Text Complexity Toolkit

To help put the right book in each reader's hands, use the following tools to implement comprehensive text complexity analyses within your instructional plans.

  • Qualitative Measures
    Determine if the qualitative measures of assigned books meet your differentiation needs.
  • Quantitative Measures
    Plan for each reader's abilities to grow along a sequenced literacy continuum.


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2 Pages, 152KB


Download PDF

2 Pages, 152KB

Qualitative Values

Utilizing innovative rubrics that both collect and reveal crowdsourced opinions from TeachingBooks users about seven distinct elements of text for both informational and literary books.

Quantitative Values

Assigning appropriate grade bands with a crosswalk that translates Lexile levels of specific books to a half-dozen other computer-generated measures, including Fountas & Pinnell and ATOS.

Reader & Task Considerations

Offering questions that guide educators and librarians to keep these vital elements of literacy in mind.

Cultural Representation & Diversity: Optional Questions

These questions were adapted from the Southern Poverty Law Center's Reading Diversity curriculum and can be used to guide text selection and conversations.

List Analysis Reports

Supporting differentiation and selection with data that reveals the variety of texts in any booklist or collection.

  • Complete a Text Complexity Rubric together as a class, or assign students to complete a Text Complexity Rubric independently on a book they choose. Discuss the categories within and ask students why they made the selections they did.
  • Use the Text Complexity Rubric as a Professional Development activity to promote discussion about text selection and differentiation.
  • Reflect on different factors of complexity and consider how, for example, cultural knowledge demands may be more complex than language and why that matters. How do levels of complexity invite readers to think more deeply about a particular text?