Margo M.  Criscuola, Ph.D.


Curriculum Aids

How they help  


Middle- and high-school teachers take pride in creating their own lessons, guided by their knowledge of their students and of their own teaching know-how. Curriculum aids enable teachers to continue to exercise this control over their lessons, while helping them start confidently to implement improvements.


Curriculum aids are scaffolds for teachers. They provide guidance on a new form of instruction or a new way to plan curriculum and assess. Teachers then fill in the framework with their own choices of materials, assignments, and pacing, tailored to their own styles and their students' needs.


These curriculum aids all share the following features: 

  • Meet Common Core State Standards
  • Employ the model of planning and assessment of Understanding by Design
  • Use research-backed instructional strategies for reading comprehension, writing, and critical thinking 
  • Address the needs of struggling students for engagement and accelerated instruction

Curriculum aids are for designed for teacher use. They may include Xerox masters of graphic organizers and sample reading texts for students. 


Curriculum aids are most effective in conjunction with Professional Development and School Growth Planning and Assessment.


| 3.1.2012 | Print |

Read Real Science

Mini-Units on Science Reading

Grades 6-10


Supplement your reading or science classes with authentic science reading. Teach students how to engage with informational text, and awaken their interest in scientific research:

  • Deepen understanding of key science concepts and see their application
  • See how real science research is done
  • Understand scientific method and processes (aligns with ACT Science)

Read Real Science helps you support  struggling readers to read science, with:

  • Short, engaging authentic texts 
  • Strategies addressing all CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text, with differentiation 
  • Assignment slips and graphic organizers for students
  • Instructions for identifying additional readings and planning lessons

Mini-units in Evolution, Biophysics, and Ecology. More under development!  

$18/copy; see To Order, above right 



Read/Write Argument

Curriculum Unit Plan

Grades 6-10

Create your own argument units with this flexible plan. Students read model argumentative texts and understand and apply basic concepts of argument:  

  • Claim, evidence and reasoning, warrant
  • Tone and style
  • Honest and dishonest argument
  • Writing argumentative essays
  • Writing expository essays analyzing arguments

Read/Write Argument is a complete framework for effective units, with:

  • Essential and supporting questions
  • Reading strategies addressing all CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text, with three levels of differentiation
  • Writing addressing CCSS Writing Standards for argument and explanatory texts
  • Assessment criteria and suggested assignments
  • Concise, clear instructions and explanations

 $27/copy; see To Order, above right


You Make a Path by Walking on It: Character Skills Through Proverbs  

Combine Character Education with Language Arts--Complete Teacher Resource 

Grades 6-8 

The vibrant images, humor and directness of proverbs appeal to students far more than preachy stories or abstract advice. Paired with dynamic, interactive learning activities, students understand, apply and reflect on the social and affective skills behind the proverbs, that can help them achieve more in school, at home, and in their communities.

Activities also address key reading, writing and language objectives: Critical thinking, reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary and sentence structure. 

You Make a Path fits flexibly into your curriculum, with activities as brief as bell-ringers or as meaty as writing projects. Choose proverbs to complement themes, teach units on specific character skills, or use a proverb each week for a yearlong character-skills curriculum.

You Make a Path comprises:

  • 70 proverbs chosen for humor, poetry, and folk wisdom, drawn from 30 diverse cultures
  • Seven key character skills: Caring, courage, friendship, learning, self-knowledge, truthfulness, and work ethic
  • Discussion questions and mini-lessons on vocabulary and sentence structure for each proverb
  • Critical thinking strategies--transferable to other texts--to help students dig for meaning
  • Character skills activities and writing projects in which students observe, practice and reflect, with student organizers and assessments
  • Planner chart showing proverbs, character skills and mini-lessons
  • Bibliography of sources for proverbs, teaching with proverbs, and character education

 $27/copy; see To Order, above right)