Differentiation Digest for the October/November Issue

By The Storyworks Editors
October 3, 2019

Did you know that every lesson in the Storyworks Teacher’s Guide (except poetry) offers ideas to differentiate instruction for struggling readers and advanced readers? Here’s the roundup from the September TG.

For Struggling Readers: Gather students in a small group and read the story aloud with them or play our audio version. Pause at the end of each section and ask students to point out details about what America was like in 1587, creating a list together. They can use the list to write a paragraph describing America as if they were Robert or a Croatoan child.

For Advanced Readers: The article mentions explorers Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and Ferdinand Magellan. Have students choose one and research to find out what he achieved and how his exploration affected people in the lands he visited.

For Struggling Readers: Have students read the lower-Lexile article in pairs. As they read, they should create two lists: one with details about why orangutans are special and the other with details about why they need our help. Students can then use their lists to respond to the writing prompt on page 19.

For Advanced Readers: Invite students to write a one-page short story from Gerhana’s point of view, in which he explains the dangers he faces and why humans should help protect him. The stories should include details from the feature, as well as at least one additional source.

For Struggling Readers: This story has an audio version, read by one of our editors, and a text-to-speech version, where each word is highlighted as a voice reads it. Both are available at storyworks.scholastic.com, in the teacher portal and Student View.

For Advanced Readers: Invite students to create a character that has a phobia and write a story based around the character’s fear. To dig deeper, have them first do research about phobias.    

For Struggling Readers: In addition to the civil rights terms in bold, the play contains other challenging words, such as intently, extraordinary, and steadfast. Read the play aloud, pausing to define unfamiliar words on the board while students highlight the terms in their magazines. Ask students to read the play again on their own, referring to the definitions as needed.

For Advanced Readers:Claudette’s teacher asks, “Who is going to be today’s Harriet Tubman?” Hold a discussion about what the question means, then have students research to find out about a person who is currently fighting against injustice.

We’d love to hear how you differentiate in your classroom! As always, you can drop us a line at storyworks@scholastic.com.


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