Differentiate Reading Activities with Student Choice and Interactive Note-taking

Teaching reading can be incredibly challenging, especially when a classroom is full of students with diverse background experiences and a wide range of reading skills.

Designing a reading lesson that provides support for students at different reading levels with text selections they can connect to often requires so much preparation and hunting for passages that the teacher ends up with more reading than anyone! At Goalbook, we’ve simplified the search for rich text at varied levels of text complexity— and included some excellent reading strategies and resources to support students. This week, we’re featuring an example reading lesson that might be used to teach students in 3rd-5th grade about Informational Text.

1. Give Students Choices with Leveled Texts

We’ve grouped our reading passages by theme, and included a range of reading levels. This allows teachers to differentiate both by allowing a student to select a text that he or she finds interesting and providing passages at different Lexile Levels.

Download Ten Texts: Heroic Animals — available to download and print, or browse more Ten Texts collections in Goalbook Pathways

2. Support Students With Interactive Note-taking Strategies

A collection like “Ten Texts” can be paired with a best practice like interactive note-taking. There are a variety of ways to implement this strategy (including Cornell Notes, graphic organizers, or interactive notebooks), so we’ve put together a collection of helpful student templates to implement interactive note-taking:

Download Interactive Note-taking Packet Here

3. Check for Understanding

Once students have finished reading their passages, have students participate in a simple check for understanding like turn-and-talk with a partner or completing an exit ticket. If you’re looking for another creative idea, we previously created some fun social-media exit tickets in Word and PDF format. These are some great ways to engage students at the end of a lesson — and one of them even has some UDL research behind it!

Related Resource: Social Media Exit Tickets