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Amplify ELA: Differentiation

Differentiated instruction for every student

Updated over a week ago


Amplify ELA curriculum provides materials that enable you to deliver differentiated instruction so that one engaging activity serves the needs of every student, providing appropriate challenge and access for all. The program was built on the principles of Universal Design for Learning and reviewed by CAST, a non-profit education research and development organization. In cases when Amplify’s Universal Design cannot meet the needs of all learners, the program provides materials that enable you to deliver differentiated instruction to help each and every student meet grade-level standards.

For those students needing additional support or added challenge, six levels of differentiation are embedded within Amplify ELA lessons to help provide equal access to learning opportunities.

Differentiation Levels

Amplify ELA includes six levels of differentiation. These distinct differentiation levels ensure that all students are able to meet grade-level standards.


Designed for students reading and writing at grade level. Universal Design for Learning principles provide the foundation for these activities aimed at supporting students in reading and understanding complex texts.


Designed for students with learning disabilities or who need significant scaffolding to read complex text. Supports include Writing Prompts broken into small segments, graphic organizers, shortened reading passages, guiding questions, simplified Writing Prompts, and/or sentence starters.


Designed for English Language Learners (ELLs) at the Developing level. Supports include simplified vocabulary, word banks, visual clues, prompts broken into small segments, shortened reading passages, guiding questions, and/or sentence starters.


Designed for students who need clear and strategic supports for vocabulary, language, and syntax in complex texts, including ELLs at the expanding level. Supports include guiding questions, a list of ideas to consider, sentence starters, and simplified language in Writing Prompts.


Designed for students approaching grade level and often able to work independently with vocabulary, language, and syntax in complex texts, including ELLs at the Bridging level. Supports include sentence starters.


Designed for students who read and understand text at their grade level easily and fluently. The Core Writing Prompts often provide an appropriate challenge for these students. The Challenge prompts may ask students to compare two sections of text, create counterarguments, or find evidence to support both sides of an argument.

Differentiated activities are marked with a plus sign next to the activity icon in the lesson map.

You can preview differentiated activities by selecting different levels in the drop down menu.

Unit Differentiation

Each Amplify ELA Core Unit includes additional suggestions and resources for differentiation in the Planning for the Unit section of the Year Overview. This section includes suggestions for how to support your students in vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and discussion. You will also find a list of resources that you can use to better support multilingual learners, particularly Spanish speakers. You can also learn more about Planning and Pacing, which provides additional ideas for differentiated support within a unit.

Lesson-level Differentiation

Before a lesson, plan to explore the Differentiation section of the Lesson Brief. This section highlights the activities that have differentiated levels and provides tips about how to differentiate other activities, such as previewing vocabulary for ELL students, grouping recommendations, and other helpful suggestions to provide scaffolding and support for your students. It is also useful to review each of the differentiated activities within the lesson, marked with a plus sign next to the activities icon in the lesson map. Plan to look through each differentiated activity and review the built-in supports at each level. You can do this by clicking on the dropdown with the different colored shapes, selecting the various levels available for that activity, and clicking through to see where students in each level will see supports.

Setting Differentiation Levels

You can set differentiation levels in a differentiated activity or you can manage students’ differentiation levels in Classwork. The differentiation level that you assign each student will be saved and applied to subsequent activities; however, you can change differentiation assignments any time you need.

In a differentiated activity

You can set differentiation levels by clicking the Differentiation icon in a differentiated activity (the icon is grayed out).

A pop-up displays.

Click Yes to set the differentiation levels for your students or Click No to return to the activity.

In the Student Level Assignments screen, you can drag and drop student names into the differentiation level appropriate for their needs.

Differentiation in Classwork

You can also manage differentiation levels in Classwork. Click the Levels tab, which will take you to the Student Level Assignments screen. From there, you can drag and drop student names to the appropriate level.

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