To:  All teachers 1-8

From:  Betty Lewis, Literacy Coordinator

 

DRAFT

 

ANWSU BENCHMARK TEXTS FOR GRADES 1-8

 

Note:  Please review this list.  These are suggested texts from a variety of sources.

Over this next school year, try the suggested benchmark text to determine if it is an appropriate benchmark.  The definition of a benchmark is:

            “A benchmark text is stable for the level and highly reliable; that is, the passage will be appropriate for the large majority of the studentswho are demonstrating similar behaviors at a certain point in time.  Accuracy is part of the picture.  The foundation of reading at any level or in any genre is being able to process the print with an acceptable level of accuracy.  Accuracy seems to be a contingent factor, meaning that it is necessary but not sufficient for comprehension.  We all know that sometimes students can say the words but not understand what they read; but they certainly can’t understand if they can’t read the words. 

            Establish your benchmarks by selecting four or five typical texts at each level on the gradient. (You might want to include both fiction and nonfiction.)  Select passages that are about 250 words.  (Short stories and short informational texts make effective benchmarks.)  It is important not to cut off the text mid-sentence or at some place that will destroy the meaning, so you will want to be flexible here.  It is the percentage that matters.  Either photocopy the pages, or better, prepare forms that have the passages typed, with space between lines and space in the margins in which to write notes about fluency and indicate any other comments.  Place the books in a sealable plastic bag and the conference protocols in a binder or a set of pocket folders and you are ready to gather a significant amount of information about the student as a reader.”  P. 496 from:

Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6, Fountas and Pinnell, 2001

 

Suggested comprehension questions: 

 

Grade One:  Two levels listed (level 12 mid-year and level 16 end of year)

      Level 12:

      Old Man Moss (Reading Recovery Testing)

      Carrot Seed (Krauss)

      The Napping House by Audrey Wood

      There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer

      Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

      Mighty Spiders by Fay Robinson (nonfiction)

      POA Text level assessment ______________________

      Rigby nonfiction assessment _____________________

      Oral Reading Text passages  

Level 16:

      The Very Busy Spider (Carle)

      There’s a Nightmare in my Closet (Mayer)

      Noisy Nora (Wells)

      POA text level assessment______________________

      Rigby nonfiction assessment____________________

      Oral Reading Text level passages

 

Grade Two:

      Level 24 (C)  for the DRA

      Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

      The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla

      Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron

      The Titanic:  Lost..And Found by Judy Donnelly(nonfiction)

      Pompeii…Buried Alive! By Edith Kunhardt(nonfiction)

      Oral Reading Text Level passages

 

Grade Three:

      Level 38—from DRA texts

      Rigby—level 26 “The Game of Soccer”

      Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

      The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

      How To Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

      Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family by Lensey Namioka

      Superfudge by Judy Blume

      Bunnicula by Deborah and James How

      Five Notable Inventors (Great Black Heroes) by Wade Hudson (nonfiction)

      Oral Reading Text Level passages

 

Grade Four:

      Soup and Me by Robert Peck

      Encyclopedia Brown Solves them All by Donald Sobol

      Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White

      Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

      Magic Schoolbus:  Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole (nonfiction)

Amazing Poisonous Animals (Eyewitness Juniors series) by Alexandra Parsons (nonfiction)

      Oral Reading Text Level Passages

 

Grade Five:

      The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith

      In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord

      The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

      My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

      Muscles:  Our Muscular System by Seymour Simon (nonfiction)

      Oral Reading Text Level Passages

 

Grade Six:

      Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

      Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Paterson

      The Boggart by Susan Cooper

      Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

      Holes by Louis Sachar

      Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

      Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

      Do You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? By Jean Fritz (nonfiction)

      Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman(nonfiction)

      Children of the Dust Bowl by Jerry Stanley (nonfiction)

      Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank(nonfiction)

      Lincoln:  A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (nonfiction)

      Oral Reading Text Level Passages

 

Grade Seven:

      The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

      The Giver by Lois Lowry

      Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen

      A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

      The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

      Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

      Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

      Oral Reading Text Level Passages

 

Grade Eight:

      The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

      The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

      Ironman by Chris Crutcher

      Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples

The Children of Topas:  The Story of a Japanese-American Internment Camp by Michael O. Tunnell and George Chilcoat

      Oral Reading Text Level Passages

 

All Benchmark book suggestions are from: Developmental Continuums:  A Framework for Literacy Instruction and Assessment K-8 by Bonnie Campbell Hill published by:  Christopher Gordon Publishers, Inc. 2001

 

Books Beyond Grade Two (level 20)---Some suggestions

 

The leveling beyond grade two is broader for instructional purposes.  If a child/parent selects a book for independent reading, then it would be wise to drop back a level or more.  See Guiding Readers and Writers,  Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, Heinemann, 2001 (ISBN # 0-325-00310-6) for more suggestions.

