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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Guided reading texts

Colour wheel.

Ready to Read levelled texts

Ready to Read student texts are crafted and levelled to ensure that students are presented with continual and appropriate challenges. The colour wheel indicates the level of each student text. The colour wheel levels are Magenta, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange, Turquoise, Purple, and Gold. All of the levels, except Magenta, are further divided into sub-levels to allow for a flatter gradient of text difficulty. A "G" (for guided reading) is placed within one of nine colour segments. 


Magenta guided reading texts include mostly familiar topics and contexts.

Literacy instruction for a beginning reader starts with a rich framework of being read to, language experience, and shared reading and writing. This continues alongside guided reading instruction – introduced when students have developed some confidence with books, have a sense of story, and are beginning to attend to print.  

As students acquire the relevant foundational skills and knowledge, they need to move on quickly from this level so they can start to build reading processing systems. There is now just one level at Magenta so that students move quickly from these beginning texts to engage with longer narrative texts at Red.

Students do not need to know a particular number of high-frequency words before moving to Red. 

Expected reading behaviours


  • develop early concepts about print,
  • gain control over one-to-one matching,
  • expect text to make sense and sound right,
  • start to build a reading vocabulary of high-frequency words.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Magenta TSM and audio are available online.

Archived texts

Following the 2013/14 review of the Ready to Read series, some texts will not be reprinted and the related TSM are shown here as “archived” .  These titles can still be used as part of your classroom programme, however, current Ready to Read texts should be used for assessment purposes.

The zone of proximal development

Ready to Read texts' difficulty increases gradually in vocabulary, text length, complexity of text structure, students' familiarity with the content, and how explicitly the content is stated. This reflects the concept of the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978), the gap between what a student can do independently and what they can do with help. Teachers select texts and activities with the appropriate level of stretch for their students.

These texts are provided to all New Zealand primary schools. 
Additional copies can be ordered from the Ministry of Education resource catalogue. 
Contact  Down the Back of the Chair online or call 0800 660 662.

Updated on: 14 Jul 2017