Illinois Learning Standards
Stage F - English Language Arts
Students who meet the standard can apply word analysis
and vocabulary skills to comprehend selections.
- Identify and apply appropriate word analysis and vocabulary
strategies (e.g., word patterns, structural analyses) to
identify unfamiliar words.
- Use prefixes, suffixes, and root words to understand word
- Use synonyms and antonyms to express the implied meaning
of a new word.
- Determine the meaning of words in context using denotation
and connotation strategies.
- Identify and interpret idioms, similes, analogies, and
metaphors to express implied meanings of words.
- Use etymologies to construct the meanings of new words.
- Apply appropriate word analysis, vocabulary, and contextual
clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words across
a range of subjects.
- Recognize literary devices (e.g., figurative language,
description, dialogue) in text.
Students who meet the standard can apply reading
strategies to improve understanding and fluency.
- Use skimming to preview reading materials and scanning
to detect major visual patterns and identify text structure
- Identify author's ideas and purposes.
- Build and support plausible interpretations with evidence
from the text through collaboration with others.
- Make connections to real world situations or related topics
before and during reading.
- Identify main plot elements, conflicts, and themes in
a variety of texts.
- Distinguish between significant and minor details.
- Connect and clarify main ideas and concepts, and identify
their relationship to other sources and topics.
- Demonstrate an accurate understanding of important information
in the text by focusing on the key ideas presented explicitly
- Demonstrate understanding of structure through the use
of graphic organizers and outlining (e.g., mapping, time
lines, Venn diagrams).
- Apply survey strategies (e.g., use of bold print, organization
of content, key words, graphics).
- Summarize ideas from text to make and defend accurate
inferences about character traits and motivations.
- Interpret the meaning of figurative language in a variety
- Evaluate new information and hypotheses by comparing them
to known information and ideas.
- Apply self-monitoring and self-correcting strategies during
reading to check and clarify for understanding.
- Read aloud fluently (with expression, accuracy, and appropriate
- Develop creative interpretations of reading.
- Select and read books for recreation.
Students who meet the standard can comprehend a broad
range of reading materials.
- Confirm, reject and modify questions, predictions, and
hypotheses based on evidence in text.
- Use relevant and accurate references, most of which are
specific and fully supported to make generalizations from
- Ask and respond to open-ended questions.
- Compare the theme, topic, text structure, and story elements
of various selections within a content area.
- Interpret concepts or make connections through analysis,
evaluation, inference, and/or comparison.
- Select reading strategies for text appropriate to the
- Recognize how reader response is related to text interpretation.
- Identify the author's controlling idea/thesis.
- Interpret imagery and figurative language (e.g., alliteration,
metaphor, simile, personification).
- Explain how illustrators use art to express their ideas.
- Recognize how illustrations from various cultures reflect,
interpret, and enhance the text.
- Recognize the influence media (e.g., television, film)
can have on the reader's point of view concerning fiction
- 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 literary techniques (e.g.,
satire, characterization, narration, dialogue, figurative
language) in a variety of genres and tell how they affect
- Predict how the story might be different if the author
changed certain literary elements or techniques (e.g., dialect,
- Describe how the development of theme, character, plot,
and setting contribute to the overall impact of a piece
- Compare selections with similar characters, plots, and/or
- Understand and use literary terms (e.g., foreshadowing,
metaphor, simile, symbolism, flashback, scene, dialogue).
- Transfer new vocabulary from literature into other contexts.
- Identify characteristics and authors associated with various
literary forms (e.g., short stories, novels, drama, fables,
biographies, documentaries, poetry, science fiction).
- Recognize and use cognitive strategies (e.g., analysis,
synthesis, inference) to enhance understanding.
- Compare ways in which different kinds of literature are
organized (e.g., plays, short stories, essays, poems).
Students who meet the standard can read and interpret
a variety of literary works.
- Respond to fiction using interpretive and evaluative processes.
- Select favorite authors and genres.
- Connect literary selections to historical context.
- Make inferences, draw conclusions, and make connections
from text to text, text to self, and text to world.
- Discuss recurring themes across works in print and media.
- Compare themes, conflicts, and figurative language from
diverse times and cultures.
- Make inferences and draw conclusions about contexts, events,
character, and settings.
- Discuss the impact of author's word choice on content.
- Interpret nonfiction text and informational materials.
- Support plausible interpretations with evidence from the
Students who meet the standard can use correct grammar,
spelling, punctuation, capitalization and structure.
- 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/complex)
and sentence types (i.e., declarative, interrogative, exclamatory,
- Use basic transition words/phrases to connect ideas.
- Proofread for correct English conventions.
- Demonstrate appropriate use of the eight parts of speech.
Students who meet the standard can compose well-organized
and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences.
- Use pre-writing strategies (e.g., webbing, brainstorming,
listing, note taking, outlining, graphic organizers).
