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Resources

Finding Rich Texts

Question: I need some quick and easy tools to help me find complex texts to use in my classroom! Are there any online resources you'd recommend, particularly for tracking down informational texts?

Response:

  • There are several sites that offer helpful recommendations for locating complex texts. Sites such as Metametrics, the Text Project, the International Literacy Association, Read Works, and NewsELA contain complex texts that address quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task ability. Metametrics has developed a webinar which can be accessed on the Achieve the Core site that explores selection of complex text. The resources listed below may offer some assistance to teachers.

Resources:

  • NewsELA: NewsELA can be used to build reading comprehension with nonfiction text such as the daily news. This site has both a free service and a subscription-based service. Each article is presented at five different Lexile levels and offers additional interactive opportunities, such as quizzes and writing tasks.
  • Quick and Easy Access to Measures of Text Complexity Using the Lexile Framework for Reading: This white paper outlines a number of resources that could be used to find complex texts.
  • ReadWorks.org: ReadWorks provides educators with free access to research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled, non-fiction and literary passages.
  • Izzit.org: This site provides lessons that include a news article and discussion questions. Two daily articles of different lengths and reading levels are presented and occasionally offer different perspectives on an issue or event.
  • Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues: This site provides free access to articles/documents/visual texts that are grouped to provide two sides to an issue. 
  • TextProject.org: This site contains research, guides, and many instructional resources that include sample texts that support instruction with appropriately complex texts. All of the resources provided on the site are free. 
  • Reading Rockets: This site contains links to a number of resources related to selecting appropriately complex text as well as suggestions for planning instruction.
  • Metametrics Webinar: This site contains a webinar that explores how to select complex texts and allows teachers to search for articles by Lexile level.
  • Teach for Tolerance: A place for educators to find news, conversation, and support that focuses on diversity, equal opportunity, and respect for differences in schools.
  • Engage New York: EngageNY.org is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. This website supports the Common Core and provides a full section on choosing texts, suggestions, and links for finding rich complex texts.
  • Louisiana Believes: Louisiana Believes is built on the premise that all children can achieve high expectations for learning and that those closest to children - parents and teachers - know better than government how to help students achieve those expectations.
  • Literacy Design Collaborative: The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is a national community of educators providing a teacher-designed and research-proven framework, online tools, and resources for creating literacy-rich assignments and courses across content areas.
  • Perspectives for a Diverse America: Teaching Tolerance has compiled an anthology of texts for grades K-12. The texts are balanced between literary and informational, are placed within a specific grade band, and include the text itself, a quantitative measure, identified academic vocabulary, and 3-5 text-dependent questions.