Illinois Learning Standards
Stage E - English Language Arts
Students who meet the standard can apply word analysis
and vocabulary skills to comprehend selections.
- Use a combination of word analysis and vocabulary strategies
(e.g., word patterns, structural analyses) within context
to identify unknown words.
- Learn and use root words, prefixes, and suffixes to understand
- Use synonyms and antonyms to define words.
- Use word origins to construct the meanings of new words.
- Use root words and context to determine the denotative
and connotative meanings of unknown words.
- Determine the meaning of a word in context when the word
has multiple meanings.
- Identify and interpret common idioms, similes, analogies,
- Use additional resources (e.g., newspapers, interviews,
technological resources) as applicable to clarify meanings
Students who meet the standard can apply reading
strategies to improve understanding and fluency.
- Set a purpose for reading and adjust as necessary before
and during reading.
- Formulate questions to determine meaning based on plot/character,
action, or setting.
- Apply survey strategies (e.g., use of bold print, organization
of content, key words, graphics).
- Make judgments based on prior knowledge during reading.
- Distinguish between significant and minor details.
- Connect, clarify, and extend ideas through discussions,
activities, and various classroom groupings (e.g., partners,
small group, ability levels, interest levels).
- Identify structure (e.g., description, compare, cause/effect,
sequence) of nonfiction text to improve comprehension.
- Demonstrate understanding of structure through the use
of graphic organizers and outlining (e.g., mapping, time
lines, Venn diagrams).
- Apply self-monitoring and self-correcting strategies (e.g.,
reread, read ahead, use visual and context clues, ask questions,
retell, clarify terminology, seek additional information)
continuously to clarify understanding during reading.
- Read age-appropriate material aloud with fluency and accuracy.
Students who meet the standard can comprehend a broad
range of reading materials.
- Use evidence in text to form and refine questions, predictions,
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Identify evidence for inferences and interpretations based
on text combined with prior knowledge.
- Compare the content and organization (e.g., themes, topics,
text structure, story elements) of various selections.
- Recognize similarities/ differences of varying styles
or points of view.
- Select reading strategies for text appropriate to the
- Synthesize key points (ideas) and supporting details to
- Interpret imagery and figurative language (e.g., alliteration,
metaphor, simile, personification).
- Explain how authors and illustrators use text and art
to express their ideas (e.g., points of view, design hues,
- Show examples of cultural styles in art to enhance meaning
and comprehension as done by different illustrators.
- Interpret information from tables, maps, visual aids,
and charts to enhance understanding of text.
- Apply appropriate reading strategies to fiction and non-fiction
texts within and across content areas.
Students who meet the standard can understand how
literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning.
- Read a wide range of fiction.
- Identify literary elements and techniques in literary
genres (e.g., fables, biographies, historical fiction) and
tell how they affect the story.
- Predict how the story might be different if the author
changed literary elements or techniques (e.g., dialect,
- Explain how a technique or element affects the events
or characterization in a literary work.
- Make inferences about character traits and check text
- Analyze the use of unfamiliar vocabulary.
- Use comprehension strategies (e.g., association, categorization,
graphic organizers) to enhance understanding.
- Identify ways in which fiction and nonfiction works are
Students who meet the standard can read and interpret
a variety of literary works.
- Create an extension to a literary text (e.g., alternate
ending, additional dialog for a character).
- Make inferences, draw conclusions, and make connections
from text to text, text to self, and text to world.
- Analyze and remedy difficulties in comprehension (e.g.,
questioning, rephrasing, analyzing).
- Compare ideas from texts representing a variety of times
- Make inferences and draw conclusions about contexts, events,
character, and settings.
- Read a wide range of nonfiction (e.g., books, newspapers,
magazines, textbooks, visual media).
- Support plausible interpretations with evidence from the
Students who meet the standard can use correct grammar,
spelling, punctuation, capitalization and structure.
- Write paragraphs that include a variety of sentence types
(i.e., declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative).
- Develop multi-paragraph compositions that include an introduction,
first and second level support, and a conclusion.
- Use a variety of sentence structures (e.g., simple, compound).
- Use basic transition words to connect ideas.
- Proofread for correct English conventions.
