ELA lesson plans and Reading Strategies Lesson Plans (Middle School & High School)
Hey Middle School and High School English Teachers!
Looking for Reading Strategies Lesson Plans – Middle School (or High School)? Need some ELA Lesson Plans for your next class (or to leave behind for a supply teacher?)
Check out these free Reading Comprehension Strategies video lessons.
You can use these ELA lessons for:
- IN-PERSON teaching
- ONLINE distance learning
- or to leave behind for the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER
Many of us are looking for English Language Arts resources that our students can relate to.
(After all, how many of us are in schools that are teaching the same texts that we used as students ourselves?)
BONUS: These ELA lesson plans fit in nicely with Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
Teaching reading strategies and reading comprehension are an important part of the curriculum.
But what about the content we give to our students? What stories do they reinforce? Do students see themselves reflected in the material?
The English Language Arts lesson plans on this page use informational texts. Each article connect to a social-emotional learning theme: character, citizenship, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, or creativity.
Social-Emotional Learning skills help students survive and thrive in a constantly changing world.
(Hello, covid… when will the world stop spinning?)
SELF-AWARENESS: These reading videos use a strategy-based growth mindset approach towards reading comprehension.
METACOGNITION: Metacognition is a key part of SEL. Exploring the Core has a great infographic about Metacognition and SEL. To give a reading example:
- Performance: I can read and understand what is going on. (Understanding / Reading Comprehension)
- Cognition: I can explain what I can do (how I figured out the meaning of a text and why the evidence from the text supports my thinking.)
- Metacognition: I can explain the process (reading strategies) by which I know I can understand what I read.
These ELA reading lesson packages include a metacognition handout to help students reflect on their use of Reading Strategies.
By helping students to recognize we use self-awareness and metacognition when we read, it becomes easier to transfer the process to other SEL skills.
Reading Strategies Lesson – Middle School / High School: NEW! Finding the Main Idea VIDEO LESSON
Watch the FREE video: How to ANALYZE a text and FIND THE MAIN IDEA video lesson
FREE YouTube English Language Arts video lessons:
Comprehension Strategies to help students understand what they read:
- Asking Questions video lesson
- Making Connections video lesson
- Inferring video lesson
- Repairing Comprehension video lesson
- Evaluating video lesson
Make sure to subscribe to the Educircles YouTube channel to get more free lessons!
Get the Complete Reading Comprehension Strategy lessons:
Whether you’ve been teaching for a while, or you’re just starting your Back to School planning, check out these awesome Comprehension Reading Strategy lessons.
6 Reading Comprehension Strategy packages with
- a YouTube video lesson (for students to review / distance learning)
- the slideshow lesson used to make the video (for in person classroom teaching),
- handouts to help students use the reading strategy with any text (including before, during, and after reading thinking)
- metacognition handouts to help students reflect on the strategy
- detailed lesson plans with script,
- and a differentiated article for students to practice the reading strategy.
Oh, and you can edit the Powerpoint / Google Slides and Microsoft Word / Google Doc files to fit your classroom needs!
Teach (or remind students) HOW to read during Back to School activities.
Help students actively engage with the text (instead of just passively sounding out the words.)
- Asking Questions – complete lesson
- Making Connections – complete lesson
- Inferring – complete lesson
- Repairing Comprehension – complete lesson
- Evaluating – complete lesson
Or save time and money and get them all in the Reading Comprehension Mega bundle.
Are you freaking out about how your students are behind in reading?
The pandemic definitely changed the way we teach and learn.
A lot of us are worried that our kids can’t read as well as previous cohorts.
Check out what Kylene Beers wrote about in an open-letter to education leaders and teachers on her blog. Dr Beers is an award winning teacher, leader, and past president of the National Council of Teachers of English.
- Your kids are NOT behind.
- They do NOT need to catch up.
- Our students are NOT behind because of the pandemic.
(By the way, if you’re new to teaching ELA and reading, check out her book, When Kids Can’t Read/What Teachers Can Do. It’s a game changer!)
As teachers, we’re stressed out about how much we can’t do. We’re stressed out about standardized tests.
But, the reality is, there’s so much we’ve already done.
Teaching Reading Strategies in your English Language Arts class
Reading is more than being able to say the words. (Decoding)
Reading is also about understanding what the author is trying to say. (Comprehension)
(And also what you think about their message. (Critical Thinking)
The problem is, many students believe you either get it… or you don’t. And, that’s just the way it is.
The reality is that strong readers do specific things to play with the text and figure out what is going on.
But, not all strong readers realize exactly what they’re doing. (Not everyone is strong with metacognition.)
Oh, and trying to teach across the internet or with students physically separated during Covid wasn’t ideal.
Here are some free youtube videos to help you teach reading comprehension strategies from a distance.
By encouraging a Growth Mindset in our classrooms, we can help students understand that we can get better at reading if we use specific reading strategies.
ELA Lesson Plans – Reading
Here are the English Language Arts lesson plans, handouts, slideshow lessons, and informational text articles that go with the free videos.
These reading strategies and articles were initially designed for Middle School Language Arts (because I taught Grade 8 ELA and that’s where my bias is!)
But, these ELA lessons will also work with older elementary students, high school English, as well as more advanced English Language Learners.
