Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Mimi Rosenberg


As students reach middle school, they are expected to read on grade level and to have mastered the complex process of reading. In fact, many students are still mastering the skills necessary for fluent reading of grade level material. The struggling readers need to read instructional level material and receive instruction in decoding, fluency and comprehension. Indeed many middle school students would benefit from reading instruction, as the reading demands in middle school are very different than those faced in elementary school. Middle school reading draws much of its material from expository texts, while elementary school programs typically use narrative texts as their main source of reading material. Students therefore need instruction on text format, text structure, vocabulary, note taking and summarizing.

In this independent study, I first examine the developmental nature of middle school students and then I look specifically at the needs of struggling readers. Through a review of the literature, I examine some of the different attempts by middle schools to support low achieving readers. Then based on the George and Stix (2000) article "Using multilevel young adult literature in middle school American Studies," I create a reading program that, uses multilevel text sets to meet the needs of all of the readers in an 11's classroom at the Bank Street School for Children. The premise of the program is that through multilevel text sets, each student will be able to read instructional level or independent material while still participating in the class curriculum. The use of multilevel text sets allows teachers provide reading instruction and to create developmentally appropriate and responsive classroom structures. I discuss the planning and implementation of the program and I reflect on its strengths and weaknesses.