Active Reading in the Upper Elementary Classroom

There are so many tips and strategies that we want to teach our students as they become readers. Many of those, however, are just basic skills. The best thing that we can teach our students to do is to become active readers. Active readers are awake, or alert, while reading. Active readers catch themselves drifting off as they read, and get themselves back on track. Some students are just naturally focused while they read, while others will need several mini lessons to help them become awake, alert, and active as they read.
Reading strategies, nonfcition reading, freebie, fiction reading

One engaging way that we can help our students become more active as they read is to have students use different color codes to show what they are thinking as they read a variety of texts. When your students are reading fiction or nonfiction typed texts, articles, or even just worksheets, they can use these color coding reminders to keep them engaged and alert as readers. 

Reading strategies, nonfcition reading, freebie, fiction reading
Color Coding for Fiction Reading

Reading strategies, nonfcition reading, freebie, fiction reading
Color Coding for Nonfiction Reading

By doing this, students are not only engaged, but they are held accountable as
they read independently.  A great follow up activity is for students to meet up
with a reading partner and compare how each of them color coded what they
read. By analyzing color codes both you and your students and will have a deeper
understanding of what thinking goes on while they read. Scoop up these color
coding FREEBIES here.

Here are the color crayon stacks that we use in the classroom. Click the picture for direct link.
Color Coding Pencils
Looking for some informational texts to try out this strategy? You can grab some close reading activities here.

What effective ways do you engage your students to be active readers?



  1. It was a very good post indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it in my lunch time. Will surely come and visit this blog more often. Thanks for sharing. important reference

  2. thoughts on this?



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