Teachers have let me know these resources work well with high school students, middle school students, as well as with students who have learning disabilities or difficulties.
Middle School English Lesson Plan Feedback
Here’s what Middle School English teachers had to say about using these English Language Arts lesson plans with their 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students.
These are comments for my Reading Strategies Lesson Plans (Middle School), as well as for Differentiated Reading Articles.
High School English Lesson Plan Feedback
Here’s what some High School English teachers had to say about using these ELA lesson plans with their 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students:
These comments go with my Reading Strategies Lesson Plans (High School), as well as for Differentiated Reading Articles.
Upper Elementary School English Lesson Plan Feedback
Here’s what some Elementary English teachers had to say about using these ELA lesson plans with their 4th and 5th grade students.
Note: the reading articles in this series are differentiated at multiple grade levels.
- For example, the same reading text might be written at a 5th-grade, 7th-grade, and 9th-grade level.
- The paragraphs are numbered and match up between the differentiated reading texts.
- This way, when your students are talking about information in paragraph 2, all of your students will have the same information – but written at their reading level.
My students really need additional support in reading grade level texts and then making inferences from that text. With read aloud support, my students were able to work with me in small groups to dissect the text and make deep connections. This was an excellent resource and supported their ability to extend their understanding of grade level standards. Thank you!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
LINDSAY D. – 4th, 5th grade teacher
March 19, 2022
Asking Questions Reading Bundle
English Language Arts Video Lessons for Distance Learning (Comprehension Reading Strategies)
Check out these free reading lessons on YouTube.
That way students can review the lesson on their own time (after you’ve used the slideshow to teach the concepts in class!)
Reading Strategies Lesson Plans
Each English Language Arts lesson plan focuses on a different reading comprehension strategy and includes the following:
- comprehensive ELA lesson plans that include script and sample answers
- slideshow lesson that you can modify to teach the reading strategy
- ELA handout that works with any text to guide students through the use of the reading strategy
- reading comprehension strategy poster
The slideshow lesson, handouts, and reading comprehension poster can be edited (Google apps.)
This works well, whether you’re doing guided reading with booster groups or homogeneous groups or you’re reviewing a reading concept with your entire class.
Reading Comprehension Articles
Each comprehension Reading Strategy Lesson Plan above uses a different informational text to practice with as part of the lesson.
If you would like the complete reading article, you can find them below
(Or, save time and money and get the reading comprehension bundle. It includes the slideshow lessons and the articles.)
Service dog not allowed in class: Systemic Discrimination CRITICAL THINKING lesson (Reading Response Article 009)
School denies boy with autism his service dog. The Human Rights Tribunal agrees with the school. Is this systemic discrimination?
Free slideshow and Critical Thinking mini lesson / discussion questions.
First Black leader of a Federal Party in Canada: COLLABORATION lesson (Reading Response Article 008)
Annamie Paul is the first Black person to be the leader of a federal political party in Canada. She won the leadership race for the Green Party of Canada in October 2020. Does this matter?
Free slideshow and Collaboration mini lesson / discussion questions.
California Surfer – Character Education Lesson (Reading Response Article 007)
Mary Mills is a local California surfer who has written over 1,305 blog posts chronicling everything from her daily thoughts, her surf sessions and her titanium knee replacement. Find out how she breaks stereotypes.
Free slideshow and Character Education mini lesson / discussion questions.
Building Bridges – Active Citizenship Lesson (Reading Response Article 006)
PK Subban helps to build bridges between police officers and disadvantaged youth by creating opportunities for the two groups to hang out with each other in positive ways.
Free slideshow and Citizenship mini lesson / discussion questions.
Rosa Parks – Quiet Courage (Reading Response Article 005) – Assertive Communication Lesson
What communication style did Rosa Parks use when she refused to give up her seat on the bus? Assertive? Aggressive? Passive Aggressive? Passive?
Free slideshow and Communication mini lesson / discussion questions.
Airplane wheel falls off during takeoff in Canada (Reading Response Article 004)
This article is about character. An airplane wheel falls off the landing gear during take off and the pilots are able to successfully land the plane with no injuries.
Free slideshow and Character discussion questions.
Pork roast cooked in a car during a record-breaking heatwave in Australia #AusTeacherBFR
This article is about creativity and innovation. During a heat wave in Australia, a man cooks a pork roast in his car as an “experiment for fun.”
Free slideshow and creativity / innovation discussion questions.
Small business owner pays it forward by paying overdue utility bills for 36 families over the holidays
Business owner who once had his heating cut off because he struggled to pay the bills now gives back to his community by paying the utility bill for 36 families in need. Free slideshow and citizenship discussion questions.
Axe Body Spray has a Florida school bus stopped (FREE Critical Thinking mini-lesson slideshow)
Student sprays Axe Body Spray on a bus forcing evacuation and EMS response. Should there be consequences? Free slideshow and discussion questions.
High-interest reading response / written paragraph activity to do with your students.
This page goes over some of the Educircles ELA Lesson Plan resources:
- Reading Strategies Lesson Plans (Middle School & High School),
- Free Video Reading Comprehension lessons (on YouTube)
- Differentiated Reading Articles – the same article written at multiple grade levels with numbered paragraphs. This way, students at different reading levels can still do the same work as their friends.