Benchmark Assessment

Now educators have a more accurate assessment for leveling their students for Guided Reading lessons. Our Engage Literacy Benchmark Assessment kit is designed to give teachers support and guidance while they match students to appropriate text for instruction.

Our kit features:

  • Authentic text for assessing students' guided reading level
  • Fiction and Nonfiction text
  • Engaging, authentically written text
  • Instructional support for teachers makes this an easy to implement classroom tool
  • Easily manageable and flexible — can be used with any literacy program where students' Guided Reading Levels are needed

Kit Components:

  • 40 authentically written books levels A-K (Magenta to Purple Engage Literacy Levels)
  • 20 authentically written text passages for levels L-P (Gold- Sapphire Engage Literacy Levels)
  • Levels A and B have 1 NF and 1 F book
  • Levels C-P have 2 NF and 2 F books or cards per level
  • Teacher Materials
  • 1 Reading Assessment Sheet per title
  • Oral Running Record
  • Fluency Rubric
  • Comprehension Rubric- provides Literal, Inferential and Applied questions
  • Teacher’s Resource Guide
  • Overview of assessment
  • Instruction for giving an ORR
  • Instruction for scoring an ORR
  • Instruction for using the kit to provide a level
  • Reading behaviors overview for instructional support


The provision of both fiction and nonfiction texts at each level allows the teacher to assess across various genres. Fluency, accuracy, and comprehension may differ when a student is reading a fiction text compared to an informational text. A number of factors, such as prior knowledge, vocabulary development, and early learning experiences may affect the student’s reading ability.

Careful consideration has been given to ensure that developmentally appropriate concepts form the basis of each text. For example, texts at lower levels explore concepts familiar to students at this reading age (family, school, pets). Texts at a higher level explore broader concepts, which relate to the student and the wider world (scientific, historical, cultural).

The same graded vocabulary list of high-frequency words, which is used in the Engage Literacy texts, is incorporated into the benchmark texts. An introduction ratio of 1 new word to every 20 running words is used. Students, therefore, build up a bank of high-frequency words, providing them with a smoother transition as they are introduced to higher-level texts. High-frequency words introduced at one level are frequently consolidated in subsequently higher-level texts to ensure that the students master these words. This enables greater potential for reading success and enhances fluency.

Careful consideration has also been given to the use of high-interest words in the text. High-interest words are often supported by detailed illustrations, photographs, and/or diagrams. High-interest words have been chosen with an understanding of the developmental sequence in which the letter/sound relationship is acquired by the student: “consonant, vowel, consonant” (cat) moving toward “consonant, consonant, vowel, vowel, consonant, consonant” (clouds).

The sentence structures used in each text reflect the developmental level of the student. Sentence construction is short and simple in the lower levels and develops in complexity as students move through the levels. For example, simple repetitive sentences are used in the lower levels, moving to more complex sentence structures, such as those using clauses and conjunctions.

A range of punctuation and text features are used throughout the texts to enhance meaning (for example, capital letters, periods, commas, question marks, quotation marks, hyphens, exclamation points, font emphasis, labels, diagrams, and headings). Punctuation and features are introduced on a needs basis to support a particular text.

Sample cover images for Engage Literacy Emergent Levels A-D


Levels A-D
12 Assessment Books
6 Nonfiction and 6 Fiction

Sample cover images for Engage Literacy Early Levels E-I


Levels E-I
20 Assessment Books
10 Nonfiction and 10 Fiction

Sample cover images for Engage Literacy Early Fluent Levels J-M

Early Fluent

Levels J-M
28 Assessment Passages
8 Books and 20 Text Cards
4 Nonfiction and 4 Fiction

Sample cover images for Engage Literacy Fluent Levels N-P


Levels N-P
12 Text Cards
6 Nonfiction and 6 Fiction

Benchmark Assessment Overview Video