Text complexity is certainly a hot topic in the world of literacy learning and teaching today. I have combined the language from different grade levels in the standard stated below. This basic idea comes into play as early as grade one.
CCSS: Read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, of appropriate text complexity, with scaffolding as needed.
In many cases, text complexity is considered as a quantitative matter – number of words, average length of words and sentences, etc. As I believe I have mentioned before, reading poetry CAN be a matter of stamina – some poems are quite long and others are very short. For the most part, however, the complexity of a poem is more likely to be a matter of qualitative concerns – such as sophistication of vocabulary, multiple meanings, or the use of devices such as similes or metaphors.
As you consider the poems posted this week (mine or the work of others), which ones do you think YOUR students would be likely to understand immediately, by virtue of their existing background knowledge? Which do you think would require scaffolding – or at least some explanation?
I would love to hear from you about this! Please consider going to the contact page at this site and leaving me your email information and a message.