary ELA

Resources for Improving Literacy at All Grade Levels

Quick Reference Guides to the Standards

How can I use the standards to improve literacy in my classroom today?



"What to Look For" Guides for Classroom Observations

What should I see in a teacher's practice at every grade level?


What to Look for Guides are available in both Math and Science, as well. They are aligned to Massachusetts' educator evaluation framework as well as the Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) for teachers in training.

Writing Standards in Action

What does strong grade-level student writing look like?

See the writing standards exemplified by Massachusetts students. All samples are authentic and unedited student work.

Text Types and PurposesGrade KGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3Grade 4Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7Grade 8Grade 9Grade 10Grade 11Grade 12
Opinion/ArgumentView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML Page    
Inform/ExplainView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML Page    
NarrateView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML PageView HTML Page View HTML Page View HTML Page

The Writing Standards in Action Project is always seeking new samples of student work from all grades and subject areas. In 2017-2018, the Project is especially interested in work that:

  • Represents the early grades (pre-K-2) or high school (grades 9-12)
  • Represents non-ELA content areas (e.g., science, history, the arts)
  • Effectively integrates information from a set of print or digital texts
  • Effectively blends modes of writing (e.g., argument and narrative)
  • Effectively incorporates multimedia (e.g., visual) elements into writing

The Project also seeks educators with expertise in the teaching and assessment of writing to serve as reviewers of student work submissions. Panels of reviewers convene for full-day meetings at Fitchburg State University several times each school year. Reimbursement for travel expenses and substitute teachers is provided.

For more information or to submit student work samples, please contact writingstandardsinaction@doe.mass.edu.

Contact the Literacy and Humanities Team

NamePhone Number
Lauren McBride, Interim Director781-338-6242
Kerry Akashian781-338-6238
Susan Kazeroid413-519-8422
Helene Levine781-338-6240
Tracy Martineau413-519-8426

Contact Framework Revision Leads

NamePhone Number
Michelle Ryan, History/Social Studies781-338-3258
Zhaneta Liti, Foreign Language781-338-3572
Craig Waterman, Arts781-338-3244


Last Updated: June 20, 2018
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