How to Use Leveled BooksLeveled books are used in guided reading, or leveled reading, small-group instruction. This approach recognizes that a wide range of reading ability exists within any grade level or age group. Students are placed in similar-ability groups and given developmentally appropriate books to read.
Leveled Book Support Resources include lessons, worksheets, discussion cards, and comprehension Quick Check quizzes to support and guide instruction.
Some leveled books are also supported by fluency practice passages, reader's theater scripts, a writer's response activity, a literature circle journal, or might be part of a paired book set or other collection.
ALL the resources that support a book can be found on its home page.
Leveled Book FormatsReading A-Z leveled books come in an array of options to meet independent, small-group, and whole-class objectives.
Printable Books for use in class or to send home for practice can be printed in color, black and white, as single-sided or double-sided.
Projectable Books integrate technology and reading curriculum. ALL books are available in this format for digital projectors and interactive white boards. Projectable Book Tips guide educators to meet literacy goals for fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and more.
Multilevel Books support mixed-level classes by providing the same book at different levels. Group students according to skill level, but introduce comprehension skills and reading strategies to the whole class.
Pocketbooks fit in a pocket, the perfect size for students to take home for additional reading practice, or to make notes or reinforce grammar skills.
Wordless books allow students to use imagination to tell their own stories with a book's illustrations or support retellings of the original text from levels aa–J. The Wordless Book Lesson provides suggested skills and strategies.
Leveled Book Support ResourcesEach guided reading session, which takes from 15 to 25 minutes, begins with introducing a book, eliciting prior knowledge, and building background. Students are placed in similar-ability groups and given developmentally appropriate books to read. The teacher monitors and guides each student's reading as needed. Discussion follows, and each student keeps the book to read repeatedly. Subsequent lessons at the lower levels usually use an entirely new book.
Lessons, worksheets, discussion cards, and comprehension Quick Check quizzes support and guide instruction for leveled books in English. Worksheets, discussion cards, and comprehension quizzes specific to each language also accompany many books in Spanish, French, and British English.
Leveled Book Lessons
- Leveled Book Lessons combine the content of the Guided Reading Lesson and the Common Core Supplement.
- A Focus Question drives instruction and allows for a deeper understanding of the text, while yielding high-order thinking.
- A concise three-page lesson provides guidance for the teacher.
- Reading strategies and comprehension skills help support students before, during, and after they read.
- Text-dependent questions require students to cite evidence from one or more sections of the text to formulate responses.
- Extension activities build phonological awareness, phonics, and grammar and mechanics skills.
- Book connection activities provide cross-curricular opportunities in writing, math, science, or social studies.
Guided Reading Lessons
- Each leveled book is accompanied by a multiple-page lesson.
- Strategies help teachers introduce the book and build background.
- Reading Strategies and Comprehension Skills support students while they read.
- Questions promote after-reading discussions and quick skill lessons build language arts skills, including phonological awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, word structure and meaning, and grammar and mechanics.
- Extension activities link to writing and other curriculum areas, such as math, science, and social studies.
Up to four worksheets on comprehension and other literacy skills support each lesson. One worksheet is often a graphic organizer designed to engage students in the reading process.
Common Core Supplement
The most popular books at each level have a supplemental Common Core lesson. These plans are in addition to the regular guided reading lessons that accompany each book. The Common Core Supplements are designed to support teachers as they implement some of the more important shifts identified in the Common Core State Standards, such as: academic vocabulary, text-dependent questions, and a constructed response to reading based on a key question. Text-dependent questions require students to cite evidence from the text and are constructed at three levels of analysis:
- Level 1: Evidence to construct an answer is found in one place within the text
- Level 2: Evidence to construct an answer is gathered from several places within the text
- Level 3: Evidence to construct an answer comes from both the text and experience, requiring an inference or conclusion to be made
Quick Checks for Assessing Leveled Book Comprehension
Comprehension Quizzes are a fast, easy way to assess how well students comprehend their reading and are great resources for text-dependent questions.
Multiple-choice questions encompass a range of cognitive rigor and depth of knowledge. Quizzes at Level C and above also include at least one extended response, or essay, question, that require students to answer in writing an open-ended question using sound reasoning. The questions encourage critical and inferential thinking and allow teachers to measure skills that are difficult to assess with multiple-choice questions.
Quick Check Comprehension Quizzes accompany every leveled book from Level A to Level Z and most of the serial books.
Discussion Cards promote critical thinking, collaboration, and discussion among small groups or entire classes of students. Many discussion questions focus on text-dependent questions.
Each discussion card is tagged with the specific reading skill it targets. These include such skills as:
- Compare and contrast
- Cause and effect
- Make inferences/draw conclusions
- Analyze and evaluate