- Analyze basic audience and purpose for writing and choose
the appropriate form (e.g., letters, poems, reports, narratives).
- Establish and maintain focus/organization within and across
- Use organizational patterns (e.g., sequence, cause/effect,
- Write using organization (e.g. introduction, body, conclusion)
and elaboration (second level support) that demonstrate
- Use figurative language.
- Use appropriate transitional words and phrases to connect
and unify key ideas.
- Edit and revise content.
- Select effective formats for publication.
- Use available technology (e.g., word processing, desktop
publishing, electronic dictionary/glossary, printing).
Students who meet the standard can communicate ideas
in writing to accomplish a variety of purposes.
- Use appropriate language, details, and format for a specified
audience (e.g., gender, age, prior knowledge, interest).
- Compose writing that supports a topic or thesis statement
with evidence (e.g., newspaper article, pamphlet, report,
brochure, manual, business letter).
- Write a multi-paragraph narrative account (e.g., friendly
letter, journal, autobiography, biographical account, memoir)
that establishes a context, creates a point of view, and
develops a focused impression.
- Develop a multi-paragraph piece of persuasive writing.
- Write creatively for a specified purpose and audience
(e.g. short story, poetry, radio scripts, directions, TV
- Compose a multi-paragraph persuasive piece which presents
one position of an issue that offers sufficient support
through multiple strategies (e.g., cause/effect, compare/contrast).
- Use available technology (e.g., web pages, presentations,
speeches) to design, produce, and present compositions and
Students who meet the standard can listen effectively
in formal and informal situations.
- Evaluate the situation and assume appropriate listening
- Focus attention on speaker as sender of the message.
- Identify and analyze factors that will impact the message
(e.g., dialect, language styles, setting, word choice).
- Differentiate between formal and informal purposes for
- Distinguish between nonverbal and verbal messages.
- Differentiate between the speaker's factual and emotional
- Infer speaker's bias and purpose.
- Recognize personal bias and its impact on the message.
- Separate main ideas from supporting facts and details.
- Anticipate information that might be forthcoming from
- Formulate questions needed to gather and clarify information.
- Contribute relevant and idea-inspiring comments during
- Paraphrase and summarize, in both oral and written form,
information in formal and informal presentations.
- Modify, control, and block out distractions.
- Restate a set of instructions in the order given and complete
Students who meet the standard can speak effectively
using language appropriate to the situation and audience.
- Analyze characteristics of one's audience and prepare
- Evaluate and select details appropriate for informing,
entertaining and persuading.
- Align vocabulary and style to the intent of the message.
- Use language that is clear, audible, and appropriate.
- Use appropriate grammar, word choice, and pacing.
- Incorporate appropriate nonverbal expressions that support
the message (e.g., facial expressions, gestures, posture,
- Use notes and outlines.
- Prepare and practice a presentation to fit within a given
- Use rehearsal techniques (e.g., taking deep breaths, recording
or video taping presentation) to plan and practice the presentation.
- Contribute meaningfully to group discussions by following
accepted guidelines of verbal interaction (e.g., appropriate
turn-taking behavior, respectful and engaged responses,
appropriately-aligned vocabulary, appropriate rate and volume).
- 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.
- Select a topic from a list of topics.
- Formulate questions to direct research.
- Gather information based on hypotheses.
- Define the focus of research.
- Apply criteria for determining credibility of sources.
- Choose a variety of resources (e.g., newspaper, magazine,
reference books, electronic information) to gain new information.
- Organize and integrate information from a variety of sources
(e.g., books, interviews, library reference materials, web
- Arrange information in an orderly manner (e.g., outlining,
- Develop a bibliography using a simple, acceptable form.
- Design and prepare a project using multiple sources.
Students who meet the standard can analyze and evaluate
information acquired from various sources.
- Analyze information from primary print and non-print sources.
- Evaluate sources by applying a set of criteria (e.g.,
accuracy, timeliness, reliability).
- Use information from footnotes, illustrations, diagrams,
charts, and graphs.
- Evaluate and select primary and secondary sources.
- Use a bibliography for a variety of purposes.
- Develop a bibliography using a simple, acceptable form.
- Cite the source of all direct quotations.
- Cite the source of all paraphrased/summarized information.
Students who meet the standard can apply acquired
information, concepts and ideas to communicate in a variety
- Select and justify adaptations in format to accommodate
characteristics of audiences (e.g., age, background, interest
level, group size) and purposes of the presentation (e.g.,
inform, persuade, entertain).
- Evaluate and select text, graphic materials, or visual
aids to present information (e.g., charts, written reports,
banners, maps, models, artifacts, student-created games).
- Communicate, in an appropriate format, information that
was gathered by either inquiry or research (e.g., interviews,
surveys, software presentations).
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Assessments and Performance Descriptors