How to Use the Lexile Map, Part II

We recently released a revised Lexile® Map. To find out how the map’s content and design changed, check out our earlier blog post. Now let’s delve into how the map works and explore how you can use the map in the classroom and at home!

How the map works

Lexile reader and text measures can be used together to forecast how well a reader will likely comprehend a text at a specific Lexile measure. The map helps readers better understand what a Lexile text measure means by showing examples of books that have different Lexile measures. If a reader has a Lexile reader measure, the map can also be used to match readers to books at an appropriate complexity level.

A Lexile reader measure is obtained by having the reader take a reading assessment. Numerous tests report Lexile reader measures including many state end of-year assessments, national norm-referenced assessments, and reading program assessments. A Lexile text measure is obtained by analyzing the text’s semantic and syntactic characteristics and assigning it a Lexile measure. A Lexile reader measure places students on the same Lexile scale as the texts. This scale ranges from below 200L for beginning readers and text to above 1600L for advanced readers and text. The Lexile Map provides examples of popular books and sample texts at various points on the Lexile scale. The examples on the map help to explain text complexity and help readers identify books of various levels of text complexity.

When readers are matched with text in their Lexile range (100L below to 50L above their Lexile reader measures), they are likely to comprehend about 75 percent of the text when reading independently. This “targeted reading” rate is the point at which a reader will comprehend enough to understand the text but will also face some reading challenge. The result is growth in reading ability and a rewarding reading experience.

How to use it

In the Classroom:

  • Display the map in your classroom to help students understand how books differ in text complexity. Find books that are on the map and discuss the characteristics of the text. Find books that are not on the map and ask students were the books might be placed on the map (and then reveal their Lexile measures and where they are located on the map).
  • Have students read the benchmark sample text and order them from least complex to most complex.
  • Use the 8 ½ x 11 version of the map as an instructional tool by having a student read the benchmark to estimate the student’s Lexile measure.
  • Discuss with each student where on the map (what Lexile range) the student should strive to be by the end of the year.

At Home:

  • Locate books that are on the map and discuss how the books differ in terms of text complexity.
  • Have you child read benchmarks to estimate their reading ability.
  • Chart your child’s growth on the map. Record the date and placement on the map to see the progress your child makes throughout the school year. Celebrate his or her success by buying a new book!

How do you use the map in your classroom and home? We’d love to hear from you! Please share ideas for using the map via our Facebook page.

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