Kristin Lewis

Happy New Year teachers!


I hope your holiday break was restful and rejuvenating! As you dive into the second half of the school year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is fast approaching and we wanted to give you a great way to teach your students about an incredible young hero of the civil rights movement: Barbara Johns.

The article "Imagine This Was Your School" tells the story of 16-year-old Barbara Johns, who led a strike in protest of the deplorable conditions at her segregated school. We're giving away this compelling article and companion poem for free. You can download and print a PDF here and share it with your students. Leave us a comment below to us about the vibrant discussions you have!




Its 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: A Christmas Carol. Its the perfect winter break send-off for you and your students. Download the play here and share it with your students.


Wishing you a lovely holiday break!

Team Scope




By now, we hope you and your students have read the powerful nonfiction feature from the September issue of Scope, "From War to America," and watched the accompanying video. Together, they tell the story of two brothers who escape war-torn Syria to start a new life in America.

After working on the article and video, we started reading an incredible new novel called Refugee by Alan Gratz. Refugee follows three children from three different periods of history who are forced to become refugees. All face heart-stopping challenges and harrowing dangers as they seek a place for themselves and their families to live in peace.

We're giving away five signed copies of Refugee because we think it is a deeply important, meaningful, and timely book. Enter to win here.


Enter to Win Refugee by Alan Gratz


Connecting to the Novel
We also think Refugee pairs well with "From War to America." Here are some guiding questions you can use in your classroom to connect the book with the article.

  • What kinds of historical situations lead people to become refugees?
  • How does becoming a refugee change the lives of the children in the novel Refugee?
  • How does becoming a refugee change the lives of Francois and Cedric in the article "From War to America"?
  • What challenges do the main characters in Refugee face? How are they similar to the challenges Francois and Cedric face? How are they different?


Additional Resources


If you use Refugee in your classroom along with "From War to America," let us know how it goes by leaving a comment below.

We are giving away a collection of our favorite summer books! One lucky teacher will win all five of these fabulous books, which were hand-selected by Scope editors and teacher advisors. Keep reading to find out why we love these books so much and don't forget to enter to win!


Enter to win now!




1. Fire on the Beach by David Wright and David Zoby

Why You'll Love It:

After reading the upcoming fiction feature for Scope's September 2017 issue, I immediately pulled Fire on the Beach from my bookshelf for a second read. This heroic tale of the Pea Island Lifesavers from my home state of North Carolina taught me fascinating details about the Civil War and the Graveyard of the Atlantic that I never learned in school. Plus, the writing is fantastic!

Lauren Salisbury is Scope's Education Editor.





2. Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen

Why You'll Love It:

While I was working on Scope's upcoming paired text for Veteran's Day (to appear in the November 2017 issue), I was reminded of this great book. Soldier's Heart is about a boy named Charley Goddard who lies about his age in order to join the Union Army and ends up suffering from what we now know as PTSD. Paulsen writes in spare prose that packs an emotional wallop. The introduction alone is an incredible piece of writing that left me in tears. With everything going on in the world right now, this book feels more relevant than ever.

Kristin Lewis is Scope's Editorial Director.





3. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Why You'll Love It:

Reading Scope's upcoming Short Read on failure (September 2017) made me think of Carol Dweck's research on mindset and how mindset profoundly impacts many aspects of everyday life, from learning to relationships. Dweck proposes that there are two different mindsets: growth and fixed. She argues that success is arbitrary and that a person's satisfaction in life depends entirely on his or her mindset. Then, she provides examples of ways to develop a growth mindset. This is important for both students and educators alike to possess: Growth mindsets allow us to persevere during times of struggle.

Stacey Eger is a Scope Advisor and principal at Brewerton Elementary
 in Brewerton, New York.





4. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Why You'll Love It:

With beautifully drawn characters and thrilling sports writing (that even non-sports fans can enjoy), Reynolds takes readers into the middle of a messy, competitive, and loving track team. He integrates themes of teamwork, competition, and poverty into one lightning-quick read.

Robbin Friedman is Scope's Fiction Advisor and a middle-school librarian.






5. i-Minds by Mari K. Swingle, Ph.D

Why You'll Love It:

I have about 20 books on my summer reading list, and this one will probably be the most thought-provoking! Swingle's book is about how cell phones, computers, video games, and social media are changing our minds and behavior. Here's one line that floored me: “Excessive usage of digital media has a concrete relationship to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and mood deregulation including anxiety, depression, and anger management, and other forms of addiction, and all behaviors on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum.”

Carla Chin is a Scope Advisor and a 7th-grade literature teacher at San Jose Catholic School in Jacksonville, Florida.


Click here for a chance to win all 5 of these books!