Connections: Literature Middle School

Connect Worlds, Empower Minds

Connections: Literature supports learners as they engage in the study of dynamic, relevant texts and brings the richness of diverse voices to students through literature.

Grounded in learning science, proven instructional strategies break down learning barriers and support academic growth.

  • Connect students to a diverse world of reading and writing.
  • Enable deep understanding, critical thinking, and effective communication.
  • Empower academic growth and remove learning barriers.
Book covers from Connections LiteratureBook covers from Connections Literature

Middle School students reading outsideMiddle School students reading outside

ESSA Evidence— Demonstrates a Rationale

Perfection Learning engaged LearnPlatform by Instructure, a third-party edtech research company, to develop a logic model for Connections: Literature.

LearnPlatform designed the logic model to satisfy Level IV requirements (Demonstrates a Rationale) according to the Every Student Success Act (ESSA).

Connect Students to a Diverse World of Reading & Writing

Students engage with high-quality, complex texts that give them opportunities to gain knowledge, broaden their perspectives, and make connections to themselves and their world.

Engaging Unit Themes & Essential Questions
Relevant Texts
Diverse Authors & Characters
Related Novels & Nonfiction

Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4

Essential Questions & Themes Connect the Lessons & Skills

The Connections: Literature instructional model offers flexibility to teach and an at-a-glance view of the skills coverage in each lesson.

Enable Deep Understanding, Critical Thinking & Effective Communication

Students focus on a reading comprehension and literary analysis skill with each text. Skills are color coded from Before you Read, through the reading of the text, encouraging students to actively think about the text and apply the lesson skills.

Lesson opener student edition page for Looking for WorkLesson opener student edition page for Looking for Work

Reading for Meaning and Literary Lens lessons examplesReading for Meaning and Literary Lens lessons examples

Before You Read

Reading for Meaning and Literary Lens skills are introduced to activate or build upon prior knowledge. Skills are color coded and reinforced throughout the reading passage

During Reading Practice

Students pause and reflect to analyze the text-dependent Active Reading callouts placed throughout the selections. Callouts are labeled and color coded to indicate the skills focus. Think About It questions are in-text spiral reviews of previously taught skills to keep skills fresh and build automaticity.

reinforce skills within the text as students readreinforce skills within the text as students read
reinforce skills within the text as students readreinforce skills within the text as students read
reinforce skills within the text as students readreinforce skills within the text as students read
reinforce skills within the text as students readreinforce skills within the text as students read

Teacher Wraparound Edition Teaching Support with Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levelsTeacher Wraparound Edition Teaching Support with Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels

After You Read

Students develop collaboration and higher-level thinking skills to demonstrate what they know. Tasks grow from basic comprehension skills to evaluation.

Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels are provided in the Teacher Wraparound Edition for quick reference.

Writing in Response to Reading

Students practice text-based writing and on-demand writing using textual evidence to support their thoughts.

Writing activityWriting activity

 Student Edition Unit Wrap Up Writing activity  Student Edition Unit Wrap Up Writing activity

Comprehensive Writing Focus

Students write in response to reading and create their own fully developed writing piece within each unit. Writing is intended to be a synthesis of what they read and a reflection of their understanding.

Each unit wraps up with the writing prompt based on the unit Essential Question. The focus of the Writing Focus outlines the key elements of the writing mode covering:

  • Narrative
  • Informational/Expository
  • Argumentative
  • Literary Analysis

Mentor Text—Students have access to a full-length mentor text in the same genre of the writing mode. Think About It questions prompt the student to reflect on the author’s purpose and writing style.
Dissecting the Mentor Text—Students analyze the structure and development of ideas in the mentor text and emulate these in their own writing.
Model Student Essay—Using student models is an effective strategy to demonstrate effective writing students can emulate.
Writing Process in the Mode—All writing is not the same. The process writing steps the student through the unique considerations of the mode.
Graphic Organizers—Help students organize ideas and structure their draft.
Spotlight—Students take a deeper dive into a writing skill—it’s like an embedded minilesson!
Online Resources—Access additional writing supports online like graphic organizers and editable rubrics.

Empower Academic Growth & Remove Learning Barriers

Immersive Reader

Comprehension is the gateway to meaning, and state-of-the-art Immersive Reader technology delivers. ALL students have the power to:

  • Adapt the passage based on their own learning needs.
  • Translate the text into over 100 languages with audio support.
  • Enhance learning with picture dictionary, line focus, parts of speech, and more.
  • Customize readability by changing font type, text size, and background colors.

Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4

Interactive Editions

Students can easily:

  • Mark up the text with highlighting.
  • Add notes and capture ideas in a digital notebook.
  • Cite textual evidence as they write in response to reading.

Interactive Activities

Apply learning objectives, synthesize evidence, and practice using a variety of items, organizers, and writing prompts.

Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4

Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4Teacher Wraparound Edition planner pages for unit 4


Students can share ideas and collaborate with peers using the interactive collaboration feature.

Teacher Resources

Unit Opener & Goal Setting

Comprehensive teacher resources deliver instruction with ease

Teaching support offers questions to guide students in examining the unit theme and Essential Question, establish learning goals, and conduct small group discussions.

stock image of a bridgestock image of a bridge

Ready-Made Teaching Resources

Editable Lesson Planners

Referenced in the Teacher Wraparound Edition, the editable planners are available online on Perfection Next®.

PowerPoint Presentations

Ready-made and editable presentations include embedded videos and models to build background knowledge and prepare students for learning.

Differentiation Support

Reach the needs of all learners, from striving to thriving, with point-of-use teaching notes and suggestions for differentiation

Strategic Support—Offers content for a variety of teaching approaches to support the needs of striving readers.

Challenge & Extension—Materials provide opportunities for advanced leaners to respond to material at higher levels of complexity.

stock image of a bridgestock image of a bridge

stock image of a bridgestock image of a bridge

Emergent Bilingual Resource

Teachers have tips and tools readily available to provide the best learning environment for emergent bilingual learners.

Emergent Bilingual Learners

Support for students from beginning to advanced English proficiency levels are provided in the Teacher Wraparound Edition at point of use.

Assessment Resources Measure Student Understanding

Exit Tickets—Monitor student understanding of the selection or quickly assess the skills taught in the lesson
Selection Comprehension & Vocabulary Checks—Identify student understanding and proficiency with these selection-based checks. Each question is tagged with a DOK level and model answers for open response questions.
Diagnostic Pretest—A comprehensive Diagnostic Pretest assesses students’ skills at the beginning of the year to get a baseline measurement of what they know.
Mid-Year Assessment—A comprehensive Mid-Year Assessment evaluates student progress midway through the school year. Skills and DOK levels are provided for each question.
End-of-Course Summative Assessment—This assessment shows a culmination of progress and growth towards the skills taught in Connections: Literature. Skills and DOK levels are provided for each question.
Unit-Level Summative Assessments—Measure proficiency of skills taught within the unit. Skills and DOK levels are provided for each question.

Reporting to Inform Instruction

Gain insights and inform instruction. Reporting in Perfection Next® helps you manage instruction.

Usage Reports

Monitor student engagement and time on task with the Usage Report.

Class Assignment Report

View student performance on each part of an assignment. View standards covered and proficiency toward the standards.


Monitor assignment performance with easy-to-follow color coding to enable small group instruction or reteaching.

Student Proficiency Report

View standards proficiency for each student with easy-to-read reporting.

Program Consultants

Almitra L. Berry, Ed.D.

Almitra L. Berry is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, author, and consultant on the topic of culturally and linguistically diverse learners in America’s K–12 education system. Her works and research focus on equity and academic achievement for marginalized learners—particularly in majority-of-color, low-wealth, large, urban school districts.

Dr. Berry is host of the podcast Educational Equity Emancipation and author of the book Effecting Change for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners as well as numerous other articles addressing educational equity.

A graduate of the University of California, Davis, Dr. Berry has worked with leaders and school systems throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. She has presented at scores of state, national, and international conferences on equity, leadership, curriculum reform, and meeting the needs of historically underserved and disenfranchised learners. She calls upon educators and educational leaders to evaluate policy, curriculum, instruction, supervision, and professional learning with a lens focused on equity.

Laura Kebart, M.Ed.

Laura Kebart leverages her 20 years of classroom teaching and instructional coaching experience to serve busy middle school English Language Arts teachers. She specializes in curriculum and instructional design that incorporates both differentiation and small group learning to actively engage students. 

Laura’s passion lies in the intersection of crafting rich, relevant, and accessible learning experiences for students and ensuring user-friendly methods of lesson planning and delivery for teachers in the trenches. By providing educational consulting, online workshops, and annual virtual conferences, Laura helps educators across the country teach with confidence while increasing student engagement.

Laura is the author of The Sick Teacher ebook: When You’re Too Sick to Teach, but Not Sick Enough to Stay Home and is currently working on two more books for middle school ELA teachers.

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