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Curriculum and Instruction

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

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
Jennifer Soalt, Director 781-338-3540
Susan Kazeroid413-519-8422
Helene Levine781-338-6240
Tracy Martineau413-519-8426
Lauren McBride781-338-6242
Lurline Muñoz-Bennett781-338-6285


Last Updated: January 5, 2018
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