New Jersey Department of Education

ELA Curriculum & Instruction

The New Jersey Department of Education supports educators, schools and districts to ensure all of New Jersey's students have equitable access to high-quality education and achieve academic excellence. As educators design curricula aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), it is crucial to focus on the development of learning experiences that appropriately challenge and meet students’ diverse needs and interests while meeting the expectations set forth in the NJSLS.

The resources below are intended to support school and district teams through the process of writing and evaluating their K–12 English Language Arts curriculum aligned to the NJSLS-ELA. Although similar in format and content, each of these tools offers a slightly different approach to curricular design. The proper tool(s) can be selected and/or modified to support the process of curriculum review and writing as each local school or district team deems appropriate for their unique student needs.

Instructional Units

The Instructional Units for English Language Arts provide educators with a meaningful resource from which to build standards-aligned curriculum, instruction and assessment. Experienced educators designed the Instructional Units by considering which standards might be grouped together to maximize a student’s educational experience in ELA. While the Instructional Units have an order and arrangement, local districts have the flexibility to modify them to fit the needs of their student population. For example, though all student learning objectives (SLOs) appear only once, a district could modify the units to repeat the inclusion of one or more SLOs to ensure mastery. The Instructional Units were developed using the Connected Action Roadmap (CAR), a tool for instructional improvement.

Prerequisite Concepts and Skills

The Prerequisite Concepts and Skills resources identify conceptual understandings and skills necessary for students to learn grade level content based on the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Derived from research around learning progressions, the targeted concepts and skills were identified to assist educators in determining the type of individualized instruction and supports that might be needed at the start of a unit to bolster learning acceleration efforts. The Prerequisite Concepts and Skills documents reflect the order and arrangement of the Instructional Units. There are four units per grade/course and local districts have flexibility to modify them to fit the needs of their student population.

Curricular Frameworks

The Curricular Frameworks for English Language Arts are additional tools that can be used to facilitate conversations around curricular design. The Curricular Frameworks focus on the development of concepts and skills over time and offer a logical sequence of instruction with the goal of mastering the standards at each grade level. The Curricular Framework tools and resources may drive discussions focused on assessment, which can help educators tightly align evidence of student learning towards mastery of the NJSLS-ELA. Additionally, educators will find support materials including aligned open educational resources as well as materials to guide professional learning.

The resources provided on this webpage are for informational purposes only. All resources must meet the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) accessibility guidelines. Currently, the NJDOE aims to conform to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). However, the NJDOE does not guarantee that linked external sites conform to Level AA of the WCAG 2.1. Neither NJDOE nor its officers, employees or agents specifically endorse, recommend or favor these resources or the organizations that created them. Please note that the NJDOE has not reviewed or approved the materials related to the programs.

Page Last Updated: 10/12/2023

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