 

Genres:

TL

Traditional Literature

F

Fantasy

RF

Realistic Fiction

I

Information book

HF

Historical Fiction

B

Biography

SF

Science Fiction

                                                Genre categories from:  Guiding Readers and Writers

Level L

Title

Author

Genre

Amelia Bedelia (all books)

Peggy Parish

RF

Cam Jansen (all books)

David Adler

RF

The Candy Corn Contest

Patricia Reilly Giff

RF

The Dog that Pitched a No-Hitter

Matt Christopher

RF

Dolphin

Robert A. Morris

I

George and Martha (all books)

James Marshall

F

George Washington

Pebble Books

B

Hungry, Hungry Sharks

Joanna Cole

I

Marvin Redpost (all books)

Louis Sachar

RF

Mary Maroney (all books)

Suzy Kline

RF

Pinky and Rex (all books)

James Howe

RF

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter

TL

 

Level M

Arthur and the Crunch Cereal Contest 

(All Arthur books) 

Marc Brown

F

The Beast in Ms. Rooney’s Room

(Many of the Patricia Reilly Giff books)

Patricia Reilly Giff

RF

The Littles (all books)

John Peterson

F

Molly’s Pilgrim

Barbara Cohen

HF

One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo

Judy Blume

RF

 

Level N

Adam Joshua Capers (all books)

Janice Lee Smith

RF

Amber Brown (all books)

Paula Danziger

RF

The Chalk Box Kid

Clyde Robert Bulla

RF

Coral Reef

Gary W. Davis

I

Elizabeth Blackwell:First Woman Doctor

Rookie Biographies (Children’s Press)

B

Julian, Secret Agent

Ann Cameron

RF

More Stories Julian Tells

Ann Cameron

RF

 Something Queer at the Lemonade Stand

Elizabeth Levy

RF

Walking the Road to Freedom

Jeri Ferris

I

Thomas Jefferson

Rookie Biographie

B

Octopuses and Squids

Wonder World

I

What Makes a Bird a Bird?

May Garelick

I

 

Level O

Aldo Ice Cream

Joanna Hurwitz

RF

All About Sam

Lois Lowry

RF

Allen Jay and the Underground Railroad

Marlene Targ Brill

HF

Baseball’s Best: Five True Stories

Andrew Gutelle

I

Beezus and Ramona

Beverly Cleary

RF

Bats (other books by author)

Kevin J. Holmes

I

Class Clown

Joanna Hurwitz

RF

George’s Marvelous Medicine

Roald Dahl

F

Henry and Beezus

Beverly Cleary

RF

I am Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

B

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thomas B. Allen

B

Meg Mackintosh (series)

Lucinda Landon

RF

A Pony for Keeps (series)

Jeanne Betancourt

RF

Ramona (series)

Beverly Cleary

RF

 

Level P

Amelia Earhart

John Parlin

B

The Canada Geese Quilt

Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

RF

Ellen Tebbits

Beverly Cleary

RF

Encyclopedia Brown (series)

Donald and Rose Sobol

RF

Exploring Fresh Water Habitats

Diane Snowball

I

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Roald Dahl

F

Fire at the Triangle Factory

Level P (continued)

Holly Littlefield

HF

In the Rain Forest

Wildcats

I

Jesse Jackson

Rookie Biographies

B

Stone Fox

John Reynolds Gardine

RF

Susan B. Anthony

Lucile Davis

B

Time Warp Trio (series)

Jon Scieszka

SF

 

Level Q

Anastasia Krupnik

Lois Lowry

RF

Bunnicula

James Howe

F

Dragon Quest (series)

Jackie French Koller

F

Homer Price

Robert McCloskey

RF

Little House in the Big Woods

Laura Ingalls Wilder

HF

Ocean Life

Owen Weldon

I

The Samurai’s Daughter

Robert D. San Souci

TL

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Judy Blume

RF

The Velveteen Rabbit

Margery Williams

F

 

Level R

The American Alligator

Steve Potts

I

Caddie Woodlawn

Carol Ryrie Brink

HF

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl

F

The Castle in the Attic

Elizabeth Winthrop

F

Earthquake!: San Francisco

Kate Wilson

I

Hatchet

Gary Paulsen

RF

Helen Keller

Margaret Davidson

B

Cornerstones of Freedom

Lewis and Clark

I

The Titanic

Cornerstones of Freedom

I

The Whipping Boy

Sid Fleischman

F

 

