Listicle: Bryan’s Top Five ELA Resources

by Dr. Bryan Drost

This week’s blog continues with my top resources for language arts.  This was even harder to do and pare down, as unlike math, you can really take anything you find out on the web and create it into a meaningful activity for students by following the basic principles of the standards shifts.

That being said, here are my top five resources to support you as you are making the change to using resources.

5 – Florida Center for Reading Research. Although many of these activities were written before the CCSS were fully created, the center has taken significant time to realign the activities to give students specific practice on skills that are embedded within the standards.  Click on the charts in the middle of the page to access items from graphic organizers to activities that will help support text analysis for grades K-5.


4 – The Vermont Writing Project.  One of the largest concerns I am hearing from teachers right now in our state is that they aren’t sure what writing needs to look like in their classrooms.  I think we know that best practice shows us that we have to have a reading-writing connection with questions that are text dependent.  Check out this link at the Vermont Writing Project for vetted reading-writing tasks.


3 – In Common Writing.  So now that we know what to ask them, we need to know what3-ela it looks like.  Check out the In-Common Writing link from Achieve the Core that provides a progression of writing across grade levels, where students write on the same prompt at different grade levels, as well as providing multiple examples of student writing within a grade across a variety of content areas.



2 –  Whether you pronounce it News “ella” or News E L A, this great resource has hundreds of free, high-interest, leveled news articles, often with quizzes that you can use to check student understanding.

1 – ELA Mini Assessments. As I shared in an earlier entry on this blog, our teachers need help in writing assessments that have questions that are worthy of kids’ time.  This resource from Achieve the Core does just that – it provides already made mini-assessments that can be used from a professional standpoint to help teachers understand how to write great questions but can also be used for purposes of short-cycle or common assessments.  A must-see resource!

Now that I’ve shared my top five for you, I challenge you to share yours!  Consider the power of the listicle and don’t just stop at 1 – try for 10!