Finding texts that are high interest at an appropriate reading level is time consuming and let’s be honest, we don’t have a lot of time! I started pulling together a list of the resources I have been using to find texts. Then I began compiling a list of paired texts, which I’ll share with you shortly. Hope this saves someone out there some time!
Scholastic Magazines Digital Resources
We all love Scholastic Magazines but they can be expensive! The one I love most is $8.49 per student, which would be possible if there weren’t 25-32 kids in each class. Some teachers ask administration for money, others ask families to pitch in, and others dig into their own pockets to order school magazines. What most teachers don’t realize is that many of Scholastic Magazines’ Digital Resources are free…at least for the time being. Each magazine has its own website and most either say, “Subscribers Only” or “No login needed for a limited time.” I’ve been using these for over a year and they are FREE! Just click where it says either “Click here for digital resources,” “Subscribers click here,” or “Click for your digital issue.” The best part is, it’s not just Scholastic News. There are a ton of magazines that are appropriate and engaging for a diverse range of readers. Many resources are SMARTBoard ready and there are often PDFs available for download.
Checkout Scholastic Magazines and find the one that is right for your students. Find my personal favorites below.
- Action (Grades 6-12 – Intervention)
- Scope (Grades 6-8)
- Storyworks (Grades 3-6)
- ART (Grades 7-12 Fine Art)
- The NYTimes UpFront (Grades 9-12)
- Choices (Grades 7-12 – Social Skills/Life Choices)
I would also like to point out that Action magazine offers a growing library of differentiated articles. Yes you heard me! That means each article comes at three lexile levels, making it possible for you to incorporate differentiation into your classroom with ease. All students can read the same content at their level. The articles are high interest too! Here they are.
ReadWorks is a free site, but you do need to create a login and password. The good thing is that since I signed up, I have not gotten one email from them so it’s not one of those sites where you wish you hadn’t signed up!
There are a ton of resources on ReadWorks but I only use it for the vast collection of non-fiction texts that it offers. If you click Non-Fiction Passages on the blue bar at the top of the page, it will take you to a library of texts. You can search by Grade, Skill/Strategy or Keyword. Every text has the lexile level listed for you.
Once you decide on a text, click it’s title. You can then choose to download a PDF of the passage as well as a PDF of questions designed to match the text. I create my own questions because I don’t feel that the questions always meet my target objective, but the questions are there if you want them. This site makes it easy to differentiate and to set up centers. Just click and print!
I recently stumbled across this article Do Athlete’s Deserve Millions? and I traced it back to its source, Sports Illustrated Kids. That particular article was from the Kid Reporter Blog but if you click on the News and Blogs section, you will find texts that might be helpful. I find it particularly useful when I am trying to peak the interest of a hesitant reader who LOVES sports. I usually just browse the sport categories on the right sidebar and choose a sport my students are interested in and browse.
This is the most recent of my resources. It is free to create an account and you get access to a variety of resources. What I find particularly useful is the text collection. If you click on Reading Fundamentals, you are taken to a page where you choose a grade level. Once you click into your grade level, click “Shared Texts” to download free texts. The texts are organized by grade level and genre. I am still getting to know the site, but it seems like a solid find. If you try it out, leave a comment and share about the quality of the texts!
I also often find myself pulling texts from:
If you have other resources to share, please feel free to add to the list. I’ll publish a list of paired texts soon. Hope this helps someone out there.