Some helpful materials to review.

Complexity, topic, and structure are three major areas of consideration when developing challenging materials for students. Knowing how to incorporate them into your writing is a valuable skill. Use this link as a helpful guide in those three areas, Considerations When Writing Short Passages. A new tab will open in your browser with a PDF copy for you to review and download.

The links below will connect you to sites that support reading in elementary and secondary education. They have great examples of short passages with a variety of topics and complexity levels. A new tab will open in your browser. Save these sites to your “Favorites” folder for further reference. Click and explore.


A user friendly site devoted to short passages well organized by grade, Lexile ranges, and topics. Click on the Libray tab. Easy to follow widgets sort information in a variety of ways. Registration is required for additional features. If you are a teacher or parent, this is a site well worth the free admission. A very useful resource for exploring instructional text.


These are the established experts in defining complexity as it appears on the page (Element 1 of complexity with no consideration for topic). There’s a bread crumb trail in the header that helps navigation (Home>Parents & Students>Understanding Your Child’s Lexile®  Measure >Fact Sheets & FAQs ). Registration is required to access some advanced features.

Read Works®

Only accessible if you are a teacher or student. A lot of schools use ReadWorks because its very well organized with high quality content. If you’re in education or have a child in school, it would be valuable to sign up.

Reading is Fundamental

At the site’s home page, click on >Literacy Central (upper right hand corner). Use the drop down menu under >Resources to find a link to >reading passages. Materials are open source downloadable PDF files. Very well organized by complexity, grade, and standard. Registration not required.

Smithsonian Teen Tribune

The home page gives you non-fiction informational text choices at primary and secondary levels. Similar topics can be selected at different complexity levels. Registration not required.