Standards-based lessons help students learn and apply key reading strategies and also explore different themes commonly taught in middle school — such as Forging One’s Identity, Friendship, Making Choices, and the Pioneering Spirit. The engaging lessons provide teachers with ways to scaffold students before, during, and after reading, and show how to model the use of reading strategies. Purposeful small-group activities encourage discussion. Reproducible Think Sheets and a choice of authentic, performance-based tasks utilize students' critical-thinking skills. 144 pages.