Critical Concepts

Critical concepts are essential words students need to know to understand the ideas in a text. Critical concepts typically provide rich context that students can use to improve their reading comprehension. Sometimes, critical concepts will appear in the text students are reading. Other times, teachers have to bring critical concepts to the text that students will need to know before they read.

Where is this in the Reading Process: Before the process

Explicitly Teach: Explain. Connect. Model. Practice.

Cycle of Independence: I do. We do. They do. You do.

Origin: Maxine Sagapolutele, El Cajon Valley High School

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Critical Concepts Step-By-Step Process

Plan your lesson Plan your lesson

Planning Journal

Teach the skill Teach the skill

Student Activity
Interactive Lesson

Differentiate and support learning Differentiate and support learning

Reading Rubrics

Assess and track growth Assess and track growth

Performance Tracker
Teacher Reflection

Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
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