As many teachers shift to the Common Core Standards, they are attempting to incorporate more complex texts and more informational/nonfiction texts into their curriculum. If you are asking yourself, “What is a complex text for my students?” check out this blog post I wrote explaining text complexity.

Many teachers are discovering that several websites offer informational texts available at various Lexile levels. Three of my favorites are:

1. The Smithsonian Tween Tribune

The Smithsonian Tween Tribune is a free resource for teachers and students. It has a massive collection of articles written at various Lexile levels. The articles also come with a quiz to assess comprehension, and students can post a comment about what they read.

2. Newsela

Newsela has a growing collection of articles on a range of topics, including the most current events. It’s free to access and read the articles at any Lexile level; however, teachers who want to annotate articles or track student progress need to pay for the Pro version.

3. CommonLit

CommonLit organizes the content on its site by theme. Teachers search for a topic related to what they are teaching (e.g., fear, resilience, love, or greed). Once they’ve selected a theme, they can view the texts that have been paired with that theme at a range of reading levels from elementary into high school. The texts include everything from famous speeches, historical documents, news articles to poems, and stories.

If you have additional online resources you use to find complex informational texts, please post a comment and share them!

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