Common Core for Elementary School

The resources on this page represent the subset of the recommended texts that exist in the public domain.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Edward Lear

Edward Lear's story, The Owl and the Pussy Cat is recommended as a text exemplar for kindergarten and first grade. It offers predictable rhyming text to build confidence with early readers.

Autumn Emily Dickinson

Autumn is a lovely Emily Dickinson poem usually introduced in grades 2-3 so students can identify the poem's rhyming scheme and literary devices.

How the Camel Got His Hump Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories offer young readers the opportunity to identify literary devices like anthropomorphism and explore the characteristics of what makes a "tall tale." They can use what they learn to write their own tales, striking a balance between fantasy (it's OK to call this "lying"), and a dose of realism to explain how something could be "just so."

The Echoing Green William Blake

Students study the sun as a metaphor for life, as well as the contrast between joys and sorrows in William Blake's poem most often enjoyed by students in grades 4-5. It is featured in Blake's collection The Age of Innocence, published in 1789.

A Bird Came Down the Walk Emily Dickinson

This delightful Dickinson poem vividly describes a bird eating a worm, showing writers you can find great drama close to home. It is taught in grades 4-5. The rhyme scheme is typical of Dickinson's poetry: iambic trimeter, following a loose ABCB pattern.

The New Colossus Emma Lazarus

Lazarus' epic sonnet provides ample study for grades 4-5 students. Her poetic structure, symbolism, and beautifully crafted welcome provides opportunity to consider it in its historical context-- the impact of immigration in America-- both past and present.

Casey at the Bat Ernest Lawrence Thayer

There's a reason this ballad poem is included as a text exemplar for grades 4-5. Who wouldn't love poetry (baseball and non-baseball fans alike) when it begins like this: "It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day..." Casey at the Bat (1888) is considered the most famous baseball poem every written. It's a home run!

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