Interpretive Reading Activity


  1. Find and print something for them to read (For ideas: Chispas & search “Authentic Resources – Reading”).
  2. Provide highlighters or markers (blue/green/yellow/pink/orange).
  3. Copy and paste the blank image below to your preferred program (Word, Pages, PowerPoint, etc).
  4. Add text boxes to “write” in the categories that they are looking for while reading. Or use the generic one provided belo
  5. Provide the categories to the students (put on paper or just project on board).



generalScreen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.09.04 PM

Copy and paste the images above to your preferred program.

Other Options:

  • You could also use question words (who? where? when? etc).
  • The middle yellow text box can be replaced with a “focus” to match topics you are learning about. Examples: foods, musical terms, art phrases, clothing, etc.
  • Enlarge and print them to hang up to always have as a reference. We suggest to hang next to something relevant. Example: “lugar” next to a map, “fecha” next to calendar, “acción” next to the day’s agenda, etc.
  • Read Highlight Away to see more ideas.
  • Use “circle, underline, box, etc.” instead of color-coding if you don’t have highlighters.
  • Go digital! No markers needed. Digital Highlighting Activity
  • Put with any reading and it makes a great sub plan too.

Published on March 24, 2012

Here’s a way to assess what students understand in a reading without them translating or you writing questions… HIGHLIGHTING! I also have a study skills class with ESL students. I love seeing, and stealing, different activities from the other teachers. This highlighting activity is from watching Ms. Rice’s English class. The goal is to “create a mental model of story elements.” With a little tweaking, it is now an interpretive reading for mine that also supports another content area.


First show the following slide and review with them some examples (“Who” can be… A person, animal, or thing.) You may want to do one together or at least show a model. If you are focusing on something specific (adjectives, family vocab, etc,), add that too. Now that I have this slide, I can quickly adapt the activity for any reading.

Give them highlighters that correspond to the colors on the slide. If you don’t have enough for your entire class, set this up as a station activity or have them underline with colored markers.

Give them some readings. I love to screenshot or copy from the magazine. Give them some choices or let them pick their own.

Example using tweets in Music unit:

Highlight Away – Tweets




If you like this idea, give us a “like” below! Or leave a comment with how you’ve modified this idea.