• Text Set Project: Building Knowledge and Vocabulary

    Text Sets support all learners, especially those with background knowledge or vocabulary deficits, by building up these domains through a volume of reading on Science, Social Studies, and other high interest topics.

    College- and career-ready standards, including the CCSS, emphasize the importance of all students reading grade-level complex-text proficiently and independently by the end of a given school year.  These lessons have been developed with an emphasis on key aspects of college- and career-ready standards, including building knowledge and developing academic vocabulary to support reading grade-level complex text independently and proficiently. The resources below explain how to build text sets and incorporate reading on a variety of topics to grow student knowledge and vocabulary.

  • Quick Overview

    This two-page guide explains when, why, and how to use text sets to support a variety of student learning goals. Guidance is also included on designing a text set and where to access free, completed text sets.

  • Create Your Own Text Sets

    This professional development module focuses on the Text Set Project:  Designing and Integrating Expert Packs. Learn how to create your own Text Sets, or train educators in your district.

  • How Text Sets Build Reading Skills

    Many students struggle to read on-grade-level text. Research suggests three major factors that contribute to this problem.

    1. Failure to grow sufficient vocabulary
    2. Failure to develop wide background knowledge
    3. Failure to become a fluent reader

    The text sets contain the volume of reading necessary to combat each one of these factors, level the playing field for students, and support their growth in the process. In order for the text sets to be effective, students must read/watch the resources in the order presented in the materials. The early texts provide knowledge and vocabulary that scaffold student understanding for the later, more complex texts. When experienced in the right order, texts that would typically cause students to struggle become accessible.

    Hear from teachers who have used the expert packs in their classrooms.

    • Text Set Panel Interview Video

      Learn how educators are using expert packs with their students.

    Literacy expert David Liben discusses the educational value of text sets.

    • Text Set Introduction - David Liben

      See David Liben present about text sets and how they can help support all learners, especially those with background knowledge or vocabulary deficits, by building up these domains through a volume of reading. 

  • Structure of Text Sets

    Each expert pack: 

    • Centers on a single topic (i.e., insects, desert animals, entrepreneurship) and contains a variety of resources (i.e., books, articles, videos, websites, infographics)
    • Purposely orders resources to support students in building vocabulary and knowledge
    • Includes suggested activities to be completed after each resource to demonstrate comprehension and students’ building knowledge and/or vocabulary
    • Is designed to be completed with increasing independence by students
  • 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 Text Set Project lessons particularly emphasize:

    Complexity: Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
    Knowledge: Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction

    Learn more about the ELA/literacy Shifts.