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Reading outside of your Lexile range

"If a book is outside her Lexile range, should I not let her read it?"

Never take a book out of a child's hand because of its Lexile measure. A Lexile measure can help you make informed choices about books and reading experiences.

A young person's Lexile range spans from 100L below to 50L above his or her Lexile measure. But a reader doesn't always have to stay in this range. Here is what you need to consider when using higher- or lower-level books.

Reading books above your Lexile range

  • Don't sacrifice content for readability's sake. Instead, use Lexile measures to gauge the comprehension gap, and bridge that gap with support, such as discussion or looking up words together in the dictionary.
  • Higher-level books provide a great opportunity for reading growth. If a young person is highly motivated to read a particular book, he or she will attempt to read that book regardless of its difficulty level. Books above a reader's level can help to stimulate growth when its topic is of extreme interest to the reader.
  • Build an individualized reading or enrichment plan with your advanced and enthusiastic readers using Lexile measures. You can connect more easily with higher-level resources in a reader's areas of interest.
  • Lexile measures can help parents know that their child might need help through a hard but interesting or required book.
  • Read more about helping advanced readers.

Reading books below your Lexile range

  • Struggling and reluctant readers can use Lexile measures to find easier books to practice with on topics they're interested in or required to read about. Homework help might be as simple as finding the right level of reading material. If a required book or text is too hard, Lexile measures can help you find other books or texts on the same subject at a lower Lexile level.
  • Combine Lexile range and developmental level to find easier books that are still age-appropriate.
  • Connect struggling readers with books with the HL Lexile code (high-interest/low-readability).
  • When factors make a particular reading situation more challenging, threatening or unfamiliar, lower-level text can be a safety net for a child.
  • Read more about helping struggling and reluctant readers.