Our fascinating narrative nonfiction articles are designed to build knowledge, vocabulary, and important ELA skills through speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Available in both English and Spanish, this collection of articles and resources serves as linguistic support and scaffolding for the Spanish-speaking students in your classroom.

In this collection you’ll find:


Did you know that in every issue of Scope, the narrative nonfiction feature comes in Spanish online? Here are five of our favorites to get you started.

Searching for the Titanic

Can the most famous shipwreck in history ever be found?

Are Those Aliens?

The mystery of UFOs and the search for extraterrestrial life

Out of the Death Zone

The amazing true story of 13-year-old Poorna Malavath and her quest to climb the world’s highest mountain

The Tornado That Changed America

The incredible true story of the deadliest single tornado strike in U.S. history

Frozen Dreams

Matthew Henson helped discover the North Pole. It would take decades for the world to discover him.


Here are a few teaching ideas and resources that will help you get the most out of Scope’s Spanish and English narrative nonfiction articles in your classroom.

Using Nonfiction

Depending on the makeup of your classroom and the English proficiency of your multilingual learners (MLLs), here are some tips for how to use a narrative nonfiction feature in your classroom:

  • Before reading, use the vocabulary- and knowledge-building resources found in the Resources tab for each article: Author Chat videos, Beyond the Story videos, Background Builder Slideshows, and Vocabulary Slideshows will introduce students to important people, concepts, and vocabulary they’ll encounter in the article. 

  • Before introducing the English version of an article, have Spanish-speaking students read the Spanish article independently, with a partner, or with an ESL teacher. Then provide the article and its audio read-aloud in English. If students encounter challenges understanding particular words or phrases, allow them to consult the Spanish version.

  • Have students read the article first in Spanish independently. Then have them join other Spanish-speaking students in the class to discuss the article in Spanish before joining a class-wide discussion of the article in English.

  • Have each student in your class read the article in their home language with a partner. Have each pair verbally create a summary of the article. Then pair a student who read the English article with a student who read the Spanish article and have them share their summaries. Alternatively, have students work together to create a poster that summarizes the article.

  • With a small group of students at the same level of language acquisition, do a choral reading of the English version in small chunks. Stop to show pictures or act out words that might be challenging. 

  • As you read, check comprehension with yes/no or either/or questions. For example, if you are reading “Out of the Death Zone,” pause to ask questions like these: Is it expensive to climb Mount Everest? Did Poorna Malavath climb Mount Everest alone? As you go up higher on a mountain, is there more or less oxygen in the air? Did Poorna think it was easy to train for climbing Everest or difficult? (This can also be done in writing with a dialogic journal.) Challenge students to produce simple answers on their own with questions like What makes climbing Mount Everest so dangerous?

  • Encourage students to elaborate on verbal responses beyond yes/no with prompts such as Tell me more about that, What do you mean by . . . ? What else . . . ? How do you know? Why is that important? What does that remind you of? Ask open-ended questions that require true communication from and between students. 

Vocabulary Acquisition

Ideas to Build Vocabulary

Teach the Teacher

Before class, identify key English vocabulary words in the article using our vocabulary glossary and/or slideshow. In class, have Spanish-speaking students teach you what the vocabulary words you selected are in Spanish.

Identify Cognates

Before class, identify key English vocabulary words in the article. Discuss with your Spanish-speaking students whether the words are similar or different in Spanish. As students read the English version of the article, ask them to circle other words that are the same or similar to words in Spanish. Point out that looking for these similar words, called cognates, is a good strategy for understanding what they read.

Break it Down

As you come across a new or challenging word in an article, pause to say the word and have students repeat it after you. If possible, show a picture of the word or act it out. If the word is made up of multiple parts, like unbearable, look at the individual parts – un-bear-able – and talk about what each one means. Look again at how the word is used in the article to confirm that students understand it in context.

Summarizing Tools

Summarizing Ideas

Provide Scaffolding with Scope’s Summarizing Activity

Work together with students to complete Scope’s summarizing graphic organizer questions 1-5. Have students dictate their thoughts to you as you write them on the template. Allow students to respond with pictures as well. Alternatively, have students work in pairs to complete each question from the activity on chart paper in a gallery walk, discussing their responses before recording them. Then use the think-aloud technique to model how to use the answers from questions 1-5 to write a short objective summary paragraph.

Create Summarizing Statements Together

After reading an article, circle 10 words that are most important in understanding the article with your students. Write the 10 words or concepts on chart paper or chalkboard. Together, write one to two summary statements, using as many of the listed words or concepts as possible. As students get more comfortable with this task, have them complete it in groups or pairs.