Spark Courageous Thinking

Build students’ close reading, writing, and critical thinking skills across subjects.
Provide the essentials for standards-based, differentiated instruction for Grades 4-12+.
Personalize learning to help students find their own powerful voices.

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Introduce
Read Closely
Write
Practice Reading
View Grade 4 Sample

Grade 4

The Writing Process

CCSS.W.4.1

A Calculated Risk

Risk and Gain
CCSS.RI.4.2
Writing Prompt

Why does Jonas Salk's risk make him a great American hero?

CCSS.W.4.2

Canine Hero

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 3-5
View Grade 5 Sample

Grade 5

Summarizing

CCSS.RI.5.2

"Fear" by Gary Soto

Overcoming Adversity
CCSS.RI.5.3
Writing Prompt

How does the reader’s view of Frankie change throughout the narrative?

CCSS.W.5.1

An Experiment in Discrimination

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 3-5
View Grade 6 Sample

Grade 6

Claims

CCSS.W.6.1

Could Driverless Cars Solve Distracted Driving?

Policy and Debate
CCSS.RI.6.1
Writing Prompt

Are driverless cars the solution to distracted driving?

CCSS.W.6.1

Self-driving Cars Inch Closer to Mainstream Availability

CCSS.CCRA.R.6
Grades 6-8
View Grade 7 Sample

Grade 7

Making Arguments About Central Ideas

CCSS.RI.7.2

The Teenage Brain

Risk and Gain
CCSS.RI.7.2
Writing Prompt

Does teenage brain development influence risk-taking behavior?

CCSS.W.7.2

Attempts at Flight Before the Wright Brothers

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 6-8
View Grade 8 Sample

Grade 8

Reasoning

CCSS.RI.8.8

Can Machines Learn Morality?

Policy and Debate
CCSS.RI.8.2
Writing Prompt

Do machines have the ability to be moral?

CCSS.W.8.2

Ethics Report Could Help NASA Weigh Risks of Long-Term Space Travel

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 6-8
View Grade 9 Sample

Grade 9

Counterarguments

CCSS.RI.9-10.6

The Most Dangerous Game

Overcoming Adversity
CCSS.RI.9-10.3
Writing Prompt

Is Rainsford driven by terror or his own desire to dominate Zaroff? Analyze his motivations throughout the story and support your claim with evidence from the text.

CCSS.W.9-10.1

Primate Brains May Explain Humans’ Fear of Snakes

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 9-10
View Grade 10 Sample

Grade 10

Audience

CCSS.RI.9-10.4

At Airports, a Misplaced Faith in Body Language

Communication
CCSS.RI.9-10.3
Writing Prompt

What does the author warn about relying on nonverbal cues in order to detect lying?

CCSS.W.9-10.2

Social Media: It's So 1st Century BC

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 9-10
View Grade 11 Sample

Grade 11

How to Write a DBQ

CCSS.RH.9-10.1

The Cartes de Visite Craze

Catalysts for Change
CCSS.RI.11-12.7
Writing Prompt

How did the small, personal photographs called cartes de visite help change the way people saw the Civil War?

CCSS.W.11-12.1

World War I Let Artists Show How It Changed Our Lives

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 11-12
View Grade 12 Sample

Grade 12

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

CCSS.RST.11-12.9

New Genetic Clue to Anorexia

Environment and Nature
CCSS.RST.11-12.4
Writing Prompt

What are the key findings of the study at the Scripps Research Institute with regards to the causes of anorexia?

CCSS.WHST.11-12.2

Who Should Own DNA? All of Us

CCSS.CCRA.R.8
Grades 11-12

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