Guided Reading Levels A to Z
- Simple books with one line of one to six words per page, easy-to-see print, and ample space between words.
- Children can focus on print and gradually increase their control over words.
- Most of the books in Level A focus on topics familiar to children.
- Books focus on a simple story line or single idea, with direct correspondence between text and pictures.
- One or two lines of print per page, with a variety of punctuation.
- Many books at this level feature repeating patterns in the text.
- Books explore familiar topics in a variety of ways, to offer new viewpoints to the reader.
- Simple sentences may have introductory clauses set off by punctuation.
- Text may be patterned but is not as predictable as in Levels A and B.
- Books cover familiar topics but introduce new, more abstract ideas.
- Illustrations support the text but more attention to print is required.
- Text contains more compound and multisyllabic words and a full range of punctuation.
- Informational books and stories present more complex ideas.
- Books are longer than in previous levels, with more pages or more lines of text on each page.
- Sentences carry over several pages, with more complex punctuation.
- Concepts presented in books at this level are more distant from familiar topics.
- Larger variety of frequently used words and many more new words.
- Text reflects patterns of written, rather than oral, language.
- In books at this level, the language changes on each page, rather than repeating in patterns.
- Books offer challenges in ideas and vocabulary, with some introduction to technical language.
- Variety of print styles and text layout require readers’ close attention and flexibility.
- Books are similar in difficulty to Level G, but the texts vary more widely in size of print, length of sentences, and type of language.
- Texts are less repetitious in events and language structures, with expanded vocabulary.
- Longer and more complex stories than in Levels G and H, with more highly elaborated information.
- Multisyllabic words arranged in longer sentences and paragraphs require complex word solving.
- Illustrations enhance meaning but provide less support for understanding the meaning of the text.
- Beginning chapter books appear for the first time at this level, requiring readers to recall over more than one sitting.
- Fewer illustrations with whole pages of text in some books.
- This level includes chapter books and short informational books with difficult concepts.
- Readers learn about concepts and events outside their own experiences.
- Readers need to use a variety of strategies to figure out different writing styles.
- Books at this level are much longer and more complex. Non-fiction books include biographies.
- Longer texts include many multisyllabic words and expand readers’ vocabularies.
- Some books have abstract or symbolic themes.
- Selections include more complex language, and require the reader to make interpretations.
- Most books at this level have greatly expanded vocabulary.
- Many books at this level have smaller print with narrower word spacing.
- Vocabulary continues to expand and go beyond readers’ own experiences.
- Variety of texts offers readers a chance to interpret information and speculate on alternate meanings.
- Longer books at this level present varied vocabulary that will require readers to interpret the meaning of the text.
- Texts have more sophisticated subjects and more complex sentence structure.
- Informational texts at this level include history and biographies, enabling readers to learn how to gain information from a variety of structures.
- Concepts may include issues of early adolescence.
- Selections contain themes to foster group discussion.
- Relationship of illustrations to text also offers opportunities for exploration and discussion.
- Texts contain difficult words, some from languages other than English.
- Books in this level contain sophisticated vocabulary to challenge readers.
- Some of the longer chapter books require sustained reading effort over several sittings.
- Books represent a range of times in history.
- Selections challenge readers to make connections with previous reading and with historical events.
- Words present many shades of meaning that require readers’ interpretation.
- This level includes chapter books in a variety of genres.
- At this level, readers encounter a variety of fiction and nonfiction text structures.
- Expanded vocabulary requires readers to consider both literal and connotative meaning.
- Books cover a breadth of topics and present specific, technical information.
- Illustrations require interpretation and connection to text.
- Text requires readers to employ a wide range of reading strategies.
- Texts present complex issues and use technical language.
- Topics are distant from students’ experience in terms of time and geographic area, and may include realistic historical information and more difficult themes.
- Books present complex information requiring readers to employ a wide range of content knowledge and understand the basic organizational structures of nonfiction.
- Topics explore the human condition and social issues.
- Texts vary in length; print is generally in a small font.
- Covers increasingly mature themes, and requires extensive prior knowledge.
- Texts are designed to present a significant amount of new information.
- Books feature similar themes to previous levels, with more explicit detail.
- Requires critical-reading skills to evaluate the quality and objectivity of the text.
- A challenge for more widely read students requiring critical reading skills.
- Topics include controversial social and political issues.
- Readers experience complex examples of nonfiction organizational structure.