Inspiring Middle School Literacy

Expand/Collapse Inspiring Middle School Literacy


These online self-paced lessons for blended learning, funded by the Walmart Foundation, are designed to enhance the literacy skills of struggling readers in grades 5–8.  Each uses videos, interactive activities, note taking, reading, and writing to present students with an engaging science, social studies, mathematics, or English language arts topic.

Each lesson addresses a range of literacy strategies, which are listed in the accompanying teacher's guide.

Students need to be signed in to complete these lessons. To register your students, refer to "Student Help" through the Help tab on the PBS LearningMedia homepage or click here.

  • About Inspiring Middle School Literacy

    In this professional development video from WGBH, teachers, students, and a literacy expert present their perspectives on the use of the self-paced lessons in the Walmart Middle School Literacy Initiative. Designed for struggling readers in grades 5–8, the lessons use videos, interactive activities, note taking, readings, and essay writing to engage students in science, social studies, English language arts, and mathematics topics. As they learn about a topic, they also build proficiency in reading, vocabulary, and writing skills.

    Grades: 5-8,13+
  • Research Principles for Supporting Middle School Literacy

    This self-paced lesson designed for teacher professional development introduces research principles that support the needs of middle school learners when reading and comprehending nonfiction text and shows these principles in action in actual classrooms. While the lessons in the Inspiring Middle School Literacy collection are designed so that students can work independently and at their own pace, the teacher plays an important role in ensuring maximum student learning and engagement.

    It is recommended that you follow this lesson with the “Using the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection” professional development lesson to learn teaching strategies for integrating student lessons into your curriculum.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Using Inspiring Middle School Literacy in Afterschool Programs

    This self-paced lesson designed for professionals in afterschool programs introduces the student lessons in the Inspiring Middle School Literacy collection and shows how they can be used to support struggling readers and engage all students in online, content-based lessons. While the student lessons are designed for students to work independently and at their own pace, the teacher or facilitator plays an important role in ensuring maximum student learning and engagement. This professional development lesson gets you started by describing the steps of using the student lessons in an afterschool program, including selecting a lesson, preparing before a lesson, assessing the lesson, and expanding the lesson in creative ways.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Using the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection

    This self-paced lesson designed for teacher professional development introduces teaching strategies for integrating the content-based student lessons in the Inspiring Middle School Literacy collection into your curriculum. The lessons can be used to introduce, supplement, or review content while supporting students’ literacy skills, particularly those of struggling readers. This professional development lesson goes through the process of using the student lessons in your classroom step-by-step, including selecting a lesson, preparing before a lesson, and assessing the lesson.

    It is recommended that you precede this lesson with the “Research Principles for Supporting Middle School Literacy” professional development lesson to learn about the research principles for middle school literacy and explore how they are evident in this collection.

    Grades: 5-8

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