Reading Tools

Google Docs

If you create a reading assignment in Google Docs, you can do things like embed links to videos, add questions between paragraphs for students to answer, and add images, among other things. If you use Google Classroom, it's easy for you to create a copy for each student. Students can add comments and questions on the side (which is great if they're reading in a group) as well as use tools like highlighting and text color to keep track of themes or vocabulary words. Have students create their own key for their color selections.

Actively Learn


Text Compactor

Copy and paste text into the website, choose how much you would like for the text to be shortened, and it will cut the text down. It's not perfect, but it's pretty solid. You can do it yourself to differentiate readings for students, or students can use it themselves.

Simple Wikipedia

This is a site with Wikipedia articles cut down for students. Language is simplified with easier vocabulary and grammar. Great for differentiation and research, though it's still important to teach students how to use Wikipedia properly.


Regularly updates with interesting news articles on every subject, Newsela is an amazing tool for every classroom. Articles come with changeable Lexile levels, so differentiation is a breeze. There is a paid version with additional features, but articles are accessible to everyone. You can have students read the articles on the website or print them. Many articles even come with quizzes!


Help students with reading assignments with vocabulary videos. You could link to these in a text or preview a reading assignment with them. There are individual videos for loads of vocabulary words, organized by grade level.

Loyal Books & Librivox

Some students like being able to listen to a book as they're reading it; I know I do! These two sites both provide free audiobooks of texts in the public domain. If you're reading classic literature in class, see what's available to support students in their reading.