ELA Content Standards and Resources

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

Return to the K-12 Content Standards home page.

Join The Professional Learning Team for the PBL ³ Workshop at the OPI's Indian Education For All Best Practices Conference on March 17th-18th in Helena!

Join the Professional Learning Team's content specialists on March 17th and 18th at the Montana Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference in Helena as we present our evidence-based professional learning workshop on PBL³!

Blending the pedagogical research behind Problem-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, and Place-Based Learning (PBL ³ ), the MT OPI content specialists for science, math, and ELA model how to weave together standards-based learning activities grounded in the unique values of educators' communities.

The workshop infuses authentic IEFA content throughout the model lesson at every stage from planning to project. Utilizing tribal research that honors the contributions of American Indian scientists, engineers, authors and poets, land stewards, and tribal agencies, educator participants practice providing choices to connect learners' personal schema, land connections, community values, and background knowledge to problems affecting their specific communities. Join us to collaboratively engage with interactive learning strategies that inspire critical thinking for student-generated solutions! 

16th Annual Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference

March 17-18, 2023

Helena, MT - Helena College and Bryant Elementary School Gymnasium


Strengthening and Healing through Cultural Knowledge and Education

Indian Education for All is about learning, growing, and breaking down barriers. Educators at the 16th Annual Indian Education for All Best Practices will have opportunities to see, hear, and experience strengthening and healing through cultural knowledge and education in all content areas, including Indigenous languages and strategies for American Indian student achievement. Indian Education, Indigenous language instruction, and improving American Indian student achievement means honoring tribal perspectives and transforming curriculum and classroom practices. This approach strengthens and heals through inclusion, acceptance, and elevation of tribal knowledge and experiences, both historic and contemporary, in Montana.

The MT Board of Public Education Approves Timeline to Open the Montana English Language Arts and Literacy Standards September 2023!

Exciting news! After delays due to the COVID pandemic, Superintendent Arntzen has secured approval from the Montana Board of Public Education to open the ELA standards for review and revision in September of 2023! 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 Interest Survey! 
For more information, please contact the Montana English Language Arts and Literacy Coordinator Stephanie Swigart at stephanie.swigart@mt.gov



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

Spotlight: EdReady Montana English Support 

EdReady Montana has been serving schools in Montana now for the last 2 years to help students become critical readers and effective writers, for standardized test prep, and supplementing classroom ELA instruction.  In that time, we’ve worked with hundreds of schools and teachers.  We are here to help educators who are asking important questions as they emerge from the past year and a half of dealing with interruptions to their teaching and student learning and are starting to ask the following question…

How can I use EdReady English to tackle preparing students for ACT, College English readiness as well as shoring up student’s skills for writing across the curriculum?

The team at EdReady Montana is ready to help you with any of the following solutions:

  • this Spring to bridge the gap to next year and help avoid erosion of English skills or prepare students for college-level reading and writing.
  • this Summer to address gaps in learning and prepare for their next level of English.
  • next Fall to efficiently identify gaps and weaknesses then help teachers supplement instruction by utilizing resources within the program to address them.
  • More than one or all of the above?

Not only is the program available online to serve a variety of access needs for students and teachers, but our team of Montana educators is here to help you plan, set-up, adopt and efficiently implement the program.  Remember that all professional development can also be used for CEUs.  Contact us today and we can work together to help get you going this spring, summer or have you ready to go on day one of next fall!  

Visit the EdReady Montana website  to read about how others are using the program or contact them support@montanadigitalacademy.org| 406-203-1812 for more information.

Find a Book MetaMetrics Reading Challenge

Find a Book is a free, fun and easy way to identify books based on a child's reading level (Lexile© measure) and interests.  Find a Book has over 300,000 titles, making it the perfect tool to keep your child reading all summer long.

How it Works:

  1. Go to Find a Book & enter your child's lexile measure or grade level.
  2. Pick books that match the child's interests.
  3. View & refine the search results to create the perfect book list for your child!

Summer Reading Challenge Flyer  • Summer Reading Challenge Spanish Flyer

More Reading Challenges & Resources

Summer Reading Program at Your Public Library - Library Directory

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Sync Audiobooks

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

ACT Academy: ACT Academy offers free summer math and English activities for grades 3-12. 


For more summer learning opportunities for students, please visit the Summer Learning Opportunities page

English Language Arts & Literacy Coordinator  

Stephanie Swigart 



Return to the K-12 Content Standards home page.