This thesis project demonstrates an integrative approach to teaching fiction and expository texts in the middle school English Language Arts curriculum. The unit addresses the possibility of the revival of extinct species, first through the short story "The Phoenix," by Silvia Warner, and then through the National Geographic article titled "Reviving Extinct Species, " by Carl Zimmer. For each text, students are expected to identify the main idea and the rhetorical strategies employed by the author to support that idea. At the end of the unit, students will reflect on and write about which of the authors was more convincing and why. I developed this unit using the seventh grade English Language Arts Common Core Standards. The lesson plans can be modified so they can be used in higher or lower level classes.