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Connections: English Language Arts

Grades 6–12

A comprehensive, integrated curriculum designed to help students connect with complex texts through close reading

The bridge to college and career readiness

Through close reading of engaging, high-quality texts, students learn how to analyze, evaluate, and connect textual evidence. By tying each close reading to a specific skill or strategy, the program provides comprehensive coverage of reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards.

Engaging, high-quality texts designed to stimulate analysis and discussion

  • an essential question focuses on critical thinking skills
  • classroom-tested selections of complex text
  • a variety of genres with a grade-appropriate balance of informational and literary texts
  • award-winning and notable authors
  • academic vocabulary is identified and used throughout

Engage students in deep, purposeful analysis of complex texts

Three directed close readings of each selection encourage students to interact with the texts in increasingly sophisticated ways using a multitude of tools and techniques.
As students move through each close reading, they develop the text-based evidence they need to respond to standards-focused activities.
Students learn to interact with texts in multiple ways

  • annotate texts in ways that draw meaning and provide the foundation for their evidence and analysis
  • organize their thoughts and record questions through careful note taking
  • record evidence in response journals
  • compare texts and media critically throughout the chapters and units
  • share ideas and insights through group projects, writing, technology, partner activities, peer review, and read alouds

Each reading focuses on a specific skill

Standards-based skills development flows naturally from the selection rather than being taught in isolation.

  • each progressive reading of a text provides an opportunity to practice and apply a specific skill as students dig deeper into a text
  • new skills are carefully introduced and repeated to ensure students develop competence
  • units are based on common themes tied to an essential question to provide opportunities for authentic text-to-text connections
  • comprehensive coverage of reading, writing, language, and speaking and listening skills guarantees your students will be ready for high-stakes assessments

Student Editions


  • Organization—Four units, each with an essential question. Each chapter within a unit has a thematic focus supported by the close reading of one or more texts.
  • Close Reading—Each text has three reads, allowing students to move from comprehension to analysis to synthesis. Support for annotations, notes, and highlights reinforces interactions with the text.
  • Writing—Writing activities throughout also include narrative, argumentative, and informative writing performace tasks
  • Speaking and Listening—Collaborative activities encourage students to share ideas, explore contents, and listen critically to others.
  • Project-Based Assessments—Dozens of projects and activities to extend learning through technology, group work, art, and much more.