Where would my inquiry be without the standards? The Common Core State Standards map out what students need to learn every year, by content and grade level. The Language Arts standards are blissfully open-ended; rather than prescribe what students should read, write and say, they indicate how they should read, write, and speak. On the one hand, these kinds of standards could be ideal for project based learning because they could apply to innumerable projects. On the other hand, the standards are so vast that the idea of covering every single standard, and teaching 21st Century skills, and teaching wall-to-wall PBL, is daunting. However, shucking the standards for soft-skills only is not an option either. The list below is not a comprehensive list of 8th grade ELA standards; instead, I've listed the standards covered in my capstone.