Sixth-Grade English Language Arts (ELA) Standards

sixth-grade-languageYour sixth-grader will be reading more challenging material, including history/social studies and science, and developing critical analysis skills. He or she will be writing for a variety of reasons. Throughout the sixth grade, your child will practice and refine key skills that further the development of college and career readiness.

Reading Literature

  • Provide objective summaries of reading materials.
  • Determine the central theme of a text, through explicit and inferred evidence from the text.
  • Analyze the impact of a particular word, chapter, scene, etc. on the overall meaning of a text.
  • Compare and contrast how different types of content (for example, poems vs. novels) and different mediums of content (for example, text vs. video) approach similar themes to convey similar or varying messages.

Reading Informational Text

  • Use examples to assess how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced and elaborated in a text.
  • Determine  figurative, connotative, and technical meanings of words based on surrounding context.
  • Organize information presented in different formats (for example, words and charts) to develop a coherent understanding of a topic.
  • Evaluate arguments and distinguish claims supported by evidence from claims with no evidence.


  • Introduce and support arguments by using credible sources, relevant evidence, and clear reasoning.
  • Organize, develop, and transition through the relationships among different ideas and concepts.
  • Compose narratives using dialogues and structured event sequences to develop characters and storylines.
  • Use technology, including the Internet and computers, to produce and publish/print writing.
  • Research and gather information from multiple print and digital sources to support analyses of arguments and claims.

Speaking and Listening

  • Engage in and contribute to a range of collaborative work, including but not limited to peer-to-peer, group, and teacher-led discussions.
  • Present and speak to findings, using relevant evidence in the form of visuals or other media to clarify information and supporting arguments.


  • Demonstrate command of English speaking and writing conventions, with an emphasis on usage of pronouns and proper grammar.

Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

The Common Core State Standards for the sixth grade also include literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. It is important to note that these literacy standards supplement content standards in the aforementioned subjects — not replace them. Individual states determine how to fold these standards into existing standards.

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