Oregon Department of Education

Suites of Standards-based Writing Lessons

Notebook and Pencil

Now aligned to Common Core!


The Standards-based Writing Lesson Suites were written to illustrate Oregon’s grade-level writing standards. The suites were also designed to answer the question, “What standards—specific writing skills, reading skills, and research skills—need to be taught and established at each grade level to enable a student to write an accomplished expository or persuasive piece about content at that level?”

View Sample Lesson - Paraphrasing, Summarizing, and Quoting



Writing standards for each grade-level provide instructional targets for Oregon teachers; expectations for students gradually increase at each grade. To illustrate these standards’ expectations and the importance of establishing grade-level skills in yearly increments, specific grade-level standards were selected and lessons were designed around them leading to a culminating expository or persuasive essay.

This project is based on research from the Center on English Learning and Achievement (CELA) Director, Judith Langer. Langer’s studies of language, literacy, and learning have had a major impact on English and literacy theory, teaching, and assessment in recent years. She has identified six features that distinguish schools in which students are beating the odds in literacy achievement beyond that achieved by peers in comparable schools:

  • Students learn knowledge and skills in multiple lesson types (exhibited by the Standards-based Writing Lesson Suites):

  • Separated -- direct instruction of isolated skills and knowledge
    Simulated -- the actual application of concepts and rules within a targeted unit of reading, writing, or oral language
    Integrated -- the use of skills and knowledge within the embedded context of a large and purposeful activity

  • Teachers integrate test preparation into instruction,

  • Teachers make connections across instruction, curriculum, and life,

  • Students learn strategies for doing work,

  • Students are expected to be generative thinkers, and

  • Classrooms foster cognitive collaboration.

In schools where students are “beating the odds,” all of the teachers use some of these six features all of the time! The Standards-based Writing Lesson Suites include at least two of the six features per lesson.