Frequently Asked Questions | EL Education Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

6-8 Language Arts Curriculum (Second Edition)

Following the release of the top-rated EL Education K-5 Language Arts curriculum, we are excited to announce that a new edition of the 6-8 Language Arts curriculum will be released for the 2020/2021 school year. Many schools are already achieving remarkable results with the K-5 curriculum. Now, for the first time, schools will be able to implement the consistent second edition of the full K-8 curriculum. We expect even more transformational results as we work together to close literacy opportunity gaps.


1. What stands out about the second edition?

Like the first edition, EL Education authored for EngageNY, the second edition of grades 6-8 is the result of deep collaboration with teachers, students, and literacy experts. Thanks in great part to their contributions, you can look forward to these highlights in the second edition:

  • Building World Knowledge through Content: The curriculum builds students' deep subject matter expertise, immersing them in the study of real-world social and scientific topics that fuel creativity, higher-order critical thinking, and literacy.
  • Embedded Social-Emotional Learning: We know that middle schoolers need what they learn to have emotional resonance. New topics and texts prepare students to be more effective learners and ethical people.
  • National Relevance and Standards Alignment: The second edition engages students with topics that resonate nationally, based on recommendations from students and teachers, while maintaining close alignment with targeted NGSS (science) and C3 (social studies) content standards for each grade band.

2. What's new in the second edition?

The EL Education 6-8 Language Arts (Second Edition) maintains the same overall design and structure, with 45-minute lessons. EL Education has made some significant updates, including:

  • Structure and format aligned to the K-5 curriculum, with streamlined teacher guides to support navigability and accessibility
  • Four modules across the year (no alternative modules)
  • Tighter alignment to standards, including checklists and rubrics, more exemplars and models, more explicit writing instruction, and explicit language and grammar instruction
  • More explicit supports for English language learners focused on differentiation, e.g., sentence starters, supportive images on handouts, and glossaries of terms
  • Design informed by the Universal Design for Learning Framework to increase meaningful access and reduce barriers to learning for students with diverse learning needs 
  • Greater representation of diverse cultures and identities in topics and communities studied, book authors, and characters; core texts including contemporary contributions in lieu of traditional canon texts
  • A consistent approach to writing across all levels and grade bands

Download the Second Edition Enhancements Document

3. What remains the same as the first edition authored for EngageNY?

The second edition retains the following features of the first edition:

  • Same overall design and structure
  • 45-minute lessons with a focus on addressing concerns about pacing and shorter lessons 
  • Anchor texts for three modules carried over: 
    • Grade 6: Module 1 (The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan)
    • Grade 7: Module 1 (A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park)
    • Grade 8: Module 2 (The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan)  Please note that this text was used in the first edition curriculum in Grade 8: Module 4

4. Are there any updates to required trade books or additional materials?

The Grades 6-8 second edition curriculum includes several new and exciting topics, including new anchor texts and DVDs.  Please reach out to our distribution partners for a finalized procurement list.

Highlights include:

  • A similar quantity of trade books as in K-5
  • One module per grade utilizing a first edition trade book
  • New media formats such as DVDs and audiobooks
  • No extra materials or kits required

Download the Grades 6-8 (second edition) Curriculum Topics List

Download the Required Trade Books and Resources Procurement List

Download the Recommended Texts and Other Resources List

Please visit our How to Order page to contact our distributors for more information.

5. How do I access the new edition?

EL Education's Grades 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum (Second Edition) will be available on our curriculum website in Summer 2020 and will be available for purchase through our distribution partners:

  • Open Up Resources offers color print materials, trade books, and lab kits
  • LearnZillion offers digital product, add-on of black and white print materials, and trade books

LearnZillion and Open Up Resources are currently the only providers of the 2nd edition authored by EL Education, based on the first edition we authored for EngageNY.  For more information about ordering our K- 8 Language Arts curriculum materials, please click here.

6. Will the new edition be available for free on the EL Education website?

Our curriculum is an open educational resource. We are still working on website development for the second edition Grades 6-8 curriculum and hope to have it available for the 2020 school year.

7. Can I still purchase the first edition Grades 6-8 ELA curriculum?

The first edition Grades 6-8 ELA will continue to be offered as part of PCG Education's Paths to College and Career, available through Wiley Publishing. 

For more information about the first edition, please visit our How to Order page.

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