Color Coding Text Evidence

Aloha friends! I am so happy to be participating with such amazing teacher/bloggers in the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!

Today I am sharing a strategy that I have been using with my struggling readers to find and track information in a non-fiction text.  

Our 2nd grade team is focusing on Common Core Standard RI.2.1-Ask and answer questions such as who, what, when, where, why and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

My advanced readers are doing great, but I have a group of struggling readers who are having such a difficult time understanding how to answer a question completely.  These kiddos are struggling just to read the text and now they have to cite evidence!?

I worked with a small group this week and we did this activity together.

This paragraph is from an old science text I had.  We read through the paragraph together and discussed what we thought was the main idea.

Then we read the questions.  I had them highlight number one with a yellow crayon.

We went back up to the text and found where it talked about rain.  I had them highlight the whole sentence.

We did it again for number two, but used pink this time.

I had them use a different color for each question.

Finally I had them answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper.

I had them copy the colored sentence word for word.  Then I read each question and they answered it in a complete sentence by reading what was on their paper.

This was incredibly helpful to keep them focused and to keep track of their evidence/answer to each question.  

This was very low level, but they really need to practice this skill in order to move on to more complex questions.  I am hoping that soon they will be able to quickly find information, underline it and begin to answer the questions in their own words.

I am so glad you stopped by and hope this strategy can help some of your learners as well.

The next stop on your hop is to my sweet friend Traci over at Dragonflies In First.  

She has a great classroom management tip on how to stop students from interrupting while you are working with individual students.


  1. Love it all! I really like the way you had them write complete sentences providing the info they found!

  2. GREAT POST Corinna! Loved it....I am going to try that with my struggling readers as well this week :) Thanks for the great tip!!!


  3. This was fantastic! :) Super simple and easy to implement RIGHT AWAY! :) Thanks for sharing!! :)

  4. this is a wonderful idea... I can see using this with my 4th graders... thanks so much for sharing this BRIGHT IDEA

  5. Love this idea of color coding! It works perfectly for implementing close reading with those struggling readers. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  6. Brilliant! I have them highlight everything but we don't change the crayon or highlight the question. I have SUCH a teacher crush on you right now!!!!
    Teacher to the Core

  7. Loved this Corrina! So simple yet so easy and it makes sense. I often have students use a yellow highlighter when they are writing to highlight words they do not know what to spell and have checked their dictionaries. I put the correct spelling above if necessary and if it's already right I highlight with blue which turns it great - GO! This will be an easy transition for the students. Especially that struggling group. Thank you!


    The Perks of Teaching

  8. I do almost the same thing as Katie, but we do highlight the key word/s in each question. Love the different colors idea! You are brilliant! Never thought of that. Thanks!

    Mrs. Rios Teaches Second Grade

  9. What a wonderful idea, Corinna! Love the different colors! I'm going to do this with my kiddos next week! Thank you for sharing!!

  10. I have my kiddos highlight, but it never occurred to me to change colors. That is an incredible idea! I can't wait to start using this trick this week!

  11. Great idea to change the colors of the highlighting! Would be very helpful to those that are struggling with this skill!
    Conversations in Literacy

  12. Good way to support your strugglers - we have to go back to where understanding breaks down to fill in the missing pieces! Thanks or sharing!

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  13. LOVE the different colors for different answers!!! Brilliance!!!
    Growing Firsties

  14. Simple, easy and fun! I am so trying this :) Thanks for the bright idea (wearing sun glasses here).
    My Second Sense

  15. What a great idea Corinna! I could definitely use this with some of my fifth graders too. Citing evidence is hard!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  16. Such a simple but effective idea! I always have a group of students who have trouble with this skill, and it really makes a difference for them to see things highlighted. We also make sure to focus on exactly what the question is asking - for example, if it is a "when" question, then then answer has to be a time of day, etc. I'm always amazed how this confuses some of my kiddos! Thanks for sharing. This blog hop is great! ~ Lisa

  17. Such a clever idea to use different colours for each question! Plus kids love to use any type of highlighting tool! Thank you for thisn"bright idea"!

    First Grade and Flip Flops

  18. Great idea!! Just in time for my intervention switch up! Thank you.

  19. This is a great idea. I can't wait to give it a try!


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

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