Curricula aligned with the Common Core State Standards has brought major changes to classrooms, including the shift from memorization to focus on critical and higher-order thinking. For example, fifth-grade students in a Delaware classroom were asked to write an e-mail from the perspective of a character in Judy Blume's "The Pain and the Great One." Teacher Amy Lawson encouraged students to explore their differences of opinion and use evidence in the book to support their arguments.

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