Core Ready Lesson Sets for Grades K-2: A Staircase to Standards Success for English Language Arts, The Shape of Story: Yesterday and Today

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Pam Allyn’s widely popular Core Ready series gives educators a complete, dynamic, hands-on resource for navigating the Common Core Standards effectively, fluidly, and successfully. Using the information presented in the series, educators see how to take complex concepts related to the standards and turn them into practical, specific, everyday lessons. The books address the needs of all learners, including ELs and learners with special needs, and cover the uses of technology and new media.

The Shape of Story: Yesterday and Today is a virtual “one-stop shop” for teachers interested in meeting the Common Core State Standards. It’s packed with powerful lesson sets that provide support for ELLs and diverse learners, with tips on making high tech variations for literacy instruction for grades K, 1, and 2. Shape of Story guides teachers and students through three rich, dynamic lesson sets which focus on high-quality texts from diverse genres in the primary grades to foster critical thinking skills and help students develop the ability to dive deeply into a written text or an image, and uncover character complexity, central themes, messages and meaning, and point of view. The lessons sets are: 

Grade K—Tell Me a Story: Elements of Fiction

Grade 1—Could It Really Happen?: An Introduction to Fantasy

Grade 2—Once Upon a Time: A New Look at Fairy Tales 

The lesson sets begin with an introduction to the elements of fiction and continue to develop students’ understanding of the unique craft, structure, and terminology associated with fantasy and fairy tales. The developmental exposure lets students uncover the intricate ways an author conveys meaning to an audience and explore how these methods vary depending on purpose and genre. The result: as students build experience, comfort, and familiarity with the technicalities, tools, and elements of storytelling, they in turn become strong readers, writers, and speakers. 

The lesson sets follow a staircase model for curriculum development—every lesson set in every grade level builds on the other—and each lesson is based on the author’s structured Warm Up, Teach, Try, Clarify framework that shows step-by-step how to make teaching points explicit for students.


The Shape of Story: Yesterday and Today helps develop students who approach reading with the experience that allows them to know what to expect in a variety of genres and apply appropriate strategies to each with purpose and flexibility.

Additional Information

Author Pam Allyn
Publisher Pearson
Publication Date 2013
Edition No
Pages 304
ISBN13 9780132907446