Illinois Learning Standards
Stage D - 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., phonics, word patterns, structural analyses) to identify
- Learn and use high frequency root words, prefixes, and
suffixes to understand word meaning.
- Use synonyms and antonyms to define words.
- Use word origins to construct the meanings of new words.
- Apply word analysis and vocabulary strategies across the
curriculum and in independent reading to self correct miscues
that interfere with meaning.
- Recognize the difference between denotative and connotative
meanings of words.
- Determine the meaning of a word in context when the word
has multiple meanings.
- Use additional resources (e.g., newspapers, interviews,
technological resources) as applicable to clarify meanings
of unfamiliar words.
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.
- Use self-questioning and teacher questioning to promote
- Infer before, during, and after reading.
- Select and use appropriate strategies according to textual
complexities and reader purpose before and during reading.
- Make connections from text to text, text to self, text
- Demonstrate an accurate understanding of information in
the text by focusing on the key ideas presented explicitly
or implicitly and making connections text to text, text
to self, text to world.
- Identify explicit and implicit main ideas.
- Differentiate between fact and opinion.
- Infer cause/effect relation-ships in expository text.
- Paraphrase/summarize information in a text.
- Clarify understanding continuously (e.g., read ahead,
use visual and context clues) during reading.
- Critique text using personal reflections and responses.
- Generalize meanings from figurative language.
- Apply self-monitoring techniques to adjust rate and utilize
various resources according to purposes and materials.
- 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 modify predictions and questions.
- Use evidence in text to respond to open-ended questions.
- Use evidence in text to generate and confirm or reject
- Compare themes, topics, and story elements of various
selections by one author.
- Interpret concepts or make connections through comparison,
analysis, evaluation, and inference.
- Select reading strategies for text appropriate to the
- Make generalizations based on relevant information from
- Recognize main ideas and secondary ideas in expository
- Paraphrase/summarize narrative text according to text
- Recognize how illustrations reflect, interpret, and enhance
- Recognize similarities and differences when presented
with varying styles or points of view.
- Apply information obtained from age-appropriate fiction
and nonfiction materials to simple tables, maps, and charts.
- Apply appropriate reading strategies to fiction and non-fiction
texts within and across content areas.
- Develop familiarity with available electronic literary
forms (e.g., interactive web sites, interactive software,
Students who meet the standard can understand how
literary elements and techniques are used to convey meaning.
- Read a wide range of fiction.
- Identify and compare themes or messages in various selections.
- Compare one or more story elements (e.g., character, plot,
setting) and points of view in a variety of works by a variety
of authors from different times and cultures.
- Identify and discuss the elements of plot and subplot.
- Identify/compare characters' attributes and motives.
- Make inferences about character traits and check text
- Analyze unfamiliar vocabulary.
- Identify metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, and hyperbole
- Discuss and respond to a variety of literature (e.g.,
folktales, legends, myths, fiction, nonfiction, poems).
- Identify rhythm and rhyme in original work.
- Identify poetic devices (e.g., alliteration, assonance,
consonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme scheme).
Students who meet the standard can read and interpret
a variety of literary works.
- Make inferences, draw conclusions, make connections from
text to text, text to self, text to world.
- Support an interpretation by citing the text.
- Compare works by the same author.
- Analyze several works that have a common theme.
- 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 fully-developed paragraph(s) using proper form (e.g.,
topic sentence, details, summary/conclusion sentence) and
a variety of sentence types (i.e., interrogative, declarative,
- Demonstrate subject/verb agreement.
- Use appropriate capitalization.
- Use appropriate punctuation.
- Use correct spelling of appropriate high frequency words.
- Demonstrate progression from phonetic to conventional
spelling of words.
- Demonstrate appropriate use of the various parts of speech
(e.g., noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb).
- Proofread one's own work and the work of others and revise
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) with limited teacher
- Compose topic sentence; establish and maintain a focus.
- Organize paragraph(s) with a clear beginning, middle,
and end appropriate to purpose, audience, and context.
- Use basic transitions to connect ideas.
- Elaborate ideas through first level supporting details
(e.g., facts, description, reasons, narration).
- Use adjectives and adverbs to enrich written language.
- Use a variety of sentence structures (e.g., simple, compound,
- 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, play, rap, parody).
- Write friendly letters.
- Use available technology to design, produce, and present
compositions and multimedia works.
Students who meet the standard can listen effectively
in formal and informal situations.
- Begin to assess the situation and determine, with limited
direction from the teacher, the appropriate level of focus.
- Demonstrate the ability to listen for different purposes
(e.g., information gathering, entertainment, social interaction).
- Record appropriate notes from content of a formal presentation.
- Paraphrase and summarize the content of both formal and
informal presentations or messages (e.g., directions, announcements,
conversations, speakers, media presentations).
- Distinguish between and formulate questions that are based
on facts and those that are based on inferences and opinions.
- Formulate relevant and focused questions and answers in
a variety of settings (e.g., cooperative learning groups,
class discussions, guest speakers, debates, assemblies).
- Demonstrate comprehension by repeating or paraphrasing
and executing a simple set of directions.
Students who meet the standard can speak effectively
using language appropriate to the situation and audience.
- Demonstrate awareness of characteristics of an audience
and how they affect content and style of presentation.
- Distinguish among oral presentations intended to inform,
to entertain, and to persuade.
- Organize information for the purposes of informing, entertaining,
- Use language that is clear, audible, and appropriate.
- Use appropriate grammar, word choice, and pacing.
- Use details to elaborate and develop main ideas for purposes
of informing, entertaining, and persuading.
- Adapt language to audience and purpose.
- Distinguish between positive and negative verbal and nonverbal
communication elements (e.g., space, body language, tone,
- Use notes and outlines.
- Prepare and practice the presentation in advance.
- 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
Students who meet the standard can locate, organize,
and use information from various sources to answer questions,
solve problems, and communicate ideas.
- Formulate questions using aids (e.g., KWL, webs, graphic
- Define the focus of the research.
- Use a variety of sources (e.g., reference books, newspapers,
magazines, encyclopedia, interviews, available technology)
to collect information relevant to a topic.
- Arrange information in an orderly manner (e.g., outlining,
sequencing, graphic organizers).
Students who meet the standard can analyze and evaluate
information acquired from various sources.
- Use organizational features of text and available technology
(e.g., glossary, table of contents, indexes, icons, word
search) to analyze and evaluate information.
- Organize related information under main topics.
- Distinguish between main ideas and supporting details.
- List sources of information selected for use in project
(e.g., title, author, copyright date).
Students who meet the standard can apply acquired
information, concepts and ideas to communicate in a variety
- Access print, non-print information for written reports,
letters, and/or stories.
- Gather/organize/synthesize information.
- Develop acquired information by using a recognizable format
(e.g., research paper, poem, story, play, letter).
- Revise and edit the work.
- Present information in oral, written, and available multi-media
- Introduce the topic, sometimes providing a context.
- Select an organizational structure that is useful to the
- Communicate ideas, insights, or theories that have been
elaborated or illustrated through facts, details, quotations,
statistics, and/or information.
- Use diagrams, charts, or illustrations appropriate to
- Use text/graphic aids to present information (e.g., banner,
charts, report, maps, models, games, interviews, surveys).
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Assessments and Performance Descriptors