Lesson Plan Suggestions for Common Core Standards

Grades 6-8

Reading and Critical Thinking Skills

  • Ask students to summarize the central idea using examples from the article.
  • Pick an article that talks about a radical new invention or idea and initiate a class debate by dividing the students in two groups – Encourage them to argue about the pros and cons of the invention.
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • Determine the author’s point of view or purpose of the article and explain how it is conveyed.


  • Identify unfamiliar and challenging words from the Vocab list at the end of the article and discuss meanings with the class.
  • Create spelling lists and tests around the Vocab words.
  • Ask students to seek out the synonyms and antonyms of the Vocab words.


  • Ask students to pick their favorite articles and post a summary in their own words to their blog or class website for everyone to read.

Beyond the classroom and article

  • Pick another similar topic and ask students to conduct more research on the subject.