Upper Elementary

Imagine Learning is an engaging language and literacy program that helps upper elementary students develop critical thinking skills. Emphasis on nonfiction text, explicit strategy instruction, and higher order thinking prepares students for state and national tests.

How Imagine Learning Helps

  • Teaches critical reasoning skills to increase depth of knowledge
  • Develops comprehension strategies
  • Provides scaffolding that fades as students progress
  • Delivers opportunities to encounter informational text
  • Focuses on academic language

Case Study

From fall 2012 to fall 2013, only 48.2% of students in Round Lake Area Schools were meeting their individual growth targets on the MAP reding assessment.

After implementing Imagine Learning the following year, students meeting their individual growth targets



growth in the proportion of students that met their individual growth targets

Academic Vocabulary

Academic vocabulary

Let's speak the same language.

Academic vocabulary is the language of the classroom, and mastery of this vocabulary set is crucial for children to be successful in any content area. Academic language can be difficult for all students, but creates an especially big barrier for English language learners. With this in mind, Imagine Learning was built with a targeted academic language focus, so students learn the meanings of the words they will encounter in their regular school environment. Students learn high frequency procedural and domain specific words through videos, pictures, glossaries, and direct translations. Words and concepts are repeated in multiple contexts which allow students to make connections and achieve a deeper level of understanding.

  • Removing language barriers
Nonfiction Emphasis

Nonfiction emphasis

Who says nonfiction can't be fun?

Nonfiction text can be challenging for many students. In order to make progress, they need to experience productive struggle. To help students navigate this challenge, Imagine Learning offers developmentally appropriate text that is rigorous but engaging. Direct instruction and scaffolding help learners become successful as they encounter more difficult text. Instruction prepares students with the skills they need to master text features—indexes, captions, headings, glossaries—which help them make sense of more difficult content. In addition, students have opportunities to engage with text through text-dependent questioning. These question types offer increased depth of knowledge and prepare students for the question types they will encounter on state and national assessments.

  • Nonfiction focus
Explicit Instruction

Explicit instruction

Instruction that supports children as they grow.

Explicit instruction and guided practice help students build mastery in new skills. Objectives for learning are communicated to students and are summarized at the end of lessons. While instruction is engaging, the instruction takes a front seat and distractions are minimized. A higher level of scaffolding allows for exposure to a particular skill at grade level, followed by practice at an independent reading level. Students often start with scaffolding that is removed when it’s no longer needed. For example, many students will start out being supported by language translations so that they can learn new concepts in their first language. As students grow, that support is removed in a gradual release to independence.

  • The right support at the right time
Text Evidence

Text evidence

Pointing students in the right direction.

Expectations for grade level reading are becoming more rigorous. As close reading becomes more important and depth of knowledge increases on summative assessments, students need to be able to make inferential and synthesis types of analysis about what they read. Upper elementary students will develop the strategies they need to be able to find evidence within a text to develop and support conclusions. Students will work through several activities that deliver text-dependent questioning. Not only will they be asked to answer a question about the text; they will also be asked to highlight the text that contains the answer. In addition to having literal comprehension of text, students need to be able to analyze text. Imagine Learning provides clear instruction on finding evidence in text and then applies that knowledge in close reading situations.

  • What does the text say?
Higher Order Thinking

Higher order thinking

Making connections is easier when you have the right tools.

Upper elementary students will experience higher order thinking activities as they transition from answering simplistic questions to answering questions that require more depth of knowledge. Incorporating more rigorous question types prepares students for the types of questions they will see on next generation assessments. Students will also receive explicit instruction on how to answer these types of questions. Instead of selecting an answer from pre-determined options, students will learn to articulate a deeper level of thinking by writing a constructed response. In Application Station, students are asked to read a story or article and then demonstrate comprehension with a written response. Questions that include scrollable and selectable text, drag-to-order, and multiple correct features prepare students to encounter these question types on tests.

  • Depth of knowledge

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