Scope and Purpose of this project...


Our purpose is to work together to build resources for selecting age-appropriate and text complex literature that can be used to implement ELA Standards K-8.  

Based on updated criteria for selection, contributors are urged to suggest titles of books that meet specific expectations within grade level strands for literature and informational texts. There is a need for a wide range of text that will appeal to interests and abilities of diverse readers- books that are contemporary, bias free, and represent the multicultural world we live in.

This shared resource could become the wikipedia of exemplar texts-the exemplar-pedia!

Teacher librarians have already been compiling lists, as their colleagues ask, “I’m looking for something new that will help my students understand key ideas and details. Can you help me?”

Yes we can!


Common Core State Standards ELA Exemplar Texts: Moving Beyond Appendix B

Across the nation, educators are revising and creating curriculum that reflects adoption of the Common Core State Standards in more than 40 states.  In the English Language Arts (ELA) standards, among other challenges, there is emphasis on students reading a range of increasingly challenging literary and informational text that is described by grade level.  

Our purpose here is not to debate the merits of the Common Core State Standards but to explore the meaning of text complexity, as described in Appendix A.  There has been abundant discussion about the list of text exemplars in Appendix B that supposedly meet the criteria established for Appendix A.  The titles on that list are not supposed to be considered a reading list, but in many cases, that is happening.  Publishers are promoting the texts as “Common Core Exemplars,” and schools have opened their pocketbooks.

The lists are limited and many texts are outdated, or even out of print, and are lacking in cultural or gender diversity. 

Scope of the Project:

Stepping up to the challenge: An evolving resource for educators

As resource specialists, teacher librarians are in an excellent position to implement Common Core Standards through quality literature and nonfiction texts.  Teacher librarians can help colleagues with recommendations for current, engaging literature that meet the criteria for complex text. Rather than build resources school by school, here is an opportunity to create a working document that can be shared from district to district, county to county, state to state.

Special thanks go to Elizabeth Burns, Kasey Garrison, and Sue Kimmel, whose research and presentation about the Common Core Exemplar Lists at the AASL Conference in Hartford, CT on November 16, 2013 gave us a taste of the possibilities for crowd sourcing better exemplars.

From AASL's 16th Annual Conference:

and the collaborative list that was started:

Contact information:

Carol Scrimgeour, LMS  Essex Elementary School  Essex, VT
Denise Wentz, LMS   Allen Brook School  Williston VT
Judith Kaplan, LMS   Coordinator, School Library Media Studies, University of Vermont