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Program details

Get started with Amplify Reading: 6–8 Edition.

Program details

<p>Get started with Amplify Reading: 6–8 Edition.</p>


Amplify Reading 6–8 is a digital reading program laser-focused on helping students find deeper meaning in texts by teaching them to question everything they read.

To capture students’ imagination, Amplify Reading 6–8 takes the form of an interactive graphic novel called The Last Readers. This story is set in a dystopian future world run by Machines, where people are told what to read and what to think. But dissent is afoot. Recruited for the rebellion, students are trained in the powerful ways authors convey meaning and affect their audience.

What students learn

Exploring texts from literary classics to propaganda, from great speeches to scientific articles, students learn to analyze the moves that authors make to achieve their purposes. Chapter topics alternate between the close analysis of arguments and literary analysis.

Each chapter should take approximately one hour for students to complete.

How to integrate this program into your curriculum

Amplify Reading 6–8 is designed for students to work independently as they progress through the chapters of The Last Readers. For the last chapter of each book, teachers have the option to build on independent work through group and whole-class activities.

For the best experience, students should complete the chapters in order. The chapters and concepts build on each other and were designed to help students master close reading skills. While teachers can unlock chapters so students can work on specific concepts at any given moment, doing so may result in a less-than-ideal experience. Later lessons are locked by default, but we will provide the ability to unlock lessons from within the teacher dashboard.

How teachers are using Amplify Reading 6–8

Reinforcement of concepts

Many teachers find the program extremely helpful for reinforcing key reading skills in the core curriculum. They use it in class one or two times a week for 20 to 30 minutes over the course of a year.

Test preparation

The program features extensive practice with text-dependent questions, providing a fun and effective way for students to get comfortable answering those kinds of questions.

Other common uses

Teachers also use the program to introduce key close reading concepts, for extra practice or homework, as response to intervention, and for after-school and summer school programs.


  • Devoting one class period every week or two to having students work independently on The Last Readers. While students are working independently on devices, teachers can work with small groups who need extra support with their core curriculum work. Teachers can also assign students work in Practice Mode during class or for homework.
  • Treating each book of The Last Readers as a 2–3 week mini-unit that can be inserted between units of core curriculum instruction. In addition to having students work on the chapters during class, teachers can assign students work in Practice Mode in between chapters or for homework.
  • Regularly assigning The Last Readers to students as homework. Because students may move through the chapters at different paces, teachers may want to assign one chapter per week and ask students to work in Practice Mode for the rest of the week after they complete a chapter.

Pedagogical approach

In Amplify Reading 6–8:

  1. Students learn to question everything they read by engaging with a story-based adventure in which understanding every piece of text and every article, billboard, speech and poem is essential to the narrative.
  2. Students learn to leverage the same devices used by authors to convey meaning by creating new content that integrates seamlessly with the story.

Unlike other reading supplementals that rely solely on assessment questions and feedback, Amplify Reading 6–8 weaves digital instruction together with assessment, all within an immersive story where the analysis of text is a critical element of the plot. The storytelling is vivid, suspenseful, and complex, designed to provide students with purpose and agency as they take on ever more challenging and high-stakes close reading tasks.

Each mission includes three steps:

  1. Interactive instruction: Students engage with a specific close reading concept using digital manipulatives.
  2. Guided close reading: Students apply knowledge of the concept to a complex text.
  3. Creative application: Students use their knowledge of the concept to create new content that solves a story-based problem.

Literary and informational passages are paired with carefully crafted, text-dependent questions and technology-enhanced items that prepare students for the same types of questions they’ll face on high stakes assessments. All along the way, teachers receive reports that visualize activity and progress, and highlight areas of improvement. Teachers can also leverage the original content generated by students in each mission as a rich classroom discussion piece.

Combining content and pedagogy with the creativity and purpose of storytelling results in an experience that truly motivates students and gives them the skills and confidence to tackle complex text.

Standards and alignments

Download the complete scope and sequence.

The practice of close reading lies at the heart of the Common Core and many other state standards for English Language Arts. Instruction in close reading enables students to become attuned to the essential elements of authentic texts: from key ideas and claims to specific details and evidence; from the effects of single words to those of larger textual structures; from the significance of individual texts to the interrelated meanings of entire corpora.

