Frequently Asked Questions
Grades K-8 (Second Edition) Language Arts Curriculum
This page is updated periodically. Please check here for more information regarding changes or updates to our website and content.
Following the release of the top-rated EL Education K-5 Language Arts curriculum, we are excited to announce that a new edition of the 6-8 Language Arts curriculum will be released for the 2020/2021 school year. Many schools are already achieving remarkable results with the K-5 curriculum. Now, for the first time, schools will be able to implement the consistent second edition of the full K-8 curriculum. We expect even more transformational results as we work together to close literacy opportunity gaps.
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1. Why do I need to register to download the free version of the curriculum?
The EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum is an open educational resource available for free on this website. Premium formats are available from our distribution partners. Click here to learn more.
Create your account! Registering for an account on Curriculum.ELeducation.org should only take a minute or two. You will be prompted to register only when you are ready to download files from the curriculum website. For your convenience, the website is designed to remember your login so you only need to log in once, provided you use the same computer.
2. What if I already have an account for the EL Education Resource Library?
The EL Education curriculum lives on a separate website from the EL Education resource library, where you access tools like teacher practice videos and the K-5 Language Arts curriculum assessments. You will need to create a separate login to download the curriculum on Curriculum.ELeducation.org. In the coming years, we aim to streamline our websites so that you only need one account to access all EL Education resources.
Grades 6-8 (Second Edition) Language Arts Curriculum
1. How can I access the new EL Education 6-8 Language Arts curriculum (Second Edition)?
All lessons and supporting materials (including homework, assessments, and performance tasks) can be accessed on our curriculum website. To learn more about what is available, visit Getting Started Suggestions.
Like the first edition EL Education authored for EngageNY, the second edition of grades 6-8 is the result of deep collaboration with teachers, students, and literacy experts. Thanks in great part to their contributions, you can look forward to these highlights in the second edition:
- Building World Knowledge through Content: The curriculum builds students' deep subject matter expertise, immersing them in the study of real-world social and scientific topics that fuel creativity, higher-order critical thinking, and literacy.
- Embedded Social-Emotional Learning: We know that middle schoolers need what they learn to have emotional resonance. New topics and texts prepare students to be more effective learners and ethical people.
- National Relevance and Standards Alignment: The second edition engages students with topics that resonate nationally, based on recommendations from students and teachers, while maintaining close alignment with targeted NGSS (science) and C3 (social studies) content standards for each grade band.
If you would like to order the curriculum in other formats from our distribution partners, please visit our How to Order page.
2. Are there any updates to required trade books or additional materials? The EL Education 6-8 Language Arts curriculum (Second Edition) includes several new and exciting topics, including new anchor texts and DVDs. Please reach out to our distribution partners for a finalized procurement list.
- A similar quantity of trade books as in K-5
- New media formats such as DVDs and audiobooks
- No extra materials or kits required
- One module per grade utilizing a first edition trade book: Grade 6: Module 1 (The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan), Grade 7: Module 1 (A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park), Grade 8: Module 2 (The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan) Please note that this text was used in the first edition curriculum in Grade 8: Module 4.
3. How is the new Grades 6-8 Language Arts curriculum (Second Edition) different from the first edition?
The EL Education 6-8 Language Arts (Second Edition) maintains the same overall design and structure, with 45-minute lessons. EL Education has made some significant updates, including:
- Structure and format aligned to the K-5 curriculum, with streamlined teacher guides to support navigability and accessibility
- Four modules across the year (no alternative modules)
- Tighter alignment to standards, including checklists and rubrics, more exemplars and models, more explicit writing instruction, and explicit language and grammar instruction
- More explicit supports for English language learners focused on differentiation, e.g., sentence starters, supportive images on handouts, and glossaries of terms
- Design informed by the Universal Design for Learning Framework to increase meaningful access and reduce barriers to learning for students with diverse learning needs
- Greater representation of diverse cultures and identities in topics and communities studied, book authors, and characters; core texts including contemporary contributions in lieu of traditional canon texts
- A consistent approach to writing across all levels and grade bands
EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21
- Recommendations for teaching the curriculum in a variety of formats in the fall, including assessment recommendations;
- Adaptations of the existing curriculum for teaching in the 2020-21 school year;
- Sample schedules for teaching the curriculum remotely or in a hybrid format;
- A standards crosswalk outlining recommendations for incorporating the skills potentially missed in the previous grade level;
- Options for digital and remote text access;
- K-2 Video lessons for streaming or potential public broadcast;
- Guidance for addressing sensitive topics found in our curriculum.
2. Who can use the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21?
The curriculum guidance (and resources) applies to anyone implementing the EL Education Grades K-8 Language Arts Curriculum.
3. When should I use the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21?
Curriculum adaptations should be used in the 2020-21 school year only due to the ramifications of the coronavirus. We recommend you use the standard EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum when schools are in session in person after 2021.
