10 Must-Teach Middle School ELA Lessons

10 Must-Teach Middle School ELA Lessons

The content and skills students learn in their middle school English language arts classes provide them with a strong foundation and help prepare them for high school and beyond. From learning about fundamental grammar rules to learning how to become stronger and more confident writers, middle school is an important time for students to begin thriving in their English classes.

Here are 10 must-teach lessons for the middle school ELA classroom.

1. Sentence Structure: Simple, Compound, Complex, and Compound-Complex Sentences

Learning about the different sentence types is a crucial building block to understanding the English language. This sentence structure teaching unit includes a detailed teacher outline, a presentation for direct instruction, practice worksheets, and an assessment.

sentence structure teaching unit

2. Parts of Speech

While students learn about the eight parts of speech in elementary school, it doesn’t quite stick. In middle school, students need to go back and relearn the parts of speech. Just like sentence structure, understanding the parts of speech is a fundamental building block. This parts of speech unit includes both the digital and print files, and it is a complete grammar program. I designed it for older students so that it won’t seem too elementary for middle school kids.


Parts of speech unita
parts of speech unit

3. Learn How to Write an Essay

Writing a multi-paragraph essay can be a daunting task for middle school kids. This essay writing unit breaks it down paragraph-by-paragraph to make it more manageable for middle school students. With instructional slides and detailed writing organizers, this essay writing unit is perfect for helping middle schoolers gain confidence in their writing.

4. Descriptive Writing

Learning to write more descriptively is one-way middle school students can become stronger writers. This descriptive writing unit includes a presentation for direct instruction and plenty of activities to get students writing.

descriptive writing unit

5. Dependent and Independent Clauses

Another great way to help students become more confident with the English language is by learning about dependent and independent clauses. In doing so, students will vastly improve their own writing. This dependent and independent clause lesson includes a presentation for direct instruction, practice activities, and an assessment.

dependent and independent clause lesson

6. Punctuation: Commas

When it comes to punctuation, students typically have a good understanding of end marks once they reach middle school; however, the comma is still something they struggle with. This commas punctuation teaching unit includes everything you need to teach a quick punctuation bootcamp about commas. Students will learn about the comma, the rules of comma usage, and how to avoid the dreaded comma splice.

commas punctuation teaching unit

7. Elements of Literature: Plot, Setting, and Conflict

When it comes to learning about literature, there are so many literary elements that students need to know. Students are still learning about these in high school as well. However, learning about the plot, setting, and conflict help middle school ELA students establish a much-needed foundation for more complex literary analysis down the road. These elements of literature mini units focus on individual literary elements to help students as they read fiction.

elements of literature mini-units

8. Latin Root Word Vocabulary

When students learn root word vocabulary, they learn how to decipher the English language. This Latin Root Word Vocabulary program is an ideal way to help students strengthen and improve their vocabulary. With ten weeks of vocabulary instruction, this Latin Root Word Vocabulary program includes ten roots and 100 words.

Latin Root Word Vocabulary

9. How to Annotate Text

Teaching students how to annotate text is a great way to help them learn how to read closely. This text annotation lesson breaks down the process of annotating text to make it manageable and accessible for middle school students. It includes a presentation for direct instruction with a step-by-step class activity for annotating text.

text annotation lesson

10. How to Annotate Poetry

If there is one genre that intimidates middle school students, it is definitely poetry. However, reading and analyzing poetry doesn’t have to be challenging. This annotating poetry made easy unit will help students break down the process of reading poetry to better understand what the poem says.

annotating poetry made easy unit

10 Must-Teach Middle School ELA Lessons



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