TCHERS' VOICE / Common Core

Video Playlist: Six Videos to Incorporate Complex Texts

This video playlist is designed to help you include more complex texts into your lessons. Learn more about where these texts fit in the Common Core State Standards, and find strategies that will help you incorporate complex texts into your lessons.


1. This is a broad overview that includes where complex texts fit into the Common Core State Standards, and provides a three-part model for how to measure the texts and choose appropriate readings.

The way we layer text impacts complexity


2. Teaching complex texts can be challenging, particularly in classes where students vary in their linguistic and reading comprehension abilities. Ms. Langlois engages all of her students by having them discuss readings of varying difficulty in small groups, and then reporting back to a home group. This is a way for everyone in the class to absorb the material.


3. See how Ms. Park-Friend scaffolds her lesson so students can explore readings without becoming overwhelmed. She accomplishes this by discussing the context of the piece they are studying, and posing questions that help focus understanding.


4. In Breaking Down Complex Literature, Ms. Mortlock facilitates students' understanding of classic literature by role playing key characters and having students rephrase portions of the text in modern language.


5. Ms. Brewer lets her class guide text analysis during Text Talk Time. She cultivates active listening by encouraging students to use hand signals when they want to add on to a classmate's thoughts, or introduce a new topic. During Text Talk Time, students are given questions to consider, which they write about later.

students talking about text

6. Ms. Goodman also uses student input to help guide class discussion. Students formulate questions that the class will explore. They also delve into symbolism to help deepen their understanding of the text.

text analysis guide

In the comments section below, please share with us any strategies or resources you have used when working with complex texts.

Elizabeth Weiland is Teaching Channel’s Advertising and Licensing Account Manager. Follow her on Twitter, @ElizabetWeiland.

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