This curriculum is designed for 7th grade English Language Arts and will be aligned to the Common Core Standards. The “anchor texts” for close reading are: The Dinner Party, Zoo, Broken Chain, Island of Fear (Literary Essay). Best practices are incorporated into instruction of comprehensive reading and writing. Lessons focus on: qualities of successful short stories, character, point of view, conflict, theme, irony, setting, author’s purpose, organization and editing. Literature Circle conversations, double-entry journals, RAFT paragraphs, notes, essays and individual student teacher conferences are in integral to this unit. Higher level questions are provided which can be used for a variety of texts with a variety of learners. Checklists and rubrics are provided.