Text Complexity

Raising Rigor in Reading


Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Diane Lapp

"Close" reading of this text will reward educators with the most insightful, information-rich, and practical foundation and perspective on text complexity available to date. In the context of the Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts, the authors provide (1) a masterful synthesis of traditional and more contemporary research exploring those factors in the text, the context, and the reader that contribute to the complexity of any text; and (2) substantive, practical instructional applications that will lead to the types of deep and consequential student engagements with texts for which educators have always strived.

—Shane Templeton
Foundation Professor Emeritus of Literacy Studies
University of Nevada, Reno

Selecting appropriate reading material for students is hard. For decades, teachers have known that quality instruction requires a careful matching of materials to students. The goal is to select materials that are neither too difficult nor too easy for students--a phenomenon sometimes called the Goldilocks Rule. To ensure that students learn to read increasingly complex texts, teachers have to understand what makes a text hard. The introduction of the Common Core State Standards has also placed a spotlight on text complexity. This book focuses on the quantitative and qualitative factors of text complexity as well as the ways in which readers can be matched with texts and tasks. It also examines how close readings of complex texts scaffold students understanding and allow them to develop the skills necessary to read like a detective.

© 2012 | 152 pp.
ISBN 13: 978-0-87207-478-1

Text Complexity

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