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ELA Instruction

The structure and design of the SpringBoard English Language Arts program teaches reading and writing as integrated skills.

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SpringBoard English Language Arts is a core curriculum for all students in grades 6–12. It's a complete instructional program, aligned to college readiness standards, that gives you everything you need to get your students ready for college-level work.

The core components of SpringBoard ELA are our instructional materials: a Student Edition and Teacher Edition, in print and digital form, for each grade level. The program offers texts, activities, assessments, and a wide range of tools and resources that support teachers while giving them the flexibility to teach their way.

Learn more about SpringBoard ELA's benefits and features.

Instructional Design

SpringBoard is based on the Understanding by Design model, which asserts that beginning instruction with the end in mind is the best way to engage students, make them active learners, and ensure their academic success.

The curriculum is built around embedded assessments that are mapped to AP and college readiness standards. Students are given clear learning targets at the beginning of every activity so they understand why the skills they’re developing matter.


Integrated Reading and Writing Instruction


SpringBoard ELA students engage with a wide variety of high-quality texts—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, visuals, and film—and learn techniques and strategies for understanding them.

Writing instruction is built in: Activities often include writing prompts, and every assessment includes a writing component, so students are continually developing their writing skills. Grammar and vocabulary instruction are also integrated into the activities.

How It Works in the Classroom

Every grade-level course involves an in-depth study of one novel and one play, with an emphasis on close reading and literary analysis. SpringBoard requires the study of certain texts, but teachers can choose additional texts to include in the curriculum.

Every course is divided into four to five themed units. Each unit takes about four to six weeks and guides students through multiple texts.

Every unit guides students through a close reading of an entire short work, taking about four to six weeks. Student complete 15 to 20 class-length activities per unit.

Instruction is divided into four phases: Plan, Teach, Assess, and Adapt.

Phase 1: Plan

In the Teacher Edition, support for teachers as they plan their lessons is offered in every activity with features including standards correlations, pacing suggestions, and lists of recommended materials. In addition, every unit begins with a section called “Planning the Unit,” which gives teachers a complete resource for pacing and organizing lessons, materials, and assessments. This section includes:

  • Context and Instructional Sequence: Sections that tell the story of the unit so teachers understand its purpose.
  • AP Connections: Lists of specific skills and knowledge connected to Advanced Placement® course descriptions and college readiness skills.
  • An instruction and pacing guide that illustrates how activities connect to and support the embedded assessment.
  • Suggestions for independent reading to supplement the texts in the unit.

Phase 2: Teach

As students complete the unit activities, their learning is supported by features such as:

  • Learning Targets: List of the standards addressed by the activity, translated into student-friendly language.
  • Learning Strategies: List of the approaches to learning that are appropriate to the activity.
  • Key Ideas and Details: Text-dependent questions that help students engage with what they're reading.
  • Grammar and Usage: Callouts that identify models of grammar and usage elements in the texts.
  • Language and Writer’s Craft: Sections that give language and grammar instruction in context.
  • Academic Vocabulary: Callouts that define and analyze terms in context.

Support for teachers as they guide students through the activities includes:

  • Guidance and suggested teaching techniques for specific activities and content, developed by practicing teachers.
  • Differentiating Instruction: Callouts that give teachers suggestions for adapting activities for English language learners and other student populations.
  • Teacher to Teacher: Callouts with insights from expert SpringBoard teachers.
  • Text Complexity Analyses: Supplements that give teachers an analysis of the complexity of every prose text, including qualitative, quantitative, and task considerations.

Phase 3: Assess

Every unit is built around performance-based embedded assessments designed to measure student mastery of skills and knowledge. The program offers many other opportunities for students and teachers to assess progress, including:

  • Check Your Understanding: Quick formative assessments.
  • Writing prompts that provide students with opportunities for frequent and ongoing assessment.
  • Text-dependent questions for all texts help teachers and students monitor understanding.
  • Independent Reading Links: Callouts that check progress on student independent reading.

Phase 4: Adapt

In this phase, the teacher may adjust instruction in response to the work the students produce. Support for teachers includes:

  • Suggestions for additional assignments and activities to give students more practice or to extend learning for students who are ready to go further.
  • Supplemental reading and writing workshops that offer the opportunity for in-depth practice of skills.