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Mastering the Middle Grades

Components       Sample Lessons      Downloads       Purchase Materials

For students, middle school is a time of increasing academic expectations and shifting social alliances. Harder classes and more homework. A confusing class schedule and supersized textbooks. Changing bodies and powerful emotions. Expanding horizons and shrinking free time. New friends and exciting extracurricular opportunities. A bigger building to navigate and unfamiliar teachers to decipher.  And don’t forget weightier moral choices with potentially life-long consequences.

How do we help young people navigate this transition? Research shows that patterns established in middle school can lead to either successful high school completion or dropping out. Patterns of negative ABCs—chronic absence, poor behavior, and course failure – often begin or accelerate in middle grades, and without intervention, a high percentage of these students will fall off the graduation track.


Mastering the Middle Grades (MMG) is a modular course embedded within a three-year curriculum. The teacher-friendly curriculum can be expanded or contracted to fit your school’s schedule. You, as the classroom teacher, will best know the needs of your students, and how to adapt, expand, or contract as necessary. MMG can be implemented during advisory periods, “zero periods,” and morning/class meetings. Lessons can also be combined for use in an extended, 90-minute block schedule.

Each of the three levels (MMG 101, 102, and 103) contains 35- 40 lessons divided into five units:

  • Orientation
  • Study Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Life Skills
  • Career Exploration

Lessons are generally sequential, and can be offered once a week or several days a week. Each lesson is designed for a 45-minute class period but can be used for a longer class period using the suggested extension activities and literature connections.

Mastering the Middle Grade’s  offers sequential instruction in:

  • Academic Achievement–study skills to facilitate academic achievement
  • Social & Emotional Learning–to promote community, respect, and healthy conflict resolution
  • Life Skills–to help students make wise decisions
  • Career Exploration–to help students explore their unique abilities and connect academics to their personal and vocational goals


Sample Lessons


Click here to download the MMG101 sample lessons,
“What’s the Big Deal About Middle School”







Click here to download the MMG201 sample lessons,
“Evaluating My Study Habits”







Click here to download the MMG301 sample lessons,
“Successful Teamwork”







[ribbon]Material Downloads[/ribbon]

Mastering the Middle Grades 101-301 Lessons & Objectives


Purchasing Materials

Material pricing and ordering information for all teacher and student materials is available online. If you have purchased materials from Talent Development Secondary in the past and have a user name and password, simply visit our Online Storefront and login. If you have not purchased materials before, please set up a Storefront Membership.