Text Complexity: Stretching Readers with Texts and Tasks - Second Edition

By Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey & Diane Lapp Last updated 2024/05/27


When it comes to choosing texts for the classroom, educators have a lot of questions. Should we be looking at levels, lexiles or other readability criteria? Do we limit kids to “just-right” books? How can we scaffold instruction to help struggling readers access age- and grade-appropriate material? This book has answers!

The authors cover quantitative measures of text complexity (this may be the most dense chapter; don’t let it turn you off) and qualitative values of both literary and informational texts, followed by chapters on teacher-led, peer-led and individual tasks. Helpful charts are also included.

While good learning for all educators, we recommend this title especially for those working in Junior and Intermediate classrooms.

Caveat: one page includes outdated language referencing “guided reading” and “leveled texts” that doesn’t align with the OHRC recommendations. Substitute “targeted small group instruction” and “decodable texts”, ignore the reference to cueing and the message works.

Curriculum Connection

C1. Knowledge about Texts C2. Comprehension Strategies C3. Critical Thinking in Literacy
This book helps support expectations across Strand C (Comprehension: Understanding and Responding to Texts) of the 2023 Ontario Language Curriculum.
Grade(s): 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Comprehension

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