Highlighting is one of my top go-to interpretive reading activities. Today I will review an app for Apple devices and Chrome. Let’s see how highlighting can go digital!

I blogged about this “Highlight Away” activity before… It was Idea #71 in 2012! If you haven’t read it, take a minute to see where this idea started.

Why I love highlighting…

  • It gives a focus while reading
  • It takes away the frustration of “not knowing every word” (adjust the task, not the text)
  • It preps them to summarize
  • It preps them to discuss the reading
  • No comprehension questions needed (low teacher prep)
  • It lets them figure out the meaning and learn new words in context
  • It shows comprehension without translating

Here are a few examples of highlighting activities we’ve done in lessons:

This was in a music unit where we were looking at tweets with opinions about nominated songs.

Same unit, same categories. This time it was used with a longer article to later debate about the importance of music education in schools.

This was in the the family unit using tweets to focus on relationships, descriptions and ages before they talked about their own.

We are putting units and lessons (including these examples) on www.AdiosTextbook.com for high school Spanish classes. Check it out if you are looking for communicative lessons.

This was in the Street Art unit. They were reading opinions about graffiti before they gave their opinion. It was awesome seeing how this activity gave them so many solid reasons that support their opinions.

A little research to understand the background information about Frida before analyzing her artwork.


Here is a template for you to adapt and use if you are doing the activity with highlighters and printed articles. Copy and paste the image to your preferred program (Word, PowerPoint, Pages, Keynote, etc). Add text boxes over the image to create your categories.



Now for the app! I have been trying out “LINER” on the iPad and Chrome. Basically, you can digitally highlight something from the internet. “Highly” is a similar app that you can also try out. #savethetrees

How to use it:

  • Sign up for an account.
  • Insert the URL (website address) of what you want to highlight.
  • It pulls the webpage into the app so you can highlight it by selecting the text, and then the color.

Features I like:

  • Easy to choose the text, and then the color afterwards.
  • Six colors. No need to buy and keep a ton highlighters in classroom or on cart.
  • Easy to share.
    • I prefer the “copy link” so they can put it on their Edmodo accounts.

What I didn’t like:

  • It does not highlight hyperlinks easily.
    • You have to start the highlighting in the regular text, and then you can adjust it to be only in the hyperlink.


Here’s an example of me using the app.

This is the highlighting guide for the categories based on Liner’s colors that I would project on the board:

I chose an article from www.peopleenespanol.com and inserted the specific URL. I selected the text that I want to highlight, and then I can choose the color that matches the category.

Here’s a sample of my finished article of what I highlighted on Liner:

Now I can share my highlighted article by clicking the bottom right icon (square with arrow). Done!

We’d love for you to share how you would modify or use this highlighting activity!

Do you know of another digital highlighting tool?

Please share in the comments below!