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More than a collection of resources on a topic, text sets are curated and sequenced short collections of resources, with a glossary and a few simple accompanying activities to support vocabulary and knowledge-building.

Learn about the structure, use, and pre-teaching considerations of text sets, link to quality K-12 text sets that can be adapted for adult education, and find examples created by Massachusetts practitioners.


Many students struggle to read on-grade-level text, often because they don't have the words or background knowledge needed to access the text. Research has shown that knowing what you're reading about dramatically affects your understanding of the text. That sounds obvious, but put another way: being a good reader will always give you an edge, but topic knowledge can also give you an edge. Conversely, the varied levels of knowledge and experience that students bring to a topic of study will affect their learning.

One way to give all students equal access to a topic that you will be studying in class is through text sets.

According to Achieve the Core,

"Text sets contain the volume of reading necessary to...level the playing field for students and support their growth in the process. In order for the text sets to be effective, students must read/watch the resources in the order presented in the materials. The early texts provide knowledge and vocabulary that scaffold student understanding for the later, more complex texts. When experienced in the right order, texts that would typically cause students to struggle become accessible." (retrieved 8/15/19 from


PD Center: 


SABES English Language Arts Curriculum & Instruction PD Center