Table of Contents

Unit 2: Dimensions of Text Complexity

2.1 Understanding the Dimensions of Text Complexity

This unit will assist you in understanding CCR Anchor
Reading Standard 10: Read and comprehend complex literary
and informational texts independently and proficiently.


Although students need opportunities to improve their reading abilities through challenging grade level texts, the CCSS for ELA/Literacy also encourage the use of text that is at the developmental level of the student. Both of these experiences are important for students to develop a love for reading in general as well as competency with complex text.

Time to Read

The CCSS for ELA/Literacy defines a three-part model for determining how easy or how difficult a particular text is to read as well as grade-by-grade specifications for increasing text complexity in successive years of schooling. While a variety of factors influence text complexity, the CCSS for ELA/Literacy emphasize three components of text complexity as can be seen in the icon below:

Three components of text complexity

Time to View

To better understand this concept, view the short video “Introduction to Text Complexity.”

Download Transcript

To review the details of the video, turn to page 4 of Appendix A of the CCSS for ELA/Literacy: A Three-Part Model for Measuring Text Complexity.

As you read, highlight anything that you currently do and underline anything which you think you should be doing when planning instruction.

Time to Reflect

Describe why it is important to use all three dimensions of complexity before choosing a text.



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