Let's measure your child's lexile level and what you are going to do next.
Dear Parents, I want to be clear about this test. It is only a guideline, a logical, common sense, draw-your-own-conclusions guide to help you better understand your child's Lexile level at the moment you give this exam. It is a starting point. If you feel the need for pinpoint accuracy against standard measurements, go to a testing center in your local city.
The short paragraph and story below measures 660 Lexile level, which is based on its sentence length and frequency of the words in the story. These are standard indicators for how difficult or easy a reading passage is. It is about where an average third grader or eight year old would be when she is learning how to read and beginning her comprehension.
I have only created one test like this as a starting point for you. If your eight-year-old child reads the story smoothly with only one or two mispronunciations, and answers five of the seven questions accurately, I would say she is progressing normally. To insure her continued success, select a book between the 600-700 Lexile level and with a study guide, begin reading by following the guidelines listed above.
If your child read the passage very quickly and it did not challenge her, simply choose a book with a higher Lexile level.
Choose a page or two for her to read, create some questions that asks about the character, the main idea, a couple of details, setting, and drawing some type of conclusion about the story or the characters.
Have your child read the passage, ask the questions, and evaluate the results. If the passage again was very easy, simply select a higher Lexile level until your child has some difficulty.
If your child had difficulty with a few words (two-second rule) and missed about three of the questions or was unsure about her answers, then, choose a book with a Lexile level between the two levels. In fact, if you feel your child needs to review some of the many phonics rules, click here to review them now.
This is not rocket science.
Now, as they say in Hollywood, without further ado, let's get started.
To take this test, I recommend that you cut and paste the story onto a document and print two copies. Use at least 14 point type with a common font like Arial.
While your child is reading the story, sit behind her -so she's not distracted by you- and
This story called The Storyteller comes from the McGuffey Readers, 2nd eclectic reader. All the McGuffey readers are free of copyright protection and available at Project Gutenberg. This story is about 420 words and should take about five minutes to read. It is written at the 660 Lexile level.
Peter Pindar was a great storyteller.
One day, as he was going by the school, the children gathered around him. They said, "Please tell us a story we have never heard." Ned said, "'Tell us something about boys and dogs."
"Well," said Peter, "I love to please good children, and, as you all appear civil, I will tell you a new story; and it shall be about a boy and some dogs, as Ned asks.
"But before we begin, let us sit down in a cool, shady place. And now, John, you must be as still as a little mouse. Mary, you must not let Towser bark or make a noise.
"A long way from this place, there is a land where it is very cold, and much snow falls."The hills are very high there, and traveler's are often lost among them.
There are men there who keep large dogs. These are taught to hunt for people lost in the snow."The dogs have so fine a scent, that they can find persons by that alone.
"Sometimes it is so dark, that they can not see anything.
Those who are lost often lie hid in the snowdrift.”
"One cold, bleak night, the snow fell fast, and the wind blew loud and shrill.It was quite dark. Not a star was to be seen in the sky.
"These good men sent out a dog, to hunt for those who might want help. In an hour or two, the dog was heard coming back.
"On looking out, they saw him with a boy on his back. The poor child was stiff with cold. He could but just hold on to the dog's back.
"He had lain for a long time in the snow, and was too weak to walk.
"He felt something pull him by the coat, and heard the bark of a dog. He put out his hand, and felt the dog. The dog gave him another pull.
"This gave the poor boy some hope, and he took hold of the dog. He drew himself out of the snow, but he could not stand or walk. "He got on the dog's back, and put his arms round the dog's neck, and held on.
He felt sure that the dog did not mean to do him any harm.
"Thus he rode all the way to the good men's house. "They took care of him, till the snow was gone. Then they sent him to his home."
The answers to this Lexile level test are below. Your child should not see the questions prior to the test. You may print them separately.
Answer these questions about the passage:
1. What is the story about?
2. What instructions did the storyteller give the children?
3. Why do men train dogs in this faraway place?
4. Why did the dog help the boy?
5. How do the dogs find people who are lost?
6.What happened after the dog found the boy?
7. Why did the boy decide to trust the dog?
8. List two of the weather conditions in which the boy was found.
1. This story is about a trained dog who helps find people lost in the snow. (It is a story within a story, which is the storyteller telling a story about a dog who helps save a boy.)
2. The storyteller asked the boy to sit still and the girl to keep her dog quiet.
3. These men train large dogs to help save people who often get lost in the mountains during snowstorms.
4. This is what the dog is trained to do.
5. The dogs have a strong sense of smell and can find people by this sense alone.
6. The dog tugged at the boy's clothing to get him to hang onto it, so the dog could rescue him.
7. Because the dog pulled at his coat and barked at him, he felt he could trust the dog.
8. It was snowing fast. There were no stars out. It was very windy.
Parents, in your opinion do you feel that your child understood this passage well?
1. Was it read in about five minutes?
2. Were there fewer than five words mispronounced?
3. Were at least five questions answered confidently, correctly, and quickly?
Once you’ve determined your child’s Lexile level, choose among the recommended books for that level. A child's reading comprehension can only improve if the book is close to her present reading level or a bit above.
Next, download a study guide to go with the book and purchase a small notebook to go with the book. Here, she can keep her notes, questions, and essays about the book in one location.