CommonLit 360 Schools & Districts CommonLit 360 Edition 2.0: Everything You Need to Know

A teacher helps two students with a CommonLit 360 ELA lesson.

Exciting updates to CommonLit’s ELA curriculum for grades 6-8

We are thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated new edition of CommonLit 360 for Middle School (grades 6-8) will be available in early July 2023! In this blog post, we’ll share some great additions to our comprehensive ELA curriculum, which is already driving student success in schools and districts across the country.

We can’t wait for you to dive into CommonLit 360 for Middle School Edition 2.0 – it is sure to transform learning outcomes for your students and delight your team!

New and Updated Edition 2.0 Units Feature:

  • An even wider range of text genres and modes, including rhetorical analysis, poetry, multimedia and primary source documents
  • Culminating tasks that include authentic opportunities for real world application, including project-focused learning opportunities
  • Additional texts in each unit that support students’ knowledge building
  • More high-quality texts to build student reading stamina
  • Additional texts from diverse authors
  • More explicit instructional guidance for teachers

Our New Edition 2.0 Will Also Include:

New Novel Units

New full-length texts have been selected for unit three of each grade. The novel selections more closely align to grade-level standards and the themes and knowledge building in CommonLit’s year-long plan for each grade. Each novel unit includes the addition of writing lessons and at least one Related Media Exploration.


The Giver 

by Lois Lowry

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1993 edition


Brown Girl Dreaming 

by Jacqueline Woodson

Puffin Books 2016 edition


Twelve Angry Men 

by Reginald Rose

Penguin Classics 2006 edition

Updated Units

We’ve enhanced some teacher and student favorites with the addition of more contemporary texts and additional knowledge building.

6th Grade Unit 1: Characters Who Change and Grow

We’ve added three more contemporary short stories to this popular unit to support stamina building and represent a greater diversity of voices and experiences. 

6th Grade Unit 5: The Forces that Shape Us (new title!) 

Previously titled “Embracing Our Differences,” this improved unit focuses on the factors that shape an individual character’s identity. With five new contemporary texts for stamina building, the unit now culminates in a comparison/contrast essay. 

7th Grade Unit 1: Community and Belonging (new title!)

Previously called “In or Out: Our Struggle to Belong,” this unit zeros in on the foundations of strong communities and how they evolve when newcomers join them. Four engaging new contemporary texts have been added to the mix to build reading stamina. 

7th Grade Unit 2: Adolescence

With the addition of five current texts, this unit has a stronger focus on the developmental landscape of adolescence—changing emotions, behaviors, and social life—and how it is reflected in literature.

8th Grade Unit 1: The Art of Suspense (new title!)

Previously known as “Bad Behavior,” this unit refocuses student learning around the ways in which authors and filmmakers create suspenseful stories. The unit now includes two more classic tales of suspense and additional information about the psychology of suspense. 

Newly Designed Units

Each grade level includes one completely new unit that builds students’ knowledge of and familiarity with different genres and modes of texts.

6th Grade Unit 2: The Recipe for Success 

This unit focuses students’ learning on the habits and practices that lead people to achieve success. The nonfiction texts in this unit build the note-taking and research foundations students will need to succeed in this grade’s research unit, “Our Changing Oceans.”

7th Grade Unit 5: Finding your Voice

This unit introduces students to famous speeches by some of the most influential people in America. Students focus on the craft and rhetoric used to create powerful messages. 

8th Grade Unit 2: Conveying Courage

This unit develops students’ understanding of poetry and speeches that communicate messages of courage to their audiences.

Units with New Project-Based Assessments

Research units (units 4) and argumentative units (units 6) at each grade level will include updated culminating tasks that require students to demonstrate their learning in innovative ways. Some examples include:

6th grade Unit 4: Our Changing Oceans

Students create infographics that teach other students about ocean destruction caused by humans and encourage them to take realistic steps toward reducing the damage.

7th grade Unit 6: School Electives: Which One Matters Most? 

Students work in small groups to create an infographic that conveys three high impact reasons to save electives for all students.

8th grade Unit 6: The Debate Over School Start Times

Students create a video of a short persuasive speech, or “elevator pitch,” to convince a specific audience of their stance on school start times.

Supportive Guidance for Internalization and Planning

We’ve added new supports to ensure teachers can best meet their students’ needs, including:

  • Additional instructional guidance for each lesson
  • Clear and supportive pacing suggestions across grade levels and units
  • Updated, easy-to-use rubrics for writing, listening and speaking

Options for Formative Assessment

To help teachers easily measure student comprehension, we’ve added Unit Skills Assessments and enhanced professional learning, available for purchase with our School Essentials PRO Plus package. The Unit Skills Assessments give teachers and instructional leaders the touch points they need to plan strong targeted instruction within CommonLit 360.

The PRO Plus package also includes school-wide data tracking, personalized, professional development, and much more.

Next Steps

We’re excited for you to dive into these Ed 2.0 units, which will be released over the course of the spring and summer. As always, we will keep you updated throughout the 2022-2023 school year, including resources and webinar opportunities to learn more about how schools can plan for the transition to Ed 2.0.

If you would like to learn more about School Essentials PRO Plus, or have questions about how to best roll out CommonLit 360 in your school or district, reach out to our team:

Sign up for our newsletter