Reading A-Z Teaches 21st Century Skills

Reading A-Z is one of the most popular products offered by Learning A-Z because its leveled resources teach not only foundational reading skills—like decoding, phonics, and fluency—but also higher-level thinking skills that are essential for success in the classroom and beyond.

Collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking are 21st century skills that all students can practice with Reading A-Z. These resources scaffold student understandings of complex ideas and themes while giving them opportunities to explore high-interest topics at a grade-appropriate level.


Project-Based Learning Packs encourage students to work together to create their own knowledge about a topic. Students read a variety of texts centered on a Driving Question, discuss possible answers to the question, and finally plan a project that presents their findings to the class. When students work together to determine group roles and develop a timeline for the project, they experience how great collaboration skills can lead to new discoveries.

Critical Thinking

Close Reading Packs challenge students to analyze multiple texts and find connections to make meaning. Close Reading Packs center around a Key Question and consist of 4 passages that students read and discuss together, and a Connecting Passage that students analyze to understand how it bridges the main ideas of the other passages. Students practice critical thinking skills as they interpret text evidence and make connections to new information.

Close Read Passages require students to deepen their comprehension as they analyze, evaluate, and think critically about a given text. The Close Read Passages are reinforced by questions that promote thoughtful discussions and require the student to read the text multiple times. Each passage is thematically linked with a leveled book, giving students an opportunity to make connections between multiple texts. We have close read passages designed for reading levels that span Grades 2 - 6.


Students practice speaking and listening skills while engaging with texts in Literature Circles and Reader’s Theater Scripts. Literature Circles structure book discussions that tap into students’ prior knowledge, engage their listening skills, and challenge them to answer text-based questions. Reader’s Theater Scripts are adapted from leveled books and allow students to practice fluency and public speaking skills. While students watch and listen to their classmates perform, they practice communication skills by interpreting nonverbal cues.


Wordless Books and Poetry Writing Lessons provide students with opportunities to get creative with language. On the Leveled Books landing page, use the “With Wordless” category filter to access books that come with a Wordless Version PDF. Print the PDFs and let students create their own texts to accompany illustrations in the Wordless Books. Poetry Writing Lessons support the development of good writing with examples of different poetry types and structured guidance with how students can express themselves through writing their own poems.

Ready to try these resources in your classroom? Get a free Reading A-Z trial today!

Start Trial

A Cambium Learning Group Brand

A Cambium Learning® Group Brand