Lower Intermediate and Intermediate Readers

Lower Intermediate Readers

After having read picture books  for several months my students  start to read “real books” in the course of year 2. I start mixing in longer books for those learners who feel ready to try them.

There are basically two types of books for this level:

  • simplified readers or staged readers specifically written for ESL students and
  • easy books that have been written for native speakers in grades 2 to 4.

Both work well as long as the students are not asked to answer all the comprehension questions that you often find in the back of the ESL readers. Some of the older ESL readers don’t sound authentic at all and many students prefer to read the stories written for native speakers. They are written in fresh, young language and often contain “cool” expressions that the students  want to remember.

When choosing authentic stories that were written for native speakers of a younger age, I make sure that the topics are still suitable for my students.  Most books that deal with crime  work well at this level.  Other good topics are school, friendship, bullying and all kinds of adventure stories.

The books for native speakers of grades 2-4 are usually written in fairly large print and contain some illustrations. They look like real books but can be read quickly and easily. The highly predictable stories dealing with everyday topics of this age group can be understood by the learners even if they do not understand every word. They unconsciously use their knowledge of the world and unknowingly practice top-down reading strategies.

The following example of a reading log shows some of the books that these learners will typically read.

Elisabeth’s Reading log year 2:

Reading diaries

The students continue to use the reading diaries that they started in year one.  Their entries are getting longer and more advanced. For a few typical examples have a look at this prezi.

For more examples of reading diaries for all ages, go to READING DIARIES.


 Examples of reading projects: activities and tasks

In most reading projects the students are offered 4-5 different books. I try to offer books for different types of readers and different interests and reading levels. Some of these might be easier and shorter than others, so reluctant readers will also find a book that is suitable for them. The students choose a book, read it at home and then work on the book in their book-group. For details and tasks have a look at the following project pages:

Winnie, the Witch Project

For more Winnie stories go to the  Winnie website

For more details about the Winnie project go to the Winnie writing project page.


CYOA: Choose Your Own Adventure Projects

The Nightmare Club

Who was… series

Big Nate project

Short general reading projects that work for all kinds of situations

Reading project 1 A general project that can be used again and again for all kinds of books.

Reading project 2 Another general project, slightly different

Reading circles 3 A short project for general use

Mixed book circles A very short project to compare books. Very useful for book-chats after a round of private reading.

Blank booklets A great idea for all kinds of books and ages








Great books for lower intermediate students


Find my students’ favorite books here.

My favorite books for teachers

These are the  Discussion Prompt Cards mentioned in many of my  projects

For more great books go to Further Reading


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