The recent focus on close reading is reflected in the text-dependent questions that populate many recent state assessments of ELA proficiency. Text-dependent questions address students’:

  • understanding of vocabulary
  • understanding of syntax and structure
  • understanding of literary and argumentative devices
  • understanding of themes and central ideas

Amplify Reading 6–8 gives students the essential skills and confidence they need to address text-dependent questions and the standards to which they refer.

Additionally, each book of The Last Readers emphasizes at least one Common Core reading anchor standards associated with each of the ELA standards strands:

Book 1: KID 1 / C&S 4 / IKI 8

Book 2: KID 1, 2, 3 / C&S 4, 5, 6 / IKI 8

Book 3: KID 1, 2, 3 / C&S 4, 5, 6 / IKI 6, 7, 8


Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

Books 1, 2, 3: All chapters

Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Book 2: Chapters 9, 10, 12, 14, 16
Book 3: All chapters

Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Book 2: Chapters 10, 12, 14
Book 3: All chapters

Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Book 1: Chapters 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
Book 2: All chapters
Book 3: All chapters

Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

Book 2: Chapters 9, 11, 13, 15, 16
Book 3: All chapters

Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Book 2: Chapters 9, 11, 16
Book 3: At least 50% of the chapters

Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Book 3: At least 50% of the chapters

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Book 1: Chapters 1, 5, 8
Book 2: Chapters 9, 11, 13, 15
Book 3: At least 50% of the chapters

Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Book 3: At least 50% of the chapters

Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Books 1, 2, 3: All chapters


Because each classroom represents a wide range of reading abilities, teachers can assign students to unique learning tracks that are tailored to provide the level of support each student needs.

After your students have enrolled in a class, you can assign them to a particular level in Reporting. All students will be automatically enrolled in the Core level. It is recommended that you assign all students to whatever level is most appropriate for them before they begin chapter 1. You can change a student’s level at any time.

Level Designed for


Students whose reading levels fall within the middle school band.


Students who are reading below middle school level or with limited English proficiency. The instructional content and texts have been adapted or replaced to support students who “can engage in complex, cognitively demanding social and academic activities requiring language when provided moderate linguistic support.” Support includes streamlined, scaffolded content that integrates the built-in-dictionary tool, so students can access content and academic vocabulary at their language level and above. For productive written activities, students are given supports such as sentence frames to help them develop structured academic responses.

ADVANCED (coming soon)

We are developing an advanced level that will challenge readers with more complex texts and prompts, and with additional content.

Included texts

Book 1

Ch. Excerpts Topic Level


Short arguments created by the Machines

Longer argument created by a citizen of the Dome

Complex arguments



Short descriptions of settings in the Dome

Short excerpt from Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls

Passage from Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

Setting and mood



Short descriptions of settings in the Dome

Two excerpts from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

Setting and mood



Short pathos arguments found in the Dome

Propaganda posters created by the Machines

Propaganda posters from WWII

An abridged version of President Reagan’s Challenger speech




Short descriptions of characters, situations, and ideas

Machines’ descriptions of humans

An excerpt from the Prometheus myth as told by Bernard Evslin

Word choice and tone



Short descriptions of characters, situations, and ideas

Two excerpts from Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Word choice and tone



Short arguments about Robodogs, hoverboarding, and other aspects of life in the Dome

Short arguments about life before the Dome

Scientific documents composed by the Machines, consisting of observations, conclusions, and plans to develop new technologies

Various documents collected by the Last Readers, including reports and interviews




Quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”; William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and As You Like It; Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice”; Sharon Hendricks’ “Dinnertime Chorus”; and Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump
Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”

Figurative language



Quotes from Roald Dahl’s The Twits and Fantastic Mr. Fox; James Joyce, Neil Gaiman; William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and As You Like It; Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice”; Sharon Hendricks’ “Dinnertime Chorus”; Winston Groom’s Forrest Gump; Jay-Z; Radiohead; and “Let It Go” from Frozen

Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son”

Figurative language



LifeScreen messages and advertisements

Descriptions of pre-Dome messages and advertisements

Short arguments about Robodogs

Excerpt from Charles Robb’s “They Died for That Which Can Never Burn”

Excerpt from Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”




Phase 1: Short messages and arguments

Phase 2: Students analyze a text that matches the genre they want to create in Phase 3. Options include:

