At CommonLit.Org (www.commonlit.org) teachers can access a free collection of poems, short stories, news articles, historical documents, and excerpts of classic literature. The collection is organized by fourteen commonly-taught themes that will help spark a discussion or debate for your middle grades classroom. The website offers deep, thought-provoking questions for each text.
It's All About Evidence: Graphic Organizers for Grades 5-9
These fun organizers focus on two literacy skills: #1 Key Ideas and Details (e.g. close reading, summarizing) and #2 Integration of Knowledge (e.g. evaluating claims, extracting evidence). #strugglingreaders ~ Available at TpT.
Use the classic short story, “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, to teach your students the elements of literary analysis. This one-day lesson plan includes the full story with attractive illustrations, a 6-question deep-thinking exercise (with detailed answer key, of course), and an optional writing activity that shows students step-by-step how to build a powerful introductory paragraph to any literary analysis essay.