Welcome to Part 3 of my free text series!
This final set of text resources is a mixed collection, including some low-level literacy sites, some GED/diploma/advanced ESL-appropriate sites, and a neat website that parents can use with their children.
All of the following text sources are free, though some require a quick registration.
1. Marshall’s Reading Skills for Today Adults - http://resources.marshalladulteducation.org/reading_skills_home.htm
This site includes 16 levels of adult-oriented text that begin at a .7 GLE and end at 8.0 GLE. The materials correspond to CASAS 200 – 235. Each text selection has audio in three speeds with accompanying comprehension questions and writing prompts. Text and exercises are available in PDF format for printing. The focus of these reading selections are on topics such as civics, employment, housing, health, school, money, and government. Beginning this summer, an additional CCRS-aligned supplement will begin development, including new vocabulary, language, speaking & listening and multiple-choice exercises.
2. Unite for Literacy - http://www.uniteforliteracy.com
Parents can use this cool site with their children. The site includes online, original non-fiction Children’s picture books on clear, familiar subjects ranging from books that contain one word per page to a few sentences per page. Each picture book includes audio support in English as well as many other languages (with expressive, native speakers), such as Somali, Spanish, Karen, Farsi, Russian, Arabic and Vietnamese. The site also includes advice for parents on how to read and use these books with their children.
3. News in Levels - https://www.newsinlevels.com
This site has print and audio in three levels. For reference, Level 1 has an average readability level of 1st-2nd grade or CCRS mid-level A-Level B. The short articles are updated daily and are organized is subject areas such as funny stories, history, nature, and news. Important English words appear repeatedly in short articles in each level. Each level has 1000 target vocabulary words. Each article also defines additional difficult words for the student. In addition, there are downloadable exercises for Levels 1, 2 and 3. The site’s goal is for students to learn 3000 common English words by the time the student works through all three levels.
4. NY Times Article a Day - https://www.nytimes.com/column/learning-article-of-the-day
This site is definitely for higher-level students including advanced ELLs, GED, and diploma students. Text is non-fiction focusing on current news and topics. Each selection has pre-reading activities—including video—plus post-reading comprehension questions and a culminating prompt for discussion or writing.
5. Kelly Gallagher’s Article a Week - http://www.kellygallagher.org/article-of-the-week
Kelly Gallagher is an ELA teacher, author, and literacy consultant. His goal is to build background knowledge with his own students by requiring them to read a nonfiction text a week. The resulting PDF articles are on this site and include nonfiction text from a variety of news sources. There are general discussion questions included at the end of each article, but you would have to create text-dependent question sets and other activities. Texts target a 7+ GLE, and there are plenty of additional articles to choose from in Gallagher’s archives.
A good text is the basis of a great CCRS ELA lesson and can lead to work with reading, writing, language and speaking & listening standards in numerous activities. Don’t be afraid to spend time working deeply with one text rather than spending just a bit of time with multiple texts. The CCRS math folks say to delve an inch wide and a mile deep, so dig in to these sites and see what you find!