This post will give you a simple overview of the guided reading levels from A-P.
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Welcome to post number 2 in our series, How to Teach Kids to Read Using Guided Reading.
As a teacher of guided reading, it’s important that you have a consistent system for leveling your books. That’s because one essential of guided reading is leveled texts.
You need a system for analyzing texts and organizing them for teaching your small groups.
My favorite leveling system is the Fountas & Pinnell text level gradient – also called the guided reading levels. Let’s look at how these levels correspond to different grade levels in K-3.
Of course, kids will read at different levels. My oldest three kids all started school reading at level J or higher, while my fourth child started kindergarten at level B.
You’ll also find that you’ll have older readers who are reading at a lower level. It’s not unusual to have a second grader start the year at a level G, for example.
What’s the answer? A guided reading library of leveled books.
In the next post in this series, I’ll tell you where to find those books. For now?
Let’s take a look at examples of each level.
Level A Books
- Have just one line of text per page
- Use predictable language patterns
- Have many simple sight words
- Use a large, clear font
- May be just 8 pages long
Level B Books
- Are very much like level A
- Have up to 2 lines of text per page
Level C Books
- Are similar to levels A & B
- May be longer, with 2-5 lines of text per page
- Include mostly 1-2 syllable words
- Have many easy decodable words
Level D Books
- Are similar to level C
- Have slightly more complex stories
- May have sentences with 6+ words
Level E Books
- Have 2-8 lines of text per page
- Have more complex stories
- Have fewer repeating patterns
- May have sentences that carry over more than one line
- May have more pages than previous levels
Level F Books
- Are similar to level E
- Sentences may have 10+ words
- May have a slightly smaller font
- Stories start to have a clear beginning, middle, and end
Level G Books
- Are similar to level F
- Have 1, 2, and 3-syllable words
- Have more challenging vocabulary and ideas
Level H Books
- Include decodable words of 2 or more syllables
- May have a smaller font
- Have slightly more challenging ideas and vocabulary
- Are more literary and less repetitive
Level I Books
- Are similar to level H
- Include complex and compound sentences
- Have more complex stories with varied themes
Level J Books
- Have 3-12 lines of text per page
- May have short chapters
- Include words with complex spelling patterns
- May have very few illustrations
Level K Books
- Are similar to level J, but are often longer
- Still have a reader-friendly layout
Level L Books
- Have 5-24 lines of print per page
- Have a more challenging layout
- May have minimal or no illustrations
- May be 60-100 page long chapter books
- Are often simple chapter books with short chapters
- Include 1, 2, 3, and 4-syllable words
Level M Books
- Include longer, more complex stories
- Have elaborate plots and multiple characters
- May have no illustrations
Level N Books
- Similar to level M, but slightly more challenging
Level O Books
- Similar to level N, but slightly more challenging
Level P Books
- Similar to Level O
- Slightly more complex themes
- Greater use of figurative language
And there you have it! An overview of the guided reading levels from A-P.
Check out our whole guided reading series:
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