Having the “same” text written for different levels of English comprehension can be a life-saver for a multi-level class of English Language Learners or for a teacher with a mainstream class that includes some students that are facing other challenges. They can be an important tool for differentiation.
But where do you get these different versions other than creating them yourself?
Here are a few sources, and I hope that readers will suggest more:
Newsela provides several “levels” of the same newspaper articles, along with accompanying online quizzes, that students can read and take. For a small fee, Teachers can create a virtual classroom, assign articles and monitor student progress. However, students can read the articles for free without having to pay anything.
News In Levels offers similar resources, but without the ability to track student progress online. The site is free.
For The Teachers has similar leveled articles available for download. It, too, is free.
Text Compactor lets you paste text into it and then automatically shares different versions with fewer words. It seemed to work pretty well when I tried it.
Rewordify is like a super-sophisticated Text Compactor on steroids. You can read my previous post about it: “Rewordify” Is One Of The Most Unique Sites Out There For English Language Learners & Others.
Reader Laurie suggests Embedded Reading, which has these kinds of similar “leveled” texts in English, as well as in other languages.
I learned about CommonLit from the amazing educator Suzie Boss at her recent Edutopia post. It’s a neat site that doesn’t actually provide the “same” text written for different “levels.” What it does do, however, is provide leveled readings – with prompts — on the same theme. It’s pretty neat. (They’ve just added many new features – see “CommonLit” Now Lets Teachers Create Free Virtual Classrooms)
Books That Grow has a library of texts that have each been edited to be made accessible to different reading levels. And it has some other unique features — teachers can create virtual classrooms to assign and/or monitor what students what are reading and students can click on words that are new to them to see definitions and hear how they are pronounced. They are also planning on adding comprehension questions. The texts can be read on any device.
Everything is free for now, though they plan on starting to charge for some “premium” features in the 2015/16 school year.
You can register now on their sign-up page, and then they’ll contact you by email in a few hours or the next day with registration information. They won’t have a super-easy system in place until January for registering students in virtual classes, but they’ll do it for you prior to that time.
Thanks to reader Vincy Murgillo for letting me know about the Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune.
It provides daily news stories, with the same one edited several times for different reading levels. The stories also have self-scoring quizzes and provide decent “critical thinking” questions that students can respond to in the comments. On top of that, teachers can create virtual classrooms to monitor it all, as well as moderating student comments.
And it’s all available for free!
Newsela, which is on this list, has now begun to provide Spanish translations of some articles, including providing them at different reading levels. Here is their blog post announcing the feature, and here’s a link to their Spanish-language text sets.
Kids Discover has several levels for social studies instruction – for a price that does not seem to be unreasonable.
Resources For Teachers has a number of the same articles written for different reading levels.
Scholastic has a small number of audio-supported same text at different levels (they also have a few more here). In addition, their Storyworks program has many more, though it costs about $8 per student to use.
News-O-Matic provides the same news articles at various literacy levels – for a price. And you have to contact it to get a quote, and I’m always suspicious of sites who won’t tell you publicly what it costs.
Thanks to Christina Cabal’s blog (which is on the The Top Blogs and Resource Sites For Teachers Of English Language Learners list), I’ve learned about a new site called Learn With News. It provides articles about current events, which each one having three versions at different lexile levels. They also provide questions for each article. However, they are not interactive online, so you would need to either print them out or project them. The site also says they will soon be adding audio support for the text.
TextCompactor looks like a version of ReWordify, though it appears to not be as good.
Graded listening is a radio program from the British Council that is provided in three “lexile” levels.
Transforming the Resources You Have into Accessible Formats for All Students is an excellent post by Carmen Nguyen.
I’m adding this list to The Best Resources On Differentiating Instruction.
Brittanica Kids has all of its articles written in three different levels: Kids, Students, Scholars. There is a cost involved, but a lot of their resources are available for free. For example, I found this article on The Compromise of 1850 that I’ll be using in my ELL U.S. History class. They also have a small collection of free “read aloud” books for new readers. I’m not sure what the restrictions are about what’s free and what’s for subscribers only.