Speech—“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Manifesto—The Declaration of Independence

Poem—”Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Review / Group Challenge


Book 2

Ch. Excerpts Topic Level


A fable
A sample argument set in the Dome

Informational texts about Mars and brain imaging

“A book is a sneeze” by E. B. White

Narrative arguments



Short descriptions of Falstaff, one of the Last Readers
Short excerpts from “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo” by Haruki Murakami, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The first section of “The Interlopers” by Saki




Short descriptions of physical environments, foods
A restaurant review

Fragments of an important Aquan text

Description in arguments



A story about a member of the Deep Sands Fleet
Short excerpts from “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty, “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, “The Bracelet” by Yoshiko Uchida, “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros

The second section of “The Interlopers” by Saki

Conflict and Character Change



Short excerpts from Sherlock Holmes collections
Accounts of mysterious happenings around the Wasteland

The strange case of the innocent Bosun

Causal reasoning



Short excerpts from “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown by Clark Gesner
Summaries of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A personal story told by an Aquan

The third section of “The Interlopers” by Saki




Short arguments overheard in the Wasteland

A mysterious diary from an ancient Dome dweller

Evaluating arguments and fallacies



Quotes from Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang, Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

A short fable

Two passages from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A short argument presented by a Wasteland character

An excerpt from The Secret of the Yellow Death: A True Story of Medical Sleuthing by Suzanne Jurmain

An Aquan restaurant review

Review + synthesis


Book 3

Ch. Excerpts Topic Level


Short, complex propaganda arguments, disguised as public service announcements, for the new, oppressive dictates of the Dome

Short, complex arguments composed by the Machines to advertise new products

An argumentative speech by Marlowe attempting to persuade the Machines to give her power, consisting of several complex arguments

Complex arguments



“The Miser,” by Aesop

Excerpts from The Once and Future King, by T.H. White, Watership Down, by Richard Adams, Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, A Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon, and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino

Excerpts from the short stories “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” by James Thurber, and “The Eyes Have It,” by Philip K. Dick

Narrative voice



A variety of written arguments by analogy, including the following:
The Machines persuading humans of the benefits of depending on their technologies, based on comparisons of humans to endangered animals and the LifeEye to the LifeScreen

An argument based on a comparison of the human eye to a camera

An argument aimed at persuading the audience that the speaker would make a great pod-captain

An argument using a comparison between CyberBall and HoloPollo skills

Quintilian’s argument about building strong arguments using a comparison of arguments to complex machines

Arguments by Falstaff and Quintilian making comparisons about what it’s like to rebel against an oppressive force

A variety of visual arguments by analogy, including the following:
Machine propaganda using a comparison of the Last Readers to a virus

The political cartoons “Join, or Die” (attributed to Ben Franklin) and “The Plumb-Pudding in Danger;”–or–“State Epicures Taking un Petit Souper” by James Gillray

Arguments by analogy



Short excerpts of descriptions of settings from a variety of works by Hemingway and Fitzgerald

Machine arguments from the first days of the Dome, written in different styles with different purposes for different audiences

Short excerpts from Stuart Little, by E.B. White and The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

An excerpt from the “We Shall Fight on the Beaches” speech, by Winston Churchill

Film excerpts from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer, and Why We Fight: Prelude to War, by Frank Capra




Gorgias [revised] – A remix of an excerpt from Gorgias’ Dialogue with Socrates

Excerpt from Michael Palin and John Cleese in “The Argument Clinic.” Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1972)

A variety of dialectical arguments, including:
a dialectical argument evaluating the idea that “people in the Dome need more choices”
a dialectical argument evaluating the idea that “it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at reading. If you work hard at it, you can get better.”

Short excerpts of dialectics involving the Last Readers folklore and objects
an extended dialectic between Chip, Garbage-Bot, Falstaff, and/or our Hero, concerning whether or not Marlowe can be saved




Arguments that make up a TLR security protocol for unlocking Marlowe’s old Lifescreen, including a visual analogy, an argument from an old library supervision program, snippets of arguments that Marlowe wrote in the past, and fallacious arguments about the need for silence.

Texts found on Marlowe’s old Lifescreen, including a message from Falstaff, passages from Marlowe’s journal, a report from Nova, and an intelligence briefing from the Last Readers Council.