Common Core State Standards

Discussions4Learning provides authentic, engaging opportunities to reinforce the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts in the following key areas:

  • Speaking and Listening Standards
  • Reading Standards for Literature
  • Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • Language Standards
  • Writing Standards

Overall correlations to the Anchor Standards, Grades K–12

How Discussions4Learning Addresses the Six Essential Elements of the CCSS

Lesson-by-lesson correlations

Speaking and Listening

Comprehension and Collaboration Guided Discussion Tips are designed to help teachers foster collaborative conversations among students, and to help students ask and answer questions about the images and about what their classmates have stated.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas As they discuss images and express ideas and opinions, students use new and previously learned vocabulary and are encouraged to use complete sentences.

Reading Literature

Discussions4Learning lessons help students develop skills in many key literature standards by engaging all students—including those who may still be struggling with decoding skills—in higher-level discussions. Students work together to figure out an artist’s intent and the meaning of an artwork in the same way that they work together to figure out an author’s intent and the meaning of a given piece of literature.

Reading Informational Text

By observing and discussing Discussions4Learning’s real-world photos, students learn, practice, and apply key informational text standards.

Key Ideas and Details Students ask and answer questions to determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Since each real-world photo is conceptually connected to a fine art image, students learn to compare and contrast the most important ideas presented by the two images.


According to the Writing Standards, “Each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources.“ In Discussions4Learning, students learn to develop vocabulary and syntax and construct coherent arguments supporting their claims as they examine and discuss a variety of fine art images and real-world photos. Students learn to explain their argument to their peers, and use evidence to support their opinion. This skill supports students as they apply these skills to writing tasks.

Read what teachers are saying about using Discussions4Learning with their students. 

Click here to learn from Professor Sarah Michaels how the program supports the Common Core State Standards.

“The academically productive discussion skills that teachers develop through Discussions4Learning are at the core of the Common Core State Standards as well as The Next Generation Science Standards. You get a big bang for the buck with Discussions4Learning. Working with the program is great for kids, and it will help teachers become better facilitators of student reasoning and evidence-based discussion across the curriculum — in math, English language arts, social studies, and science.”

— Sarah Michaels, Ph.D.,
Clark University, Worcester, MA