Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Resources: Implementation Tools & Lesson Plans

Common Core.JPGThe mission statement for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) reads as follows: "The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy."
This collection of links includes three components: Introductory Resources about the Standards, Resources for Implementing the Standards, and Common Core Lesson Plan Databases.
We hope to grow this collection as Common Core becomes more pervasive as research becomes more readily available and resources more plentiful. For now, please consider the high-quality resources found below.

Introductory Resources about the Standards:

The Common Core State Standards Initiative provides national support for CCSS implementation. Of particular interest is "The Standards" page, which provides downloadable copies in PDF format.
TN Core is an official state-level resource for CCSS implementation. Find information about instructional shifts, focus standards, testing information, a few videos, and more.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) provides information about coming assessments. They recently released released a set of new sample test items in mathematics and ELA/literacy to show educators, parents, and students what the PARCC test questions will look like.

Edutopia's post "Resources for Understanding the Common Core State Standards" is packed full of links to help educators better prepare to meet the demands of CCSS. Learn more about the standards themselves, myths about the standards, short videos, and resource databases to help educators align their curriculum to CCSS. provides free, high-quality resources for educators to implement the Common Core State Standards. Of particular interest, they have linked a series of iTunes U courses, which were developed by a group of classroom teachers, to explain the shifts in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics.

Consider ASCD's CCSS resources page for news, even more resources. You might wish to sign up for their free CCSS newsletter, "Core Connection."

Education Week recently launched a free CCSS newsletter. In it, you will find links to articles, blog posts, commentaries, and other material from across the EdWeek website.
Eye on Education's "5 Things Every Teacher Should be Doing to Meet the Common Core State Standards" [.PDF]. is a good read for basic ideas about instructional shifts and CCSS.
Education Week offers the article "Using Film to Teach Common Core Skills".

Another article from Education Week explores CCSS collaboration: "In Common Core, Teachers See Interdisciplinary Opportunities"

Resources for Implementing the Standards:

Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) CCSS Resources is a great place to find free curricular development resources. Check out this introductory screencast tutorial
to learn how to navigate to these materials.
The Teaching Channel contains a video showcase of inspiring, effective teaching practices and strategies. They are currently building a section devoted entirely to CCSS.

America Achieves also features a series of videos on this site exemplify the key shifts that Common Core brings to classroom pedagogy for both ELA/Literacy and Mathematics. Registration is required.
The Sayville, NY School District provides lesson planning templatesfor English, math, science, social studies, and creative arts. provides writing samples from classrooms around the country and links to several sample math problems.
NC Public Schools offers several content-specific graphic organizers worth considering. Find organizers for creative arts, world languages, social studies, ESL, science, and healthful living.
The Southern Winchester, NY School District offers several graphic organizers and mind-mapping tools for ELA/Literacy. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find resources for grades 9-12.
Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything features print-ready rubrics and assessment tools related to narrative writing assignments, Web 2.0 projects, and more.

Smarter Balanced, a state-led consortium, developed a series of ELA/Literacy rubrics[.pdf] for several student writing tasks.

CCSSO offers resources to help educators determine text complexity. Consider downloading the Qualitative Measures Rubric for Informational Text[.pdf], the Qualitative Measures Rubric for Literary Text [.pdf], and the Suggested Considerations for Reader and Task[.pdf].
Digital Resources for CCSSis an initial list of digital resources and tools for creating, collaborating, researching, and sharing digital projects.

"Project-Based Learning and Common Core Standards," also from ASCD, discusses how to utilize project-based-learning (PBL) in CCSS.

ePals launched the Common Core Implementation Center, which provides educators several online communication and collaboration tools, along with resources designed to facilitate authentic, project-based learning, as specified by Common Core State Standards.

Check out the post “US History Websites with the Common Core” at the popular blog Not Another History Teacher for links to ten sites that contain information about ways that history teachers may integrate CCSS into their curriculum.

Common Core Lesson Plan Databases:
The Common Core Conversation is an ambitious project providing links to CCSS-related classroom materials across several disciplines.

engageNY is the New York State Education Department's official web site for CCSS lesson plans and curricular resources.
Engaging Educators has a collection of useful sites related to CCSS. This unsorted portal might be useful to English/Language Arts and Math educators especially.

LearnZillion features more than 2,000 lessons by top teachers -- all aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

The Library of Congress hosts a growing collection of classroom materials and professional development resources. They recently launched a Common Core section of educational resources for English/ Language Arts and History/Social Studies. Simply, select "Search by Common Core" standards and select the grade level and subject you wish to search. Use the primary sources and themed resources pages to find lessons and activities for the classroom.

Share My Lesson features more than 250,000 lessons that educators have shared. Some of these lessons have already been aligned with CCSS.

Thinkfinity is the Verizon Foundation’s award-winning educator resource site. Thousands of free lesson plans for most subjects and grade levels.

The Utah Education Network hosts an impressive array of teacher-created CCSS lesson plans and activities across all subjects and grade levels. They have also linked to several resources by subject.

Wiki-Teacher is the Clark County, Nevada School District's portal to lesson & unit plans, demonstration videos, and CCSS standards exploration.

Please report broken or dead links to cmitchell1(at)