Talk with the Social Studies teachers you'll be working with and see if you can create some kind of curricular alignment along with the Social Studies courses and curriculum.
For instance, if they're maybe teaching... The Civil War? In the Social Studies room, see if you can fit 'The Red Badge of Courage,' into the Language Arts curriculum. Or if they're doing the English Renaissance align it so that they'll maybe be reading a work by Shakespeare in the English classroom at the same time. Given that it's middle school I'd probably assume you might doing this already. Also consider a level of alignment where maybe if you're doing a unit on Venn Diagrams and Compare and Contrast essays make it so that they'll be writing a Compare and Contrast essay in their Social Studies class and work it so that you may even grade those papers in congress with the Social Studies teacher(s).
And plan for contingencies, don't marry yourself to any one particular standard or objective; allow enough wiggle room so that you can make adjustments, especially if you're going to be teaching students with varying levels of performance, or if you simply find your students being more interested in a particular progress indicator and you might want to go and take a little bit more time to that particular subject if you think it will lead to more enduring understandings.
If nothing else I've always found backwards design really works the best. If you're not already familiar with UbD or Understanding by Design you should take a look into that; establishing and knowing where you want the students to be at the ending of any particular unit, which should be common sense but I've found using UbD makes the process easier, and will make your lesson plans much more copious and vivid, which will no doubt impress your administrators. But I wouldn't make your lesson so detailed that, if you decide to make adaptations, those adaptations can't necessarily be held against you.
Other than that, for an English/Language Arts try to emphasize writing skills more than anything else, because that is a skill I've found to be very difficult for modern students to achieve; writing sadly is becoming a dead art. Encourage independent thinking as much as possible in their writing. To that end I'd say try to have them write as much creative essays as possible, still within the confines of the "rules" of writing, but not making them fall into a "paint by numbers" kind of canned writing.