Reading - Text Gradient Chart

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Text Gradient Chart

Welcome to the wonderful world of reading.

Victoria Davids
davids.victoria AT blvs DOT org

A gradient of text is an ordering of books according to a specific set of characteristics. Gradient means ascending or descending in a uniform or consistent way, so the levels of a gradient are defined in relation to each other. As you go up the gradient of text, the texts get harder; conversely, as you go down, they get easier. At each level of the gradient, there is a cluster of characteristics that helps you think about the texts at that level and how they support and challenge readers.

The following gradient shows approximate corresponding grade levels. Grade Levels are not the important factor when selecting books for students. Instead you must start where there they are in their development of reading abilities, and that may or may not be their grade level. The grade-level designations are useful, however, because students whose instructional levels are below their grade level need intensive daily instruction that moves them into increasingly challenging texts.

Use the gradient to expand the student's breadth of experience with different types of texts and a range of content, authors, and formats. Consider the developmental appropriateness of the content as students approach levels beyond their present grade.

This gradient is a large collection of titles that are categorized by level of difficulty. It is meant  to support the effectiveness of the reading program and is to be used as a tool for the instructor.


For examples of titles at these levels please use the following links:

Level A  Level B  Level C   Level D   Level E   Level F   Level G   Level H  

Level I   Level J   Level K   Level L   Level M   Level N   Level O

  Level P   Level Q   Level R   Level S   Level T   Level U   Level V   Level W  

Level X   Level Y   Level Z

If you want to see how your child reads orally in grade level materials go to the following link:

3-Minute Reading Assessments

To see how reading develops go to Readers and how they change over time.

If you are interested in knowing how a readability level is given to text go to

Determining Text Difficulty

For additional tools to help your reader decoded unknown words use the Strategy Chart or ways to help them make meaning from the text use the Comprehension Chart.

If your child has difficulty with grade level reading material please contact me at either through district email: vdavids AT usd458 DOT org or virtual email: davids.victoria AT blvs DOT org or you can call 913-724-1038 to schedule a time to diagnose and plan a reading program to help your child succeed.


Pinnell, G. and Fountas, I., 2002. Leveled books for readers grades 3 -6. Portsmouth: NH: Heinemann.

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