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ReadWorks: Reading Comprehension and Summary Writing


Activity Website:

Activity Description

ReadWorks Home Page Content
Source: ReadWorks (License: Protected by Copyright (c) [i.e. screenshot])

In this activity, students are assigned a reading passage and shown the different tools they can use during the reading. They are then introduced to a Question Set and asked to complete the activity. When the students finish the activity, it is projected so they can see the article and as a class, responses are reviewed.

Readworks is a free, non-profit site focused on improving teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading comprehension by providing free standards-aligned content, curriculum, and tools based on the highest quality cognitive scientific research on how to learn to read.


1.    Sign up for a ReadWorks teacher’s account

2.    Create a class and enroll students.

3.    Select a passage

4.    Create your own student account so you can experience ReadWorks as a student. This will also give you a student account to display when showing students.


1.    Introduce the topic of the passage and why you chose the passage.

2.    Demonstrate how to log into the student account. Make sure each student is able to log in.

3.    Demonstrate the different tools they can use and how they can help your students.

4.    Introduce the Question Set.

5.    Give students time to complete the activity.

6.    When students complete the activity, project the activity so students can see the article. Go through the article and elicit responses to the questions and writing assignments.

7.    Students may need assistance for the first couple of times.


More Ways

There are so many options to choose from the ReadWorks curriculum. If you are teaching ESL, be sure to take a look at the ELL Collection. ABE teachers will want to take a look at the Article-A-Day selections and ASE teachers the Paired Text; although, all text options are appropriate for all levels.

Program Areas

  • ASE: High School Equivalency Preparation
  • ABE: Adult Basic Education
  • ESL: English as a Second Language
  • ASE: High School Diploma
  • AwD: Adults with Disabilities


  • All Levels
  • All Levels

Lesson Plan

Engagement Enhancement

Go over the How To section. If necessary, prepare the students to use ReadWorks.

(After selecting the article/topic for the reading) In pairs, have students discuss the topic for two minutes then gather the class to share ideas.

Engagement Enhancement

The class, as pairs, students read the article  from ReadWorks about the topic introduced in the warmup. After reading, students discuss with their partner what they read. As a class share ideas. You may want to review the Teacher's Guide.


ReadWorks offers articles on many topics at multiple reading levels. Demonstrate the website.

(Review How to use ReadWorks for Students) Content is presented in a vairety of ways: by Reading Passages, Article-A-Day, Paired Text, Collection for ELLs and more. There are also activity types with different question sets and vocabulary.  Demonstrate the ReadWorks student toolbar and the ability to place the questions and story side by side. (all discussed in the Digital Features Guide) Students turn to their partner and discuss which features they think might be most beneficial to their reading.

After reading, answering the question set and vocabulary activities are done in pairs, followed by writing a summary of the article

Engagement Enhancement

Go back to the article, as pairs, answer the question set and vocabulary. Remember students can place the questions and story beside each other for easy review. 

Engagement Enhancement

On another sheet of paper or in a digital shared doc, in pairs, students write down any vocabulary words that were new to them. Share the list with the class. Make a class list of Vocabulary words to study. Practice using the words in new sentences as pairs. Share the new sentences with the class. 

Engagement Enhancement

Hand out the Summary Scaffold for Article Reading worksheet. Students go back and review the article and fill in the summary chart. Individually, students write a summary paragraph of the article. The summary paragraph should cover the main points of the article. In pairs, students share their paragraphs in peer edit. Share the edited paragraphs with the teacher.

Engagement Enhancement Extension

 In class, students  take the class selected vocabulary words for this article and write definitions for each. Then write a sentence for each word. As a class, write a story using all the vocabulary words selected for this week.

Engagement Enhancement Extension

Students select a second reading in ReadWorks. Read the article and share and discuss what was learned with peers, friends, or family. Gather in class to discuss the sharing experience. 



  • Language Arts - Reading
    • Comprehension
  • Language Arts - Writing
    • Organization of Ideas
    • Writing Conventions
  • Learning and Thinking Skills
    • Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • Reading
    • Consumer Skills
    • Critical Thinking/Decision Making
    • Employability
    • Government
    • Health
    • Learning to Learn
    • Vocabulary
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
    • Literary Texts (Fiction, Poetry, Drama)
    • Mechanics (Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling)
    • Nonfiction Texts
  • Writing
    • Basic Sentences
    • Mechanics (Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling)
    • Paragraph Skills
    • Parts of Speech
    • Report Writing


  • Reading
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • Writing
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • Speaking and Listening
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • Language
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.


reading, language arts, read, Readworks.article a day, differenciated reading


You may include links to the ReadWorks website (called “Site” in the legal language of these Terms) to support use of our resources (e.g., in a district portal, on a school webpage, on a curated list of passage titles so users can access the passages from our site). In fact, we thank you for helping spread ReadWorks to more users! For the content on our site (called “Company Content” in the legal language of these Terms), you may use Company Content solely for your and/or your students’ educational, noncommercial purposes. This use is limited to accessing Company Content via our digital site and/or downloading and printing copies for students, employing the normal functions of your browser and provided that you retain all copyright and other proprietary notices associated with the content.
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.