Empowering Writers

CCSS Alignment Guide – Grade 2-5

Click the downloads below for your grade level to access our year-at-a-glance grid, powerful preview lessons from the Essential Guides, and lesson alignment documents for all ELA standards.     


There are standards of living. Financial standards. Standards of etiquette. Standard deviations. Standard deductions on your taxes.  And of course Common Core Standards.  The Mirriam –Webster dictionary defines the word standard as:  a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable or desirable: something that is very good and that is used to make judgments about the quality of other things.

When the Common Core standards were first introduced teachers and administrators realized that the world of education would be turned upside down.  It felt chaotic and clumsy.  We began to change our practices ever so slightly to begin to raise the bar as indicated.  We strove to achieve something that looked like a Herculean task.  Most of us couldn’t quite wrap our heads around how this was going to become the level of quality that all students would be judged by. 

Well, fast forward several years and we now know a lot more about these standards. We’re more comfortable using the CCSS as a driver of instruction and have adjusted our practices accordingly.  We’ve had to consider what the best way would be to “get it all in.”

At Empowering Writers we also adjusted the way we deliver these critical twenty first century skills.  As an alternative to a unit by unit approach to writing instruction, we developed the Essential Guides to Grade level Writing and included literacy instruction that meets the challenges of the CCSS in a way that integrates reading and writing through thematic material.  Recommending writing instruction in all content areas, we addressed the skills of each genre of writing as stated in the CCSS and built a resource that addressed them.

What we also found was that teachers needed a way to figure out how the CCSS were scaffolded across these grade level resources. The documents below help to uncover how the Essential Guides address writing instruction throughout the year.  



Download Grade 2
Download Grade 3
Download Grade 4
Download Grade 5