- Demonstrate appropriate use of various parts of speech.
Students who meet the standard can compose well-organized
and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences.
- Use prewriting strategies to choose a topic and generate
ideas (e.g., webbing, brainstorming, listing, note taking,
outlining, drafting, graphic organizers).
- Establish and maintain a focus.
- Develop a topic sentence that is supported with details.
- Organize a coherent structure appropriate to purpose (i.e.,
narration, exposition, persuasion), audience, and context
using paragraphs and transition words.
- Use appropriate transition words to connect ideas.
- Elaborate ideas through facts, details, description, reasons,
- Use adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to
enrich written language.
- Revise and edit (e.g., conference with self, peer, volunteer,
Students who meet the standard can communicate ideas
in writing to accomplish a variety of purposes.
- Use appropriate language, detail, and format for a specified
- Use the characteristics of a well-developed narrative,
expository, and persuasive piece.
- Write creatively for a specified purpose and audience
(e.g., short story, poetry, directions, song, friendly letter).
- Use available technology to design, produce, and present
compositions and multimedia works.
- Compose a multi-paragraph piece which presents one position
of an issue that offers sufficient support.
Students who meet the standard can listen effectively
in formal and informal situations.
- Evaluate the situation and assume appropriate listening
- Record appropriate notes from presentation.
- Distinguish between nonverbal and verbal messages.
- Separate main ideas from supporting facts and details.
- Paraphrase and summarize the content of a formal/informal
spoken presentation or message (e.g., classroom or assembly
speakers, media presentations, student reports or speeches,
- Formulate relevant and focused questions and comments
based upon the content of a presentation and a variety of
audiences or groups for authentic purposes (e.g., classroom
and school government meetings, cooperative group learning
and problem-based learning interactions).
- Modify, control, and block out distractions.
- Paraphrase or repeat and execute multi-stepped directions.
Students who meet the standard can speak effectively
using language appropriate to the situation and audience.
- Analyze characteristics of one's audience and prepare
- Identify and demonstrate different traits of oral presentations
intended to inform, to entertain, and to persuade.
- Use details to elaborate and develop main ideas for purposes
of informing, entertaining, and persuading.
- Use language that is clear, audible, and appropriate.
- Use appropriate grammar, word choice, and pacing.
- Use appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication elements
(e.g., appropriate space, body language, pleasant tone,
- Use notes and outlines.
- Prepare and practice the presentation to fit within a
given time limit.
- Use notes and outlines.
- Contribute meaningfully to small and large group discussions
by following accepted guidelines for verbal interaction
(e.g., appropriate volume and rate; courteous, turn-taking
behavior; respectful, relevant responses; appropriate language
- Identify and use discussion techniques to arrive at a
consensus of opinion.
Students who meet the standard can locate, organize,
and use information from various sources to answer questions,
solve problems, and communicate ideas.
- Generate questions of interest and narrow the focus of
- Develop hypotheses based on prior knowledge.
- Gather information based on a hypothesis (e.g., note taking).
- Compare (with limited support) information from a variety
- Arrange information in an orderly manner (e.g., outlining,
sequencing, graphic organizers).
- Design a research plan and prepare a project.
Students who meet the standard can analyze and evaluate
information acquired from various sources.
- Analyze information from primary print and non-print sources.
- Evaluate information from various sources by applying
a set of criteria (e.g., accuracy, timeliness, reliability).
- Use information from footnotes, illustrations, diagrams,
charts, and graphs.
- Identify relevant primary and secondary sources.
- Recognize the purpose of a bibliography.
- Develop a bibliography using a simple, acceptable form.
Students who meet the standard can apply acquired
information, concepts and ideas to communicate in a variety
- Select an appropriate format to accommodate characteristics
of audiences (e.g., age, background, interest level, group
size) and purposes of the presentation (e.g., inform, persuade,
- Use text, graphic materials, or visual aids to present
information (e.g., charts, written reports, banners, maps,
models, artifacts, student-created games, multimedia).
- Communicate in an appropriate format, information that
was gathered by either inquiry or research (e.g., interviews,
surveys, software presentations).
- Revise/edit the work.
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Assessments and Performance Descriptors