The Choices Program is often asked if there is a middle school version of our materials. While we do not currently offer this, many middle school teachers successfully use Choices materials. Many Choices lessons teach basic middle school skills such as map reading, source analysis, and understanding perspectives. Choices lessons also provide an opportunity for middle schoolers to learn how to collaborate with their classmates. While we don’t currently offer a middle school version of our materials, many middle school teachers successfully use Choices materials to build these foundational skills.
The lexile level of the student readings in our curriculum units is typically 1100 -1300. We are frequently asked about the ability to change the lexile level of a reading. This is not something that we offer at this time, although there are certainly commercial apps available that can adjust lexile levels.
How do middle school teachers adapt our materials to their specific classroom needs? Beyond typical reading strategies, here are some general tips that teachers have shared with us:
- Use some of the 1,700 free Choices Program videos to replace portions of the readings. Often there are one or two videos that can be used to summarize a longer reading or simply to review a key concept presented in the reading.
- Use our free Teaching with the News lessons. These typically have shorter readings and involve shorter lesson steps.
- Select lessons from Choices units that use a variety of source types, such as political cartoons, artwork, and/or comics. You can find a list of these lessons in the free, downloadable Guidebook for Implementing the Current Issues Series. They are listed under “Utilizing Diverse Lesson Formats to Reach All Learners” on the fourth page.
- Modify the role play so that it is shorter and simpler. See the Guidebook (sixth page) and this video on the role play for ideas.
- Review the master list of vocabulary provided in each unit to support your front-loading of key concepts found in the unit.
- Provide students with a completed (by you) graphic organizer to support their comprehension. Each part of a unit’s reading includes at least one graphic organizer.
Do you have a great tip to share? Send it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we just may post it here!