Voices Leveled Library

Voices 3c eLessons

Voices Leveled Library provides theme-related leveled books that can be used for whole-group and small-group reading instruction as well as for independent and family reading.

Voices 3C eLessons provides digital curriculum and assessments for each leveled book that teachers can use to develop customized lessons.

Reading Pedagogy

Our approach to reading instruction has four components: reading aloud, whole group reading, small group reading, and independent reading.

  • Reading aloud: Students learn to comprehend stories and texts while listening to books read aloud.
  • Whole group reading: Students learn to read and comprehend stories and texts by applying comprehension strategies and decoding skills to challenging books in a whole group setting with strong teacher support.
  • Small group reading: Students use these same comprehension and decoding skills to read books at their reading levels in small groups with scaffolded support as needed.
  • Independent reading: Students learn to use these strategies and skill to read independently or with family members.

In each component, we encourage teachers to flexibly use the Voices six step pedagogy: connect: to engage students and  help them establish important purposes for learning; read and discuss: to analyze, discuss and debate what they they are learning; apply: to apply what they have learned in similar contexts; reflect: to reflect on its personal and social meaning; and participate: to transfer/apply what they have learned to other contexts.

The Voices Leveled Library books can be developed and selected to be used for whole group, small group, and independent reading. They can be used independent of the VLW read aloud program as well.

Themes and Central Questions

The Voices Leveled Library provides leveled books organized according to the Voices themes: Identity Awareness, Perspective Taking (Emotional Awareness), Conflict Resolution (Social Problem Solving), Family, Friends, and Community (Achieving Goals), Social Awareness, and Democracy (Democratic Voices). For each grade level, there is a developmentally appropriate Central Question for each theme and a set of leveled books that help students explore that theme. The Voices themes have evolved over the past twenty years. The current themes that are being used to develop the Literacy for Democracy Curriculum are somewhat different from the VLW themes and are in parentheses.

All Text Levels for All Themes

Teachers can select theme-related books which are at or above grade level for teaching selected comprehension or decoding skills to the whole class.

Whole Group Reading

Teachers can select theme-related books which are at or above grade level for teaching selected comprehension or decoding skills to the whole class.

Small Group Reading

In small reading groups, teachers can work with students who are at their same reading level or who have similar reading needs or abilities and thus provide more personalized instruction.

Close Reading and Deep Comprehension

Students practice close listening with read alouds and close reading with whole class texts and leveled texts. In each situation, the Voices curriculum provides support for applying deep comprehension skills to these texts.

Writing from Sources and Critical Writing

In small group instruction, students have the opportunity to read many different theme related complete texts that they can then compare and critically analyze in writing.

Program Components

  • Voices Leveled Library (Print Version): contains 108 leveled books for each theme and 648 total titles covering all reading levels from K to 8th grade. Six copies of each title.
  • Voices 3C eLessons: enables teachers to review all digital leveled books, select the right one for each small reading group, customize and save the curriculum for each book.
  • Audio Recordings: includes audio recordings of all leveled books that students can listen to individually.
  • Leveled Reading Benchmark Assessments: provides oral reading assessments for fiction and non-fiction passages.
  • Assessment Handbook: provides book-specific oral reading assessments as well as end of book vocabulary and comprehension assessments.
  • Teaching Routine Cards: provide professional development advice with concise explanations of key guide reading routines.


Prices and Packages

  • Teacher Package: Grade level packages range from 48 to 144 titles depending on grade level; six copies of each title. Price per teacher ranges from $714 to $2,076.
  • Building Package: Includes six copies of all 648 titles plus access to the 3C eLessons for all teachers: $10,406.
  • Visit the Zaner-Bloser website for more detailed product and pricing information.
  • Education for Democracy Institute provides professional development support for all the Voices products. Click here for more about professional development.
  • Contact the Education for Democracy Institute for support developing a customized package for your school including both Voices products and professional development.

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