Learn About Leveled Reading

Help your kids become better readers by matching them to the right books at the right time through leveled reading.



Learn About Leveled Reading

Leveled reading uses various assessment tools to determine how well your child reads, and then matches kids to books that are challenging enough for them to make progress. Books are categorized into levels of difficulty, which is how a perfect match, based on ability, can be made. 

There are several leveled reading systems utilized in schools across the country. Three of the most common leveled reading methods include Guided Reading Level (GRL), Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) and Lexile Measures.

Guided Reading Level (GRL)

At the beginning of the school year, your child will sit one-on-one with their teacher and read from a benchmark book (one considered standard for the grade). Kids may also be asked to answer questions about the text or retell the story. Their teacher may use a Reading Record to calculate any oral reading mistakes and to help determine a suitable guided reading level and books for your child. Under GRL, books run from A to Z, with A being easiest.

Throughout the year, your child's teacher will gradually move your child step by step into more difficult text, providing guided instruction along the way. At home, you can support the reading in the classroom by providing just-right books at the appropriate level for your child to read independently.

For more quick tips and book recommendations, sign up for our Scholastic Parents newsletter!

You'll also get 10% off your first order at the Scholastic Store Online.

Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)

Similar to GRL, at the beginning of the school year your child will read a benchmark book to the teacher and then retell the story. The teacher then scores your child on a range of skills, such as accuracy of reading, comprehension, and fluency. 

This system starts with level A, for the easiest books, and then switches to numeric levels, running from 1 to 80.

Lexile® Measures

Your child may receive a Lexile measure, a school-administered Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) assessment, specifically designed to generate a Lexile measure of reading ability by taking a standardized leveled reading test that converts the results to a Lexile measure. 

Lexile also evaluates books for difficulty, with levels ranging from 200L to 1700L+ for advanced readers.

How Parents Can Find “Just Right” Books 

Start with a conversation with your child’s teacher, who can share your child’s reading level. Once you know your child’s reading level, look for more information at retailers. At the Scholastic Store, for instance, you can filter searches by reading level. 

Parents can also reach out to their child’s teacher for a list of appropriate books by reading level. However, when reading at home, educators say that children should read a level or two below the one they read at in school, when they are receiving instruction from the teacher.

When it comes to building good readers, the single best thing you can do is read to your child — every single day — and expose her to the language of books. Have her read to you. If she makes a mistake, simply tell her the correct word and then let her move on. This increases enjoyment and fluency. To increase comprehension, talk about the story after you’ve read it.

What Level Should My Child Read at Each Grade

There is a range of levels within each grade. Your child’s teacher can address your child's current level and the goals the teacher is working on with your child. To see how levels generally correspond to each grade, review the chart below. With good instruction, your child will steadily become a better reader, even if they are one or two levels behind peers.


For more tips on finding books at the right level for your child, visit our guide on reading levels for kids.

Shop leveled reading books below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store.

Shop the Story

Book Selection Tips
Age 10
Age 9
Age 8
Reading Assessment
Leveled Reading
Guided Reading