BPS District English Standards Book

K-12 Grade Levels

Grade 12


glossary icon12th Grade English
"I can ... statements"

To become ready for college and career, high school students learn to evaluate intricate arguments and surmount the challenges posed by complex written materials independently and confidently. Through wide and deep reading of literature and literary nonfiction of steadily increasing sophistication, students expand their literary and cultural knowledge and better understand references and images. They also develop the flexibility, concentration, and fluency to produce high-quality, first drafts of writing under tight deadlines. And they are able to revisit and make improvements to a piece of writing over multiple drafts if needed. High school students master the essential “rules” of standard written and spoken English and resolve usage issues by consulting style and usage guides. By writing and participating in a variety of conversations, they assert and defend claims and show what they know about a subject using appropriate examples and evidence.

ELA-12.RL Strand:

[RL] Reading Literature

    • ELA-12.RL.01 Cite strong textual evidence to support analysis of text
    • ELA-12.RL.02 Determine themes or central ideas and analyze their development
    • ELA-12.RL.03 Analyze the author's choices regarding how to develop a story or drama
    • ELA-12.RL.04 Determine figurative and connotative meanings of words and phrases
    • ELA-12.RL.05 Analyze an author's choices and a text's structure, meaning, and aesthetic
    • ELA-12.RL.06 Analyze a viewpoint where what is stated differs from what is really meant
    • ELA-12.RL.07 Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem
    • ELA-12.RL.08 (Not applicable to literature)
    • ELA-12.RL.09 Demonstrate knowledge of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century works of American lit
    • ELA-12.RL.10 Read and comprehend literature with scaffolding as needed

ELA-12.RI Strand:

[RI] Reading Information

    • ELA-12.RI.01 Cite strong textual evidence to support analysis of text
    • ELA-12.RI.02 Determine central ideas of a text and analyze their development
    • ELA-12.RI.03 Analyze ideas or events and explain how they interact and develop
    • ELA-12.RI.04 Determine figurative, connotative, and technical meanings of words and phrases
    • ELA-12.RI.05 Evaluate the effectiveness of the author's exposition or argument
    • ELA-12.RI.06 Analyze the style and persuasiveness of an argument
    • ELA-12.RI.07 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different me
    • ELA-12.RI.08 Evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts
    • ELA-12.RI.09 Analyze 17th-,18th-, and 19th-century foundational U.S. documents
    • ELA-12.RI.10 Read and comprehend literary nonfiction with scaffolding as needed

ELA-12.W Strand:

[W] Writing

    • ELA-12.W.argu Text Types and Purposes (argument)
    • ELA-12.W.01 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics
      • W.01.a Introduce claims, distinguish from alternate or opposing claims
      • W.01.b Develop claims and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly
      • W.01.c Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax
      • W.01.d Maintain a formal style and objective tone
      • W.01.e Provide a concluding statement or section that supports the argument presented
    • ELA-12.W.info Text Types and Purposes (informative)
    • ELA-12.W.02 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas
      • W.02.a Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information
      • W.02.b Develop a topic with facts, definitions, details, or other information
      • W.02.c Use transitions to link the major sections of the text
      • W.02.d Use metaphor, simile, and analogy
      • W.02.e Maintain a formal style and objective tone
      • W.02.f Provide a concluding statement or section that supports the explanation
    • ELA-12.W.narr Text Types and Purposes (narrative)
    • ELA-12.W.03 Write narratives using effective technique, well-chosen details, and events
      • W.03.a Engage the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation
      • W.03.b Use dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines
      • W.03.c Use techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another
      • W.03.d Use details and sensory language
      • W.03.e Provide a conclusion that reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved
    • ELA-12.W.04 Produce writing appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
    • ELA-12.W.05 Develop writing by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or a new approach
    • ELA-12.W.06 Use technology to produce, publish, and update writing products
    • ELA-12.W.07 Conduct research projects to answer a question or solve a problem
    • ELA-12.W.08 Gather information from multiple sources, follow a standard format for citation
    • ELA-12.W.09 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts
      • W.09.a Apply grades 11-12 Reading standards to literature
      • W.09.b Apply grades 11-12 Reading standards to literary nonfiction
    • ELA-12.W.10 Write routinely for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences

ELA-12.SL Strand:

[SL] Speaking and Listening

    • ELA-12.SL.01 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
      • SL.01.a Come to discussions prepared
      • SL.01.b Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions
      • SL.01.c Propel conversations; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions
      • SL.01.d Respond to diverse perspectives
    • ELA-12.SL.02 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats
    • ELA-12.SL.03 Evaluate a speaker's viewpoint, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric
    • ELA-12.SL.04 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence
    • ELA-12.SL.05 Make strategic use of digital media in presentations
    • ELA-12.SL.06 Adapt speech to a variety of tasks, demonstrating command of English

ELA-12.L Strand:

[L] Language

    • ELA-12.L.01 Demonstrate command of English grammar and usage when writing or speaking
      • L.01.a Understand that usage is a matter of convention, and can change over time
      • L.01.b Resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references
    • ELA-12.L.02 Demonstrate command of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
      • L.02.a Observe hyphenation conventions
      • L.02.b Spell correctly
    • ELA-12.L.03 Understand how language functions in different contexts
      • L.03.a Vary syntax for effect, consulting references for guidance as needed
    • ELA-12.L.04 Determine the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases
      • L.04.a Use context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
      • L.04.b Use patterns that indicate different parts of speech
      • L.04.c Consult reference materials
      • L.04.d Verify determination of the meaning of a word or phrase
    • ELA-12.L.05 Understand figurative language, word relationships, and nuances
      • L.05.a Interpret figures of speech
      • L.05.b Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations
    • ELA-12.L.06 Use academic and domain-specific words and phrases

A Sample of What Your Child Will Be Doing in High School to Become Ready for College and Career


  • Understanding more from and making fuller use of written materials, including using a wider range of evidence to support an analysis
  • Making more connections about how complex ideas interact and develop within a book, essay, or article
  • Evaluating arguments and specific claims, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is sufficient, and as appropriate, detecting inconsistencies and ambiguities
  • Analyzing the meaning of foundational U.S. documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights)


  • Making an argument that is logical, well-reasoned, and supported by evidence
  • Writing a literary analysis, report, or summary that develops a central idea and a coherent focus and is well supported with relevant examples, facts, and details
  • Conducting several research projects that address different aspects of the same topic, using more complex books, articles, and other sources

Speaking and Listening

  • Responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesizing comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; and resolving contradictions when possible
  • Sharing research, findings, and evidence clearly and concisely
  • Making strategic use of digital media (e.g., animations, video, websites, podcasts) to enhance understanding of findings and to add interest


  • Determining or clarifying the meaning of words and phrases, choosing flexibly from multiple strategies, such as using context, Greek and Latin roots (e.g., bene as in benefactor or benevolent), patterns of words (conceive, conception, conceivable), and consulting specialized reference materials. Interpreting figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyzing their role in the written materials