Editor's Note

A Bell-Ringer Activity to Inspire Courage

Kristin Lewis

Hi teachers,


Every year, the Scope team chooses a word of the year. The idea is that this word will guide our story selection, our conversations, and perhaps even our lives.

This year, the word is courage. Courage takes many forms, and you will find a number of stories that can be explored through the lens of courage in each issue of Scope.

To inspire myself and my team, I put together a courage quote board. You might enjoy creating something similar for your classroom using the quotes below or others that you find yourself. To use the quotes in a bell ringer or do-now, have each student choose one quote and write one to three sentences explaining why he or she agrees or disagrees with it.











I find these quotes remind me to be brave, that it’s OK to be a little bit afraid, and that each of us has the potential for greatness. I hope they inspire you and your students too. Please share what inspires you to be courageous in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!




The Year of Courage

Kristin Lewis



Hi teachers!

I have been thinking a lot about courage lately—courage to introduce myself to a newcomer at work (I can be shy), courage to express an unpopular opinion (we all have them), courage to try something new (like the trapeze—a personal goal of mine). I have also been thinking about your students and how courage can be a powerful tool to get through the sometimes challenging years of middle school.

So I have decided that this will be the Year of Courage. Summoning courage can be a tough thing, but my hope is that the stories in Scope will help your students understand that courage comes in many forms.

Here are a few of my favorite stories of courage from our upcoming September issue:

Here’s to a year of living courageously!


Sneak Peek! 4 Stories We're Working on for Next Year

Kristin Lewis



The fall may seem like miles away, but here at Scope, we're already busy cooking up all sorts of stories for you and your students. Here are just four of the many stories we're so excited about sharing with you next year. Check back in each week for another “Tuesday Teaser” of Scope stories in 2017-2018.


#1 Paired Texts: "Smile!"


In this paired texts package, we explore the fascinating (and slightly gross) story of dentistry—past and present. Fun fact: In ancient times, people believed cavities were caused by worms. Ew!



#2 Debate: "Should You Ditch Your Smartphone?"


A growing number of kids and adults are choosing to use flip phones instead of smartphones. This debate is sure to spark lively discussion in your classroom.



#3 Narrative Nonfiction: "We Escaped a War Zone"

Associated Press

This powerful nonfiction article tells the incredible story of two brothers who escaped war-torn Syria to build a new life in America.


#4 History Play: Army of Two


Your students will learn the amazing true story of two girls in Scituate, Massachusetts (shown above), who tricked the British Navy and saved their town during the War of 1812.


My Favorite Moments from You

Kristin Lewis

Cassandra Persia

Hi teachers!


Do you want to know what one of the highlights of my day is? Checking Twitter to see all the fantastic and creative ways that you and your students are using Scope. The photos and videos that you share make me smile from ear to ear as few things do. Your Tweets are so joyful and inspiring that I had to share a few of them here. 


Keep sharing!




Vocab Improv

Before reading our story about fake news "Are These Stories True? (Nope)," this 6th-grade class acted out the vocabulary in the article. So fun! Check it out here.



A Live-Action Play (With Sound Effects)!

The same class of budding actors really did nail the Scope version of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart—ravens and all!



Scope-Inspired Slime

These students created their very own slime after reading our article "How Slime Took Over the World."



Reviewing a Play in Tweets

This class live-tweeted their reviews of our play The Fire-Breather based on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. #medeatotherescue!



A Maze Comes to Life

Teresa Gross's students built their own mythical maze based on the Scope play Into the Maze of Doom. She also wrote a wonderful blog post about the activity.



Exploring a Shared Theme

Teresa's students also explored the meaning of courage in these colorful posters after reading two Scope texts that share this theme: This Is What Courage Looks Like and "Swimming for Her Life."



In Research Mode

I love seeing students totally absorbed in their work. This class is doing research on the Hindenburg and the Titanic after reading Scope's article "The Flaming Sky."



A Free Holiday Play: Our Gift to You!

It's a holiday tradition here at Scope to send you a favorite play from our archives. (What can we say? We love you!) This year, we chose one of our most popular dramas: The Gift of the Magi. It's the perfect winter break send-off for you and your students. You can download the play here.


It is an honor and a privilege to be part of your teaching life.


Thank you for all that you do!


Wishing you a lovely holiday break,

Team Scope



How To Explain Scope To Your Colleagues

Are there teachers (or administrators) in your life who don't quite get what Scope is all about? Here's a great way to familiarize them with it. In this fun, short video, editor Kristin Lewis walks you through our offerings, including the teacher's guide, activity sheets, videos, and website. Share this video with your colleagues and invite them to explore what Scope can do for their classrooms. Check it out now!