I’ve recently come across two sites that provide teachers with access to texts across a variety of genres, content areas, and reading levels. There are too many good things to share about each of them to fit it all in one post, so I’ll share one now and you’ll have to stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!
Books That Grow is a continually-growing library of texts featuring a wide variety of genres across multiple content areas. The texts include famous works of literature, primary source documents, nonfiction, poetry, and more. Click here and scroll down to see the whole list or use the search bar at the top of that page to look for texts on a particular topic or to search for a certain title or author. But that’s not all…
Each text in Books That Grow is available in anywhere from 3-5 different reading levels. The original texts offer complex sentence structure and sophisticated vocabulary, but at the click of a button teachers or students can adjust the reading level to make the text more accessible. Sentences and vocabulary are simpler and main ideas and details become more prominent. The site also offers readers the ability to highlight and make notes in the text as well as to have a word defined.
Teachers can sign up for a free account and create classes. When you create your class, you’ll get a code you can give to students so they can create their own accounts and join your class. At the moment, students need to have an email address to create an account. This isn’t a problem for our secondary students, but it is for elementary. I’ve contacted their support person, who has been amazingly helpful. He said they’ll look into the possibility of creating student accounts without email addresses, but in the meantime, teachers could send him their list of students and he would register them without email addresses. How’s that for customer service?
Once students have joined your class you can assign texts. Teachers can set the levels for students or allow students to adjust the levels on their own. Based on the current library, I would say Books That Grow is most helpful for grades 3-12. There are not many texts at levels appropriate for primary readers, although teachers may find titles to meet the needs of individual readers in K-2 who are ready for more complex text. Some of the texts also include Teacher Guides that include connections to standards; before, during, and after reading activities; and lists of challenging vocabulary at each reading level.
There are so many good things to share about Books That Grow! I encourage you to take a few minutes to browse the library. If you find titles you think you could use, create an account and give it a try. If you do, let us know how it goes!