I am happy to provide you with free middle school ELA resources to save you both time and money! Here, you will find how you can use my free ELA resources to help teach comprehension, text structure, and inferencing: three sets of skills that always appear on reading assessments!
First, understanding is the foundation of literacy and critical thinking. Students must first understand what they read before they can even begin to analyze it, apply it, and evaluate it. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy can be a great way to look at instructional objectives and also help students build upon prior knowledge and skills already attained to achieve more challenging objectives.
To build understanding, we study vocabulary. Building vocabulary is one of the most important skills for elementary and even middle school readers. Students will encounter a broad range of words that will be unfamiliar to them. In order to get through difficult texts, they must be able to determine their meaning. The best way to accomplish this is to use context clues. Of course, I have the perfect daily reading activities to teach context clues for grades 5 through 8! Using the free resource Daily Reading: Context Clues Week 1, you can provide students with daily opportunities to determine the meaning of challenging words. Along with practicing using context clues, learners will also get a chance to practice inferencing and determining the central idea of a piece, both higher-level literacy skills. To try out another free resource for context clues, check out the Survival Stories Week 1 free resource! All of these activities are perfect bell ringers to get your classes ready for state assessments or just to use as review.
Understanding a text’s structure (and how to navigate it) is a key component of comprehension. I always tell my students that they can find the main idea by understanding the text structure! Many state and even district reading assessments include questions focused on text structure, so this next freebie is a great tool for test prep! In the Text Structure Reading Comprehension Passages freebie, you will find three reading comprehension passages and multiple-choice questions to help your learners prepare for their tests!
Using context clues to determine the meaning of a word is only part of inferencing. To infer means to look at the available information you have and draw a conclusion as to its meaning. You may even phrase it as “reading between the lines.” To take this still a step further, I have students read passages daily about different informational text topics and then answer two multiple-choice questions that focus on the central idea and an inference that could be made from the passage. To support their choice, students are asked to provide a quote that supports the inference they made. These activities are great for bell ringers to start your class, to use as homework to extend the lesson, or even to use as test prep! Try it for yourself free using Week 1 of the Daily Reading: Central Ideas and Inferencing 8 Week Bundle!
Additional Reading Passages
To keep the freebies flowing, pair the above activities with daily reading comprehension passages about blizzards. (What middle schooler doesn’t love learning about natural disasters?) Next, try reading comprehension passages focusing on Amelia Earhart. And to round out the free resources to teach context clues, add a little fun review into your lessons using the Winter Context Clues Color by Number Freebie! These multiple ELA freebies will not only save your wallet but your sanity! I love using these resources in small groups, for bell ringers, and for test preparation and to get a jump start on teaching vocabulary development, context clues, comprehension, text structures, and even inferencing! Enjoy!