Reflection: Staircase of Complexity Using Nonfiction to Understand Aunt Polly in Chapter 12 - Section 2: Getting Down to Business


When I created this lesson plan, I had no idea that the Lexile score on this particular article was so high.  In preparing it for Better Lesson, I decided I had better run the article through the Lexile Analyzer to make sure the reading level was appropriate.

I knew it would be high, but I was really surprised to see how high it actually was.  Texts with a score of 1170 are for juniors and seniors in high school. However, instead of throwing the article out and starting over, I thought back to Appendix A of the Common Core document.

In my study of that document, my takeaway was that text complexity is intertwined with task complexity.  Since I read the article to my students in this activity and stopped to clarify as our only interaction with the text, I feel that it is still appropriate for seventh grade.  However, it is NOT appropriate to throw an article of this level at seventh graders to figure out on their own.

This experience was a good reminder to stop and check reading levels every so often, so as to not frustrate myself and my kiddos!


  Using Lexiles to Select Texts
  Staircase of Complexity: Using Lexiles to Select Texts
Loading resource...

Using Nonfiction to Understand Aunt Polly in Chapter 12

Unit 9: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Get Exciting!
Lesson 1 of 6

Objective: SWBAT understand the historical context of a novel by reading and comprehending nonfiction text.

Big Idea: What was in that Painkiller?

  Print Lesson
5 teachers like this lesson
  50 minutes
Similar Lessons
Source #1: Analyzing the Author's Organization Cornerstone
7th Grade ELA » What Happened to Emmett Till?: Analyzing Multiple Sources to Discover History
Big Idea: In which we learn about history to understand an author's motivation for writing literature.
Flagstaff, AZ
Environment: Rural
Taylor Tasha DeVries
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload