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Lesson Plans and Other Resources on Text Complexity

View these additional resources on text complexity.

Lesson Plans

Using Tiered Companion Texts to Comprehend Complex Nonfiction Texts (Gr. 3-5)
Students progress through increasingly difficult tiered texts to gain the necessary background knowledge and problem-solving skills to comprehend complex nonfiction texts.

Amelia Bedelia Up Close! Closely Reading a Classic Story (Gr. 1-2)
Through a close reading of Amelia Bedelia, students reread the material to discuss text-dependent questions, promoting deep thinking about the text and its characters.

Reading Informational Texts Using the 3-2-1 Strategy (K-2)
Students can count on using the 3-2-1 strategy to help them successfully comprehend and write about an informational text.

The Frog Beyond the Fairy Tale Character: Searching Informational Texts (Gr. K-2)
Frogs often appear as the main character in fiction stories, but what do students really know about frogs? Students find out in this lesson in which they research real-life frogs.

Thinking Inductively: A Close Reading of Seamus Heaney’s “Blackberry Picking” (Gr. 9-12)
This lesson eases students’ fear of interpreting complex poetry by teaching them a strategy with which they determine patterns of imagery, diction, and figurative language in order to unlock meaning.

Sonic Patterns: Exploring Poetic Techniques Through Close Reading (Gr. 9-12)
Students develop close reading skills connecting sound with sense in the poem “Those Winter Sundays,” and write an original text that reflects their new learning.

Create a Great Future: STEM Career Research Using Close Reading (Gr. 6-12)
What if students could see the relevance of their school curriculum to real-world, interesting, STEM-related careers? Let’s help them create a great future!

Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments (Gr. 9-12)
Students are often asked to perform speeches, but rarely do we require students to analyze speeches as carefully as we study works of literature. In this unit, students are required to identify the rhetorical strategies in a famous speech and the specific purpose for each chosen device. They will write an essay about its effectiveness and why it is still famous after all these years.

Strategy Guides

Promote Deep Thinking! How to Choose a Complex Text (Gr. 1-3)
Complex texts promote deep thinking and critical analysis by students. Through close reading of a complex text, students’ independent reading abilities also increase.

Depend on the Text! How to Create Text-Dependent Questions (Gr. 1-3)
Teachers need to create text-dependent questions to elicit close reading. When answering these questions, students learn to reread and think deeply about the text.

Get Close to Think Deeply: Creating Primary-Level Close Readings (Gr. 1-3)
Close readings allow primary students to engage with complex texts. Through repeated reading, students build a deep understanding of the text and critical thinking skills.

Close Reading of Literary Texts (6-12)
This strategy guide will help you choose text that is appropriate for close reading and to plan for instruction that supports students’ development of the habits associated with careful, multi-engagement reading of literary prose and poetry.

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