The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts for Grades 3-5 emphasize the need to provide all students with consistent opportunities to confront and comprehend grade-level complex text—through individual reading, through read-alouds, or as a group reading activity. Although this may require extra scaffolding for some students, all students should have an opportunity to engage with complex text as a member of a class.

Characteristics of high-quality reading materials for Grades 3-5:

  • appropriately complex texts
  • contain more sophisticated academic vocabulary
  • lend themselves to more complex tasks
  • able to support rich dialogue
  • well-written and, as appropriate, richly illustrated
  • appeal to students’ interests (“texts of their choice”)
  • wide range of materials on a variety of topics and genres
  • vary in length and density
  • at students’ own reading levels as well as complexity levels that will challenge and motivate students

National Geographic's many award-winning nonfiction materials—from children's books to classroom magazines to interactive digital products—provide upper elementary students with opportunities to practice the foundational reading skills required to achieve fluency and comprehension.