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Quick Summary

Many ELM databases have features for adjusting and selecting article reading levels to meet students' needs.

Picture of student reading

Differentiated instruction means tailoring instruction to meet individual student needs in order to create the best learning experience possible. There are many ways to differentiate instruction, such as offering a variety of learning environments, activities, assessments, and content. Providing reading materials at varying readability levels is one way to differentiate content for students. This can be a challenge, but many of the ELM databases have features to help!

  • Britannica School: Content in Britannica School is available at three reading levels. Britannica Elementary is set at Level 1, Britannica Middle at Level 2, and Britannica High at Level 3 for high school and beyond. Once in an article, however, students can move quickly between these levels by clicking on the purple Reading Level indicators at the top of the page. If elementary school students move to a level with more advanced content, their interface will become more advanced. But because struggling students can be reluctant to move to a lower level where the interface and experience are designed for younger students, middle and high school students stay in their more advanced interfaces, even if they choose Level 1.
  • Gale In Context: Each article in both the Middle School and High School databases is assigned a content level which is correlated to its Lexile score and indicated by a colored dice icon (see below). Students can easily scan the results page and choose articles based on these indicators. Or to filter the results of a search, they can click on the Content Level box on the right side of search results, check the level(s) they would like to include, and click Apply. All displayed results will now be within the selected content levels. To share this filtered search, just click Get Link at the top of the page, copy and paste.
    • Level 1: green (Up to 500L) - Lower elementary
    • Level 2: light blue (501L-850L) - Upper elementary
    • Level 3: dark blue (851L-1100L) - Middle school
    • Level 4: purple (1101L-1300L) - High school
    • Level 5: red (1301L and up) - High school and above
  • Explora Teens: The filter options in this EBSCO database appear on the left side of the search results. Students can click on Lexile Range, select the level(s) they want, and the results page will automatically update. Note that the scores appear from top to bottom based on how many articles in the search fit that range, not in numerical order. For more information on Lexile scores, see the Lexile Framework for Reading website.

If you have any questions about using these content differentiation features, please reach out any time!

Written by

Linda Mork
Reference Outreach & Instruction Librarian
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