Learn More About Our Story Genres

In the pages of Scope you’ll find a wide range of genres, from narrative nonfiction and short fiction, to read-aloud plays and debates. Our genres include: Narrative and Literary NonfictionFictionFlash FictionPaired TextsDramaDebateShort ReadGrammarYou Be the EditorYou Write ItPoetry, and Infographics.

Narrative and Literary Nonfiction

Every issue of Scope offers a beautifully crafted work of narrative nonfiction. Each six-page article delves into an important and highly engaging topic, often connected to social studies or science content areas. Typical selections present significant events in history, natural disasters, and inspiring figures from the past or present.

Skills: close reading, critical thinking, text features, summarizing, key ideas and details, inference, text evidence, text structures, tone, mood


Scope offers high- quality, complex fiction by renowned authors in the September, November, February, and April issues. Stories often address issues and themes relevant to middle-level students, including identity, change, and friendship. Genres include realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. Each story is designed as a “learning kit,” with questions printed in the margins for students to consider and discuss as they read.

Skills: character, theme, genre, inference, tone, mood, close reading, critical thinking, integrating ideas

Flash Fiction

Scope offers high-quality, complex works of short fiction— consisting of only a few hundred words. This feature appears in 4 issues a year: October, December/January, March, and May. (These are the issues that do not contain a long fiction feature.) Each story is intended to be read in one class period with the purpose of exploring a key literary element or device.

Skills: characterization, imagery, theme, setting, conflict, point of view, plot

Paired Texts

Our popular paired-text feature offers two texts united by topic or theme. These could be, for example, two nonfiction articles; or a nonfiction text paired with a poem, fable, personal essay, infographic, or interview. Topics often draw on science, social studies, current events, and social-emotional learning concepts.

Skills: close reading, critical thinking, text features, key ideas and details, inference, text structures, mood, tone


Every issue includes a read-aloud play that provides a perfect opportunity to practice fluency and learn about features of drama. Scope plays are often adapted from classic short stories, novels, myths, folktales, biographies, or significant historical events.

Skills: character, theme, genre, inference, tone, mood, close reading, critical thinking, integrating ideas

Debate Essay Kit and Debate Scavenger Hunt

Every issue includes a debate on a hot-button topic for kids. The debate follows one of two formats: Essay Kit or Scavenger Hunt. Both formats prompt students to read and analyze a text or texts that explore both sides of a debate. After a text-marking activity focused on elements of an argument and a lively classroom debate, students use our Essay Kit to write an argument essay.

Skills: identify central ideas and supporting details, evaluate arguments and claims, support an argument using text evidence, build on others’ ideas and express their own ideas clearly and persuasively, evaluate a speaker’s point of view and reasoning

Short Read

Every issue of Scope has a bite-sized fascinating informational text and accompanying Short Write Kit, which includes a reference handout and a self-guided activity that walks students through the process of crafting the perfect constructed response. It is designed to prepare students for the complex passages they may encounter on tests.

Kills: identify central ideas and details, support a claim, use text evidence, provide commentary


This fun feature is a great way to help your students practice using commonly confused words, such as imply and infer, accept and except, and number and amount. The activity appears at the beginning of every issue and can be done in small groups or as a class in as little as five minutes. We think this is a great bell-ringer activity.

Skills: apply knowledge of language, understand how language functions in different contexts, make effective choices for meaning or style, comprehend more fully when reading or listening

You Be the Editor

Our You Be the Editor feature appears in every other issue (September, November, February, and April) and builds students’ grammar and writing skills in an authentic and meaningful way.  A short, fascinating text is presented for which students will “be the editor,” improving the passage through the use of guiding prompts. Rather than correcting mistakes, students turn an okay piece of writing into a stellar one using the grammar tools in their growing toolkits.

Skills: Sentence structure, parts of speech, word choice, imagery, figurative language, author’s craft, vocabulary, revision

You Write It

The You Write It feature appears in every other issue (October, December/January, March, and May). It features a Q&A with an inspiring young person. Your students turn the interview into a three-paragraph article.

Skills: summarizing, central ideas and details, paraphrasing, using quotations


The Poetry feature appears in every other issue, alternating with an Infographic. The poetry format presents a beautiful poem and invites students to use the poem as a model to write their own.

Skills: poetry analysis, poetry writing


The Infographic feature appears in every other issue, alternating with Poetry. The infographic conveys facts and data about a kid-friendly topic using photos, graphs, charts, and other images. Students draw on the information presented to respond to a writing prompt.

Skills: summarizing, analyzing a visual text, central ideas and details