Back to School

Start the school year by using some of our most popular classroom ideas and activities from Scope teachers. From close-reading strategies to skill-building activities, these fabulous teacher-tested ideas use Scope to engage students in meaningful ways.

Try these out in your classroom and let us know how they went in the comments below!



1. Building Reading Stamina For Struggling Learners

Lisa King's close-reading strategy helps students gain a deep understanding of a passage while practicing six key reading skills that build reading stamina. Check it out here.


2. A Text-Marking Activity You'll Fall in Love With

Kim O’Bray’s colorful text marking activity is a key part of her close-reading process. Students engage deeply with an article by using colored pencils to mark everything from figurative language and unfamiliar vocabulary to central ideas and text structures. Check it out here.


3. A Text-Evidence Strategy That Will Change Your Classroom

Scope teacher advisor Kim Wagner was looking for an activity that would provide her students with lots of practice using text evidence—without being tedious. She found just the thing: a writing strategy called R.A.C.E. (restate the question, answer the question, cite the evidence, explain the evidence). Check it out here.


4. The Test-Readiness Activity You Need

Sixth-grade teacher and Scope advisor Mary Blow shares her excellent gallery-walk activity, which familiarizes students with the challenging language they will encounter on high-stakes tests, reinforces key skills, and builds test-taking confidence. Check it out here.


5. A Creative Twist on Text Evidence

Teacher advisor Jim Meininger also has a wonderful and creative gallery-walk idea. Not only is it a great critical-thinking and text-evidence activity, it also gets kids up, moving, and working together.​ Check it out here.


Kristin Lewis

Welcome back teachers!

I hope you and your students are enjoying the September issue of Scope as much as I am. There are so many stories I love in the issue, but one of my favorites is the Short Read: “They Failed. (And So Can You.)”

The story explores the importance of experiencing failure and how it can help us succeed. It’s about having the courage to make mistakes—and to learn from them. At the start of the year, I can’t think of a more important message for all of us. And after hearing from Scope's teacher advisors about how important this topic is for their middle school students, I’m even more excited to share it with you. I especially adore this extension idea from teacher-advisor Mary Blow:

This is perfect to start the year. You can brainstorm the traits of successful people when you finish and create goals for the year.
—Mary Blow, 6th-grade ELA teacher

And don’t miss the suite of support materials, including a delightful "Famous Fails" slideshow, in which four accomplished adults (including our very own Lauren Tarshis!) share the mistakes that mattered most to them.