With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1


The writers of the CCSS collaborated with the Council of Chief State School Officers in hosting a one-hour webinar "The Common Core State Standards Supporting Districts and Teachers with Text Complexity" to share tools and resources to support teachers and districts with understanding and addressing text complexity

  • Prose
  • Poetry
  • Analyze
  • Synthesize
  • Compare and contrast
  • Discussion/dialogue

  • Students in the first grade can read independently read stories and poems that have been specifically written to correlate to their reading level and their word knowledge.
  • Engaging in rich, structured conversations with adults in response to written text at the higher end of the first grade band or higher provides students opportunities to listen to and respond to increasingly complex text.
  • Students who engage in rich, structured conversations in response to written text have opportunities to practice reading thinking skills such as compare and contrast, analyzing characters, visualizing, questioning, and synthesizing what is read.
  • Students in first grade who read stories and poems independently that have been specifically written to correlate to their reading level and word knowledge are provided opportunities to practice decoding and sight word skills, gain reading confidence and build vocabulary.
  • Read-alouds, dialogic reading, and picture walks as well as oral recitations of rhymes provide opportunities to introduce first graders to a variety of authors and writing styles as well as a wide range of additional stories and poems.
  • Students that are able to successfully understand texts (via read alouds or read alongs) at the higher end of their grade level complexity band are prepared to handle the demands of increasingly sophisticated and dense texts as they move into higher grades and into different content subjects.
  • In order to meet this standard, students must have the academic vocabulary necessary to understand text they read or listen to as well as engage in rich conversations about that text. That vocabulary includes the 5 W’s needed to ask and answer questions, select key details, connect illustrations to written (or listened to) word, and so forth

  • How can teachers determine text complexity for students in grade 1? (Refer to the following website for a brief description of three factors used in measuring text complexity. For More detailed information on text complexity and how it is measured, refer to Appendix A of the Common Core Standards.)
  • What resources are available to help teachers choose appropriate stories and poems for first graders? (Refer to the following website for a list of sample texts representative of a wide range of topics and genres. See also Common Core Standards Appendix B for excerpts of these and other texts illustrative of K–5 text complexity, quality, and range.)
  • How can children be supported to read increasingly more complex texts at the grade 1 level?
  • What balance of prose and poetry texts are appropriate for the classroom library?
  • What are the foundational reading skills first graders must master in order to be able to read books at the first grade complexity level?
  • What role does vocabulary play in choosing appropriate stories and poems for first graders to read independently?
  • Why should teachers select stories and poems to read-aloud that are above the independent reading level of a first grader?
  • Why is it important to develop a classroom library that offers texts of various types and at various levels of complexity with an appropriate mix of prose and poetry as well as informational text?

Go to RL.K.10 to see skills mastered prior to this.
Go to RL.2.10 to see the progression of related skills.