ELA Content Standards and Resources

English Language Arts & Literacy Coordinator: Stephanie Swigart |  406-444-0736

Return to the K-12 Content Standards home page.

#1 The English Language Arts and Literacy Standards are Officially Open!

Exciting news! Superintendent Arntzen secured approval from the Montana Board of Public Education to open the ELA standards for review and revision in September 2023. We are now officially in the Research and Review stage of our standards revision process! Check out our information session at MFPE (virtual and in-person sessions available) to understand the standards revision process better and to learn how you can be involved! 
Our standards are incredible guideposts for our teachers and learners across Montana and we want to make sure that they continue to reflect the best practices and most current research to support student learning! We look forward to working with all interested stakeholders over the coming months and years to develop our standards as an ELA community. 
Our goal over the next few months is to build awareness of this exciting opportunity so that we have the best representation from across our wonderful state on each of the task forces that will work with the review and revision process. Please share this information widely with your networks. 
Coming Soon: ELA Standards Review Task Force Application
For more information, please contact the Montana English Language Arts and Literacy Coordinator Stephanie Swigart at stephanie.swigart@mt.gov


#2 First Lady of Montana and Dolly Parton Announce Statewide Expansion of Imagination Library

Partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will provide free books to Montana children from birth to age five in every Montana zip code


 Advancing her initiatives as Montana’s first lady, Susan Gianforte announced the statewide launch of the Imagination Library of Montana in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The non-profit program boosts early childhood literacy by providing free high-quality, age-appropriate books to Montana children.

“Literacy is critical for our kids and their development. When parents read to their kids or when a child reads, it engages them, it fires their imagination, and sparks their curiosity,” First Lady Susan Gianforte said. “I’m proud of the partnership we’ve developed with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and local organizations throughout Montana. Working together, we’ll make sure all our youngest kids have access to reading resources so they can dream, grow, and reach their full potential.”

Dolly Parton said, “I’m so excited to be launching my Imagination Library statewide in Montana! I want to send my very special thanks to First Lady Susan Gianforte for her partnership in making this amazing gift available to children and families across the state.”

Through the partnership, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will provide a free book each month to any Montana child, ages 0 to 5 years old, who is registered with the organization. A child may be registered at imaginationlibrary.com.

The partnership will assist programs already in place while also expanding programs statewide to every zip code in all of Montana’s 56 counties.

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Program Partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 2 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to enrolled children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More, and Be More.

The program has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

For more information, or to register a child, please visit imaginationlibrary.com.




ELA Standards Overview Documents

K-12 Montana Content Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy   (includes Literacy Standards in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects)

Montana ELA Standards Appendix

English Language Proficiency

Grade Level Standards Documents


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

Seventh Grade

Eighth Grade

Ninth-Tenth Grades

Eleventh-Twelfth Grades

ELA Core Content Connectors for Montana's Multi-State Alternate Assessment 

Alternate ELA Standards (Core Content Connectors) are not formally adopted by the OPI but are aligned to and used in the creation of Montana's Multi-State Alternate Assessment.

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Family Roadmaps- Grade to Grade Crosswalks for the MT English Language Arts Content Standards

Involve stakeholders in student learning by providing parents and families with these grade-level guides to the content standards.  Each grade level document provides a clear and easy-to-understand overview of what their child will learn and do in their grade.  It also includes a side-by-side comparison of vertical alignment with the grade below and grades above to help parents and students understand the subtle differences in ELA skill progression as it is outlined in the standards. Each grade level document is concluded with a section on specific supports families can and should do to help their student meet their grade level ELA goals. 


Grade One

Grade Two

Grade Three

Grade Four

Grade Five

Grade Six

Grade Seven

Grade Eight

High School


*Tech Directors: To access a machine-readable version of the official Montana Content Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, please visit the 1EdTech CASE Network site.  Create a free login, select Montana Office of Public Instruction, and view or download the standards.  The CASE version of the standards can be uploaded to student information systems, curriculum mapping programs, and a variety of other uses. Learn more about the CASE Network or view the CASE Network FAQ


Our Montana Comprehensive Assessment System (MontCAS) is carefully designed to help all stakeholders in Montana provide an equal, fair, and quality education for all Montana students. The Montana Assessment Roadmap outlines the entire process and suite of what our statewide assessment provides for education in Montana. 

Formative Assessment

  • Tools for Teachers- Teacher-created lesson plans aligned to our MT standards for math and ELA grades 3-12. Includes Formative Assessment Teacher resources and strategies. Provides next steps after administering Interim Assessments with Connections Playlists.  Log-in is required but available to all Montana K-12 educators through your school's School Test Coordinator (STC). 
  • SmART Smarter Balanced Annotated Response Tool- Better understand how student writing is scored on Smarter Balanced assessments and support writing instruction in your school or classroom. Browse a range of response types, explore interactive scoring rationales and rubrics, and practice scoring on your own or with colleagues. Use student writing samples to support instruction and facilitate important writing and revision conversations in your class.
  • Smarter Balanced Content Explorer Site: Learn more about Smarter Balanced's blueprints, claims, targets, standards, and sample items.

Interim Assessments

SBAC Interim Assessments- grades 3-12


Learn more about ELA Summative Assessments on the Statewide Assessment Page:

Helpful Links

Smarter Balanced Resources: Montana

MontCAS Testing Portal

Professional Learning and Development

The Professional Learning Portal The one-stop shop for professional learning opportunities. Take a look at our calendar of upcoming events!

The Teacher Learning Hub 

Looking for free, quality, online professional learning? Need more renewal units?  Take a look at the Teacher Learning Hub for a variety of online learning courses.



Teaching Indian Education for All fulfills our constitutional commitment to honoring the historical and contemporary contributions and caretaking of our state and land by Montana Tribal Nations. We are committed to teaching IEFA in ELA to help our students understand perspective, identify bias in text, hold discussions, research authentically and with a broad net, and develop evidence-based written and spoken opinions and arguments surrounding contemporary issues affecting Indigenous communities today.  Through teaching IEFA responsibly and responsively, we build relationships across our state for the benefit of all. 

Featured ELA Resources!

(PreK-2) Double! Not Half. Model Lesson

(Grades 3-5) Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond

(Grades 6-8) Code Talker - A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two

(Grades 9-12) Fools Crow by James Welch

K-12 Common Resources

Grades Pre-K-2


Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

English Language Arts & Literacy Coordinator  

Stephanie Swigart 



Return to the K-12 Content Standards home page.