Level S

The Borrowers

Mary Norton

F

The Cybil War

Betsy Byars

RF

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Katherine Paterson

RF

Jacob Have I Loved

Katherine Paterson

RF

Matilda

Roald Dahl

F

Poppy

Avi

F

Sugaring Time

Kathryn Lasky

I

The Trumpet of the Swan

E.B. White

F

 

Level T

Abel’s Island

William Stieg

F

Baby

Patricia MacLachlan

RF

Blubber

Judy Blume

RF

Harriet the Spy

Louise Fitzhugh

RF

Harry Potter

J.K.Rowling

F

 

Level U

Benjamin Franklin

Deborah Kent 

B

The Boggart    

Susan Cooper 

F

Bridge to Terabithia

Katherine Paterson      

RF

Julie of the Wolves

Jean Craighead George

RF

Lyddie

Katherine Paterson

HF

The Moon

A First Book

I

Rosa Parks:  My Story

Rosa Parks

B

The Secret Garden

Frances H. Burnett

RF

Tuck Everlasting

Natalie Babbitt

F

Tucket’s Ride

Gary Paulsen

HF

 

Level V

Dragonwings

Avi

HF

Holes

Louis Sachar

RF

Incident at Hawk’s Hill

Allen Eckert

HF

Old Yeller

Fred Gipson

RF

Rascal

Sterling North

HF

The Westing Game

Ellen Raskin

RF

A Wrinkle in Time

Madeline L’Engle

F

 

Level W

Dicey’s Song

Cynthia Voigt

RF

I am a Star:  Child of the Holocaust

Inge Auerbacher

I

The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster

F

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Mildred Taylor

HF

Tiger Eyes

Judy Blume

RF

 

Levels X, Y, Z

Call it Courage

Armstrong Sperry

RF

Let the Circle be Unbroken

Mildred D. Taylor

HF

Where the Red Fern Grows

Wilson Rawls

RF

The Yearling

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

RF

Call of the Wild

Jack London

RF

The Diary of Ann Frank

Ann Frank

I

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson

HF

The Watcher

James Howe

RF

 

 Gradient of Text Level for Instructional Purposes

 

For independent reading, it would be important to use these approximate grade levels only as a guide.  They are not meant to be exact grade level texts.  For independent reading, many children may need to select books at a lower level.

 

Levels 1-20---Kindergarten, Grade One and beginning grade two

 

You will note that levels overlap.

 

Levels K-M---early to late grade two

Levels N-P---early to late grade three

Levels Q-T---early to late grade four

Levels S-W---early to late grade five

Levels V-Z---early to late grade six

 

Things to Consider When Matching Transitional Readers to Text

 

Definitions of readers:

 “Emergent readers have not yet learned many strategies for understanding print.  They have minimal decoding skills and often rely on pictures for most of the information they get from books.  Early readers rely less on pictures. They are beginning to recognize high-frequency words automatically as they read, and they can read familiar texts with fluency. Transitional readers understand and can readily use decoding skills to decipher texts.  They have many strengths as readers and a great variety of weaknesses.  In her book On Solid Ground, Sharon Taberski (2000) defines transitional readers as children who:

 

Supportive Features of Text          from:  Beyond Leveled Books, p.21-27

Text Level Translation Chart

 

Approximate Text Level Equivalents

 

 

DRA(VT)

Fountas

Approx.Grade Level

RR Level

Rigby

A

A

K/1

1

1

A

B

K/1

2

2

A

C

1

3+4

3+4

A

D

1

5+6

5+6

A

E

1

7+8

7+8

A

F

1

9+10

9+10

A

G

1

11+12

11+12

A

H

1

13+14

13+14

B

I

LATE 1

15+16

15+16

B

J

EARLY 2

17+18

17+18

B

K

2

19+20

19+20

B

L

2

21+22

 

C

M

LATE 2

24+28

21-22

D

N

Early 3

30

23+24

D

O

3

34

24+25

D

P

LATE 3

38

26

D

Q

EARLY 4

38-44

27

D

R

LATE 4

38-44

28

 

S

EARLY 5

 

29

 

T

5

 

 

 

U

5

 

30

 

V

EARLY 6

 

 

 

W

6

 

 

 

X

6

 

 

 

Y

6

 

 

 

Z

LATE 6