4. What teaching environment does the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21 support?
The EL Education 2020-2021 curriculum guidance is flexible for any teaching format whether remote, in-person, or hybrid. The resources have been designed to put teachers back at the center of the educational experience for students and therefore require technology to access synchronous, teacher-led instruction.
5. Are all trade books available digitally?
Access to the required trade books in our curriculum is one of the most urgent needs for teachers, schools, and districts during the COVID-19 pandemic. EL Education is working to ensure that all trade books featured in our remote curriculum have flexible options for student access--including video read-alouds in K-2, and ebook or printable options for 3-8 -to ensure equitable access to learning for all students. These options will be at cost.
6. What is the biggest difference between the EL Education K-8 Language Arts Curriculum and the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21?
To ensure adequate time for students to both adapt to the new school community and environment, and to build the necessary skills to be able to demonstrate mastery in the current grade-level skills, educators are encouraged to facilitate three modules of content-based literacy per grade level instead of four. Lesson timing has also been adjusted to meet student needs in the remote learning environment. To view the recommended modules for the 2020-21 school year visit EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21.
7. What criteria was used when selecting modules for the 2020-21 school year?
To select the three modules to use in the 2020/2021 year, EL Education focused on maintaining diversity across a grade level and grade band considering authors, characters, and the stories being told, ensuring content is appropriate for students in a fully remote environment where there might be potentially less support and guidance from a teacher, and minimizing impact in terms of standards.
8. Will more information be added to the EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21?
Materials and resources will be added on a rolling basis between July and September.
9. What data and research inform EL Education's recommendations?
EL Education gathered survey responses from 600+ educators across the country. Their input about curriculum needs and experiences strengthened our guidance. EL Education also consulted recommendations from leaders in the field of literacy and the science of reading, including SAP, Chiefs for Change, and UnboundED.
Curriculum Updates and Feedback
Periodically, we make updates to correct errors or refine the content. If you notice an error or a broken link, you can send us a report by leaving us feedback on our feedback form.
1. I came across an unavailable online resource (or "broken link") in the curriculum. Where can I find an updated list of links?
We embed authentic third-party content from other sources in our curriculum, including online resources to increase student engagement and keep content relevant. We carefully vet all sources with the aim of selecting websites with stable content. There are, however, instances when links can change or disappear over time, as website owners update and adjust their content.
You can find a list of updated third-party links on the Third-Party Links page. All of these updates have been made to the online curriculum, and most were corrected in the refreshed print materials (available as of March 2019). We will update the above page on an ongoing basis.
If you come across a broken or incorrect link in the curriculum, please let us know using our feedback form.
2. Why was The Big Dinosaur Dig removed from the trade book list in Grade 2, Module 2? Should I not be using the materials related to this text?
In Summer 2019, we revised Unit 3 of Grade 2: Module 2, as we had the opportunity to interview a new paleontologist, Dr. Holly Woodward Ballard, about her discoveries in the field. This change involved removing references in the Teacher Guide and the Teacher Supporting Materials to the trade book The Big Dinosaur Dig (978-0756655952, DK Publishing, $3.99), which was previously required as a one-per-classroom purchase.
To replace the reading and writing work students previously did with The Big Dinosaur Dig, the Curriculum Design Team created a similar narrative around one of Dr. Ballard's fossil discoveries. This narrative is included in the updated Teacher Supporting Materials along with revised student materials to reflect the specifics of Dr. Ballard's story. NOTE: The updated unit is fully optional and covers similar content and addresses the same CCS standards as the original unit.
No new trade book purchase is required to replace The Big Dinosaur Dig, since the new text is included in the supporting materials. Schools that have already purchased The Big Dinosaur Dig can continue to use it along with the earlier version of the unit, or they can switch to the updated version of the unit and use The Big Dinosaur Dig as a supplemental text.
An archived version of the original unit (2017) is available here: Grade 2: Module 2.
2012 ELA Curriculum (First Edition)
Looking for the first edition?
1. Where can I find the first edition Grades 3-8 ELA curriculum?
In June 2018, we decommissioned CommonCoreSuccess.ELeducation.org. For any users who continue to implement the first edition Grades 3-5 ELA curriculum, this content is available on New York State's curriculum website EngageNY. We also no longer offer printed copies of the first edition of Grades 3-5. Please update any bookmarked links so that they direct to Curriculum.ELeducation.org.
For users looking to learn more about the specific enhancements to the second edition Grades 3-5 Language Arts curriculum, please review the Second Edition Enhancement documents (for Grades 3-5) on the Tools page.
2. Where can I find the first edition Grades 6-8 ELA curriculum?
We are excited to announce our new 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum (Second Edition). Users who have not yet transitioned to the new edition can find the Grades 6-8 ELA Curriculum on our website here through June 2021.
For users looking to order print materials of the Grades 6-8 ELA curriculum, please refer to our How to Order page for details.