By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, 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

  • Stories
  • Poetry
  • Fluency
  • Structured conversations
  • Phonics
  • Purpose for reading
  • Responding to text

  • By the end of second grade students should be able to independently read and comprehend adventures stories, folktales, fables, realistic fiction, and myths at the higher end of the grades 2 text complexity band. These maturing readers can interpret narrative poems, limericks, and free verse within the grade 2 text complexity band – with scaffolding, if needed, at the high end of the range.
  • Students who are guided to understand the purpose for reading a specific text are able to focus their attention appropriately as they read more complex text.
  • Reading and comprehending stories and poems within the grade level complexity band independently provides students opportunities to practice decoding and sight word skills, gain reading confidence and build grade level vocabulary.
  • Engaging in rich, structured conversations with adults in response to read alouds of written text at the higher end of the second grade band or even higher provides students opportunities to listen to and respond to increasingly complex text.
  • Reading and responding to adventures stories, folktales, fables, realistic fiction, and myths provide students with opportunities to practice reading-related thinking skills such as finding similarities and differences, questioning the text and the author, analyzing characters, making inferences, and synthesizing/summarizing what is read.
  • 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. Students who have acquired grade level vocabulary and have mastered, and can employ, basic grade level phonics skills are able to handle more complex text.
  • Students in grades 2-3 are able to tackle books in the lexile range of 450-790 and benefit from classroom libraries with books within that range.
  • Students that are able to successfully read text 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
  • Reading a broad range of high-quality literary texts, both prose and poetry, exposes students to text structures and elements that are applicable to all types of text.
  • Reading from a wide and varied range of stories, poems, and drama builds background knowledge that supports reading in content areas such as social studies, art, science, and mathematics.

  • 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.)
  • How do teachers make informed decisions about choosing appropriate literature, including stories and poems for students to read at the grade 2 complexity band? What resources are available to help teachers choose appropriate literature texts for second 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.)
  • What foundational reading skills must second grade students have mastered in order to be able to fluently and confidently read prose and poetry within the second grade text complexity band?
  • How can children be supported to read increasingly more complex texts at the grade 2 level?
  • What role does vocabulary play in choosing appropriate stories, dramas, and poetry for second graders and in their ability to read those independently?
  • What balance of prose, poetry and drama texts are appropriate for the classroom library?

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