Often people think paired passages can only be used exactly as they’re sold, but we’re here to tell you that there are a whole bunch of ways you can be using paired passages in middle school.
Today we are going through 5 things to consider when using paired passages in middle school ELA. We hope this list will give you some ideas for different ways to use paired passages but also encourage you to be selective about which paired passages you use for each activity.
#1 | What’s the Standard?
What is the standard that you’re focusing on, and what do students need to do or practice for your students to engage with that standard?
Often we think that paired passages have to be used with reading standards, but that’s not true. In fact, depending on the passage you choose, the passages can be used for many of the standards in the ELA curriculum.
If you are working on a writing standard, you may use the paired passage as part of the research or citing practice, which is very different than using the paired passages to work on speaking standards through a discussion or even as part of a debate.
Know your goal first, and then use the passages to help your students meet your goals in the best way you can.
#2 | Which Passage?
We have over 30 paired passages in the store, so how do you choose which passage to use?
First, is there a specific topic you’ve been discussing as a class? If there is a related passage, you may decide to use that one.
You could also choose passages based on student interest or with an upcoming holiday in mind.
With over 30 paired passages to choose from, you can be particular and pointed in your decision. You could even add in a little student choice by letting students pick from a selection of paired passages you’ve curated specifically for an assignment or lesson.
Since you have so many options, this is a great place to be picky!
#3| Both Passages or Just One?
Although paired passages come in sets, you don’t have to use both passages. Maybe you only need one passage for a particular assignment, or maybe there is one perspective that you specifically want to focus on.
Just because there are two doesn’t mean you actually need to use both at the same time!
#4 | Questions or Not?
We provide reading comprehension questions for every paired passage set in our store. Just because the questions are available does not mean you actually have to use them.
If you are using the paired passages to work on a writing standard, the questions may not have any use to you at all. However, if you are using the paired passages daily as part of your morning routine, you may want students to do every question!
#5 | Print or Digital?
Lastly, since the paired passages are available as both print and digital resources, you can decide if you want students to work through them on their computers or on paper.
If your students have been spending a lot of time on their computers, consider printing out the next set of paired passages you use. Or maybe the activity you’re doing requires the students to annotate directly on the passages.
You don’t have to commit to doing it the same way every time!
Paired passages can be magical in your classroom, but with so many different kinds, you can use them in different ways all year long!
Hopefully, some of the suggestions on this list have caused you to think of your paired passages in a whole new way!