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Text Complexity Standards

Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, and Range of Student Reading, Grade 6  Source: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/standard-10-range-quality-complexity/measuring-text-complexity-three-factors/

Qualitative evaluation of the text

Levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands

Quantitative evaluation of the text

Readability measures and other scores of text complexity

Matching reader to text and task

Reader variables (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) and task variables (such as purpose and the complexity generated by the task assigned and the questions posed)


  Literature: Stories, Drama, Poetry Informational Texts: Literary Nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and Technical Texts
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1869)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876)
  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost (1915)
  • The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973)
  • Dragonwings by Laurence Yep (1975)
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1976)
  • “Letter on Thomas Jefferson” by John Adams (1776)
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass (1845)
  • “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13th, 1940” by Winston Churchill (1940)
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry (1955)
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962)


Students in grades 6-12 apply the Reading standards to the following range of text types, with texts selected from a broad range of cultures and periods.

Literature Informational Text
Stories Dramas Poetry Literary Nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and Technical Texts
Includes the subgenres of adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, myths, science fiction, realistic fiction, allegories, parodies, satire, and graphic novels Includes one-act and multi-act plays, both in written form and on film Includes the subgenres of narrative poems, lyrical poems, free verse poems, sonnets, odes, ballads, and epics Includes the subgenres of exposition, argument, and functional text in the form of personal essays, speeches, opinion pieces, essays about art or literature, biographies, memoirs, journalism, and historical, scientific, technical, or economic accounts (including digital sources) written for a broad audience