What Makes a Text Complex
Rather than focusing exclusively on literacy skills, the Common Core State Standards set expectations for the complexity of texts students need to be able to read to be ready for college and careers. To choose texts that are on grade level for the CCSS, follow three steps:
1. Use quantitative measures to assign a text to a grade band.
2. Use qualitative measures to locate a text within a specific grade band.
3. Use professional judgment to decide how suited a text is for a specific instructional purpose with a particular set of students.
The Text Complexity Collection includes research to support understanding of why text complexity matters and tools designed to guide text complexity analyses.
Creating Text-Dependent Questions
The Common Core State Standards expect students to use evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. One critical way to help students develop these skills is through the use of text-dependent questions: questions that can only be answered by referring back to the text.
The Text-Dependent Question Resources include tools to help write and evaluate text-dependent questions, as well as a link to lesson materials featuring sequences of text -dependent questions meant to deepen student understanding of the text.
Highlighted Aspects of the Shifts
All of the lessons presented on achievethecore.org are designed to highlight one or more aspects of the ELA/Literacy Shifts. The Close Reading Model Lessons particularly emphasize:
Complexity: Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
Evidence: Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from text, both literary and informational
Learn more about the ELA/Literacy Shifts.