By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


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


  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Comprehend
  • Informational
  • History/social studies
  • Science texts
  • Technical texts

  • Students in the second grade can read informational text in the 2nd grade complexity band fluently and confidently –with scaffolding, if needed, at the high end of the range.
  • Students in the second grade can use text coding to help them read informational text within the 2nd grade complexity band and record their thinking. (For example, some symbols may include: “?” for words that couldn’t be decoded or confusing parts of the text, “!” for new information, “*” (asterisk) for interesting parts of the text. These symbols are used to guide meaningful conversations after reading.
  • Students in the second grade can use strategies such as reciprocal teaching to read and respond to text within the 2nd grade complexity band. These students are able, with teacher guidance; begin to independently use strategies such as reciprocal teaching within small groups.
  • Students can read an article or piece of informational text in the 2nd grade complexity band aloud to the teacher or to a reading partner and, then, tell in a few sentences the main idea and supporting details of the piece.
  •  Students in the second grade who read informational text independently practice word recognition skills, gain confidence, and build grade level vocabulary.
  • Students in the second grade who read informational text within the 2nd grade complexity band confidently and fluently can:
    • ask and answer questions about key details in text and identify the main idea of a multi-paragraph selection of text
    • describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
    • use bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, and icons to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently
    • identify the main purpose of the text and tell what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe as well as explain the reasons used by the author support specific points made in the text.
    • explain how images (diagrams, maps, illustrations) contribute to and clarify the text.
    • compare and contrast important points from various texts on the same topic
  • Students that are able to successfully read text at the higher end of their grade level complexity are prepared to handle the demands of increasingly sophisticated and dense texts as they move into higher grades and different content areas.
  • Students in the second grade who read informational text within the 2nd grade complexity band confidently and fluently must have the academic vocabulary necessary to understand text they read as well as engage in rich conversations about that text.
  • Exposure to informational text can make students better readers and writers by improving their vocabulary and comprehension skills, building their background knowledge, and increasing motivation for reading.
  • Increase explicit teaching of comprehension strategies along with lots of opportunities for guided and independent practice.
  • Informational texts enable children to experience both language and content simultaneously. 

  • How can teachers determine text complexity for students in grade 2? (Refer to the following website for a brief description of three factors used in measuring text complexity: http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards/english-language-arts-standards/standard-10-range-quality-and-complexity/measuring-text-complexity-three-factors/ For More detailed information on text complexity and how it is measured, refer to Appendix A of the Common Core Standards http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_A.pdf )
  • How do teachers make informed decisions about choosing appropriate informational texts for students to read at the grade 2 complexity band? What resources are available to help teachers choose appropriate informational texts for second graders? (Refer to this 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.)
  • What foundational reading skills must second grade students have mastered in order to be able to read informational text of increasing complexity?
  • How important is grade level academic vocabulary in choosing informational texts for second graders to read independently?
  • How do teachers insure that all students are exposed to texts that are grade-appropriate for them to read?
  • How can I (and do I) select instructional texts around topics or themes that generate knowledge and allow students to study those topics or themes in depth? (Refer to this information on the K-5 range of texts)
  • Why is it important to develop a classroom library that offers information books in the lexile range of 450-790.

Go to RI.1.10 to see skills mastered prior to this.
Go to RI.3.10 to see the progression of related skills.