Ziptales offers its own mapping of reading - shown below - which references Reading Recovery, Lexiles and Flesch (the three major internationally recognised readability measures).

The 10 stage scheme starts at the very simplest ‘entry’ level, for young children, whose reading amounts to recognition of simple words and sentences - Zip Stage 1 … through to children who are capable of totally ‘independent’ reading of sophisticated texts - Zip Stage 10. The whole range of reading in a primary school is included - from Kindergarten (Foundation) through to Grade 6 and above.

These Zip Stage levels are to be found throughout the library, both on the individual story ‘buttons’, and on the top of every page of the story itself.

No readability scheme is perfect, and this scheme should be treated as a suggestion only. The teacher is the one best placed to determine what texts a child will be able to read. Ziptales gives the teacher total control over what stories a child accesses. The ‘library’ has open access for all children, but under the personal guidance of the teacher.

All information about the Zip Stages can be found in the following links:

What’s my Ziptales reading level?

Ziptales has a ‘reading engine’ which allows teachers to easily determine what level of text is appropriate for a child. This is the ‘What’s my reading level?’ assessment. It can be accessed on the Student Dashboard page. It is not available to parents, because effective use of it requires the specialised knowledge specific to teachers.

It is not compulsory, but it is a really good idea. It offers the teacher five story titles, roughly aligned to age groupings.

On the basis of the teacher’s knowledge of the child, one is selected for a self-test of comprehension.

This is how it works.

  1. The teacher ‘logs in’ to the test instrument. It is password protected to avoid children attempting to self test.
    (Password: readability)

  2. The child picks the test story selected by the teacher.

    Full scripts for all test passages, plus all the answers, are to be found at this link.

  3. The child reads the story, and answers the multiple choice questions which follow.

  4. The child’s score is then analysed by the engine, and depending on what level of reading seems to be indicated, is cross-referenced to the different Zip Stage listings, and a recommended list is provided. The child is asked to inform the teacher, for his/her records and future reference.

The list generated is thus customised to the individual needs of the child. It could be list of very simple texts for a younger person, or a list of very advanced texts for highly able older readers.

The child does not see all the readability data. This is not appropriate for children. The Zip Stages are utterly free of any indication of grade level or hints about ability.

However, for the teachers, in the Staffroom, all such information is provided.

Like our reading scheme, this is a suggestion only. The teacher can choose to direct the child wherever seems suited to their interests and needs - to another level completely (up or down) as needed.

If you have any questions regarding the reading scheme, please get in touch with the Ziptales office, either by email ( or phone 1800 004 442 (AUS) | 0800 141 480 (NZ)

Our educational consultant can ring you back, if you wish, to have a one-on-one briefing.

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