Manhattan Beach Unified School District

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English Language Arts

The California ELA and Literacy Standards are organized around a number of key design considerations. The College and Career Readiness anchor standards constitute the backbone of the ELA standards and define the general, cross-disciplinary literacy expectations for students in preparation for college and the workforce. The standards are divided into strands: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language. Connected to these design considerations is the interdisciplinary expectation that the development of each student’s literacy skills is a shared responsibility—English language arts teachers collaborating with teachers of other academic content subjects for an integrated model of literacy across the curriculum. 

The standards establish what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Students learn to closely read and analyze critical works of literature and an array of nonfiction text in an exploding print and digital world. They use research and technology to sift through the staggering amount of information available and engage in collaborative conversations, sharing and reforming viewpoints through a variety of written and speaking applications. Teachers, schools, districts, and county offices of education are encouraged to use these standards to design specific curricular and instructional strategies that best deliver the content to their students.

The California Standards for ELA and Literacy help build creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication. The standards develop the foundation for creative and purposeful expression in language-fulfilling California’s vision is that all students graduate from our public school system as lifelong learners and have the skills and knowledge necessary to be ready to assume their position in our global economy (CDE, 2013).

MBUSD ELA Textbook/Instructional Materials Adoptions 

BP 6161.1 Selection and Evaluation of Instructional Materials

The Governing Board desires that District instructional materials, as a whole, present a broad spectrum of knowledge and viewpoints, reflect and value society’s diversity, and enhance instructors’ ability to educate all students through the use of multiple teaching strategies and technologies.  The Board shall adopt instructional materials based on a determination that such materials are an effective learning resource to help students achieve grade-level competency and that the material meet criteria specified in law.  Textbooks, technology-based materials, and other educational materials shall be aligned with State of California  and District content standards and the District's curriculum in order to ensure that they effectively support the District's adopted courses of study.

The Board shall select instructional materials for use in grades K-8 that have been approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) or that have, during the District’s review process, been determined to be aligned with the State of California academic content standards adopted by State Board of Education (SBE). (Education Code 6020060210).

MBUSD Core and Extended Text Adoption Form


The Board of Trustees approved the following English Language Arts instructional materials for elementary to support teaching the CA English Language Arts Standards within a balanced literacy framework of instruction.

Manhattan Beach Middle School

The Board of Trustees approved the selection of the following English Language Arts instructional materials for middle school to support teaching the CA English Language Arts Standards within a balanced literacy framework of instruction. 


Mira Costa High School

The Board shall adopt instructional materials for grades 9-12 upon determining that the materials meet the criteria specified in law and the accompanying administrative regulation. (Education Code 60400). In selecting or adopting instructional materials, the Board shall consider the recommendation of the Superintendent or designee and/or an advisory committee established to review the materials (BP 6161.1).

The Board of Trustees approved the selection of the following instructional materials for high school to support teaching the CA English Language Arts Standards within our courses offered in the English Department.

The high school does not have required or recommended reading over the summer unless the student is enrolled in honors or AP English.  Those classes require the following reads for the summer of 2023-2024:

Honors English 10: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (the 1818 version)
Honors English 11: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
AP English Language and Composition: Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama by Sam Leith and one novel from the following list:
  • Americanah: A novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • There There by Tommy Orange

AP English Literature and Composition: How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster (the 2014 version) and Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Board Presentation: Mira Costa English Department: Core Diversification Update and Book Adoption (May 19, 2021) 

MCHS English Department considerations:

  • Age appropriateness, rigor, and length
  • Continuity with current core curriculum
  • Opportunities for standards-based instruction (see below)
  • Diversity of perspectives in terms of authorial voice and protagonists