Our school (and in fact, our whole district) has had a strong focus on literacy over the past two years. Our literacy team's goal is to highlight the literacy instruction that occurs across the curriculum, not simply in our English and Social Studies classes, but also in Science, Math, and our electives. We work to bring easy-to-use literacy strategies and tools to our teachers that they will be able to immediately implement in their classrooms. One of the building blocks of our literacy plan is providing accessible text for our students in all disciplines. This is often a challenge -- we want to make sure that ALL of our students have access to a rigorous curriculum. So, what are some "go-to" sources for supporting readers across levels?
Searching for Text
The first challenge is finding text to meet curriculuar needs. My initial resource is -- no surprise -- reach out to your local, friendly school librarian. Finding disciplinary text across levels for is both part of our expertise and our job description. If however, you prefer searching resources yourself, I'm sharing some of my other favorite FREE resources.
NewsELA: Up-to-date news site providing articles adapted from major news sources at five different levels. Opportunities to enroll students and assign text (which will adapt to a specific student's reading level over time) as well as other features. Requires free registration.
CommonLit: Collection of fiction and non-fiction texts, correlated to Common Core standards, and searchable by lexile, grade-level, genre and more. Text sets offer works on significant social studies events and topics. Book pairings provides passages to supplement units on over fifty different book titles.
ReadWorks: Curated non-fiction and literary articles, searchable by grade level and lexile. Many articles are available in multiple versions (or "Steps") or offer audio. Requires free registration.
Smithsonian Tween Tribune: Daily AP news article, lexile-leveled for grades K-12.
News in Levels: Daily short news articles at three different levels, including audio, targeted toward English language learners
LingoHack: Weekly video bulletins from BBC News (via BBC Learning English) with key words and phrases as well as a transcript.
For the Teachers: Small collection of leveled articles (three different levels) on high-interest topics.
Tools for Modifying Existing Text
Sometimes you find the perfect text that simply isn't at the right level. These tools can help you modify the text to better meet student needs.
Rewordify: Paste in text to simplify English to a lower reading level to better support reading comprehension and vocabulary development.
Text Compactor: Automated online summarization tool best for informational texts.
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What other resources do you use? How do you ensure that you meet your students where they are when it comes to accessing text? We'd love to hear from you!
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