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    2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Framework

    Writing Standards in Action

    Educators, parents, and students often ask, "What does good student writing at this grade level look like?" The answer lies in the writing itself. All students can meet high standards. The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks outline content and skill expectations at each grade level. Below are examples of high-quality student writing with annotations that highlight how each piece meets or exceeds learning standards at its grade level. The annotated samples are designed to support teachers, administrators, families, and students in improving instruction and student writing.

    The student writing samples below represent a range of grade levels and content areas and were written for a variety of tasks, audiences, and purposes. When possible, they include information about the assignment and teaching strategies that elicited the writing. Writers come from Massachusetts public schools in urban, suburban, and rural districts across the state.

    All samples are authentic and unedited student work. Accordingly, they may contain inaccuracies in wording and content or shortcomings in the use of standard English conventions. Samples were submitted by teachers and administrators for review and selection by panels of Massachusetts educators with expertise in writing instruction and evaluation.

    Please note that samples were collected and annotated before the 2018 revisions to the Massachusetts standards for history and social science.

    KindergartenSample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Opinion Essay
    Sample 2: "How To" Book
    Sample 3: Personal Narrative
    Sample 4: Personal Narrative
    Grade 1Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Opinion Essay
    Sample 2: Opinion Essay
    Sample 3: Informational Essay
    Sample 4: Personal Narrative
    Grade 2Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Persuasive Essay
    Sample 2: Group Research Project
    Sample 3: Group Research Project
    Sample 4: Poem
    Sample 5: Personal Narrative
    Grade 3Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Opinion Essay
    Sample 2: Informational Essay
    Sample 3: Biography
    Sample 4: Letter to Describe Hardships Experienced by the Pilgrims in the New World
    Sample 5: Personal Narrative
    Grade 4Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Opinion Essay
    Sample 2: Essay
    Sample 3: Personal Narrative
    Grade 5Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Essay
    Sample 2: Research Report
    Sample 3: Research Report
    Sample 4: Biographical Essay
    Sample 5: Personal Narrative
    Sample 6: Poetry
    Grade 6Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Persuasive Letter
    Sample 2: Persuasive Essay  
    Sample 3: Essay Written as a Spring Benchmark Sample
    Sample 4: Letter to an Author
    Sample 5: Short Research Essay
    Sample 6: Poem
    Sample 7: Short Narrative
    Grade 7Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Short Research Project
    Sample 3: Response to a Text-Based Question
    Sample 4: First Person Narrative
    Sample 5: Poem
    Grade 8Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Literary Interpretation Essay
    Sample 2: Letter to the Editor
    Sample 3: Letter to the Editor
    Sample 4: Letter to an Author
    Sample 5: Science Fiction Narrative
    Sample 6: A poem that emulates the poetic structure and form of a model
    Sample 7: Narrative Poem
    Grade 9Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Literary Analysis
    Grade 10Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Personal Essay
    Sample 2: Personal Narrative
    Sample 3: Explanation by Categorization
    Grade 11Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Argument
    Grade 12Sample & CommentaryUnmarked Sample
    Sample 1: Poem

    Last Updated: November 20, 2019

     
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