Introduction to English Language Arts Standards with the Hummingbird

To help teachers integrate the Hummingbird into their classroom, we have compiled several documents to show how the Hummingbird can be used to meet the Common Core (CC) English Language Arts (ELA) Standards*. The CC ELA standards focus on anchor standards in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. Each of our documents discusses how a Hummingbird project can be aligned with one of these sets of anchor standards. We have placed each anchor standard into one of the following three categories:

Icon Category

Any Hummingbird project will meet this standard.

A Hummingbird project can be designed to meet this standard.

This standard may be difficult to meet with Hummingbird projects.

The color of the icon for a given standard tells you the category for that standard. In addition, an explanation is given to indicate why we selected that category. Here we will describe each set of anchor standards in more detail.


The Hummingbird is an excellent choice for cross-disciplinary projects that involve literature, engineering, and computer science. Students can choose a literature passage and use the Hummingbird to create a robotic diorama to illustrate that passage. Two great examples are the Robot Shakespeare and the Robot Theater: Where Poetry Comes to Life projects. In these projects, each group creates a diorama for a specific poem or passage of Shakespeare. Before building and programming the robot, students spend time analyzing the meaning, symbolism, and figurative language of their assigned text. Then they decide how to represent these elements in their projects. This period of in-depth focus on a single passage makes a cross-disciplinary project a good choice for literature selections that should be read multiple times to be fully understood. 


A Hummingbird project based on literature can be augmented with two types of writing assignments. Students can create a written summary of their project that defends their design choices using details from the literature passage. In addition, students can document their work in building and programming the project. One example is a journal to describe and reflect on their experiences in this project.
Writing standards related to research can also be incorporated into Hummingbird projects. Projects focused on math, science, or history can incorporate a research component related to the purpose of the project. For example, to create a Museum Bot, students can research a historical figure and create a robot to present this research.

Speaking and Listening

For most Hummingbird projects, students will work in groups. This provides an ideal setting for working on collaboration and informal communication. In addition, students should be required to present their project orally, either to the class or via video. This will enable students to practice communicating orally in a more formal manner. Students can also evaluate the presentations of other groups and provide constructive feedback.


As described above, students can present their projects to one another using oral or video presentations. Students can also create a written summary of their project that defends their design choices. The reading, speaking, and writing components of such a project are all aligned with different ELA standards in language.

* Common Core standards are the property of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers.