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Using AI to Assist in Teaching Reading Skills-Leveling Text


Activity Website:
Tech Product/Equipment:
Computer and projector, Mobile devices for students

Activity Description

Magic School                                                        
Source: (License: CC0/Public Domain)    

Use an AI enhanced program such as or to level text to match the reading levels of your students

Diffit for Teachers
Source: Diffit for Teachers (License: CC0/Public Domain)
 Use the same AI enhanced software to select other tools to assist in teaching students reading comprehension skills.


  1.  Check the website to ensure it is not blocked at your site.
  2. Read through the lesson plan.
  3. Print and make copies of any handouts.


You can use your own written text or have one generated by AI. For the example here, use the text, My First Day at College

Program Areas

  • 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

What was your first day of school like? Turn to your neighbor and share the experience. Did it matter whether it was grade school, high school, adult school or college? What were some of your feelings? Share and then discuss as a class.

Engagement Enhancement

What are some problems students faced when they read? Students pair off and discuss difficulties in reading.

Share and write the ideas on the board. (reading and or understanding the vocabulary, the reading level may be too difficult, can't figure out the main idea, hard to stay focused, lost-can't figure it out etc)  

Engagement Enhancement

AI can help with reading problems. We will look at some ways we can address some of the problems we discussed earlier. Let's look at a passage titled My First Day at College. (hand out the document or send it digitally for student use)

As pairs read the passage. A vocabulary list for the passage includes: 1) worried, 2) parking, 3) syllabus, 4) expectations, 5) nodded, 6) Google Doc, 7) relaxed, 8) confused. Discuss any words that are confusing.

Now look at two other versions of the story 

version 2: 

On my first day at college, I felt a little nervous. I was worried about finding a place to park, my classroom, and the building. But everything turned out fine. I sat in the middle of the room and waited for class to start. The teacher was nice and made me laugh, so I started to feel better. He talked about the class rules and what we would learn. I thought to myself, "I can do this." The teacher gave us a list with names and emails of students in our groups. We all said hi to each other. When it was time to leave, I packed my notebook and headed for the door. Just then, the teacher told us to make a Google Doc and share it with our group. I got confused and felt unsure again. It wasn't as easy as I thought on my first day.

Vocabulary list: 1) nervous, 2) park 3) classroom, 4) building, 5) laugh, 6) rules, 7) groups, 8) notebook, 9) google Doc, 10) confused. Turn to your neighbor and identify any of the vocabulary words that are confusing. 

Read the story one more time:

version 3: 

During my first day at college, I felt a bit anxious. I was concerned about finding a parking spot, locating my classroom, and the building itself. Despite my worries, everything turned out fine. I took a seat in the center of the room and waited for the class to begin. The professor was friendly and had a good sense of humor, which helped me relax. He discussed the course outline and what was expected of us. I reassured myself, thinking, "I can handle this." The professor distributed a list containing the names and emails of students in our groups. We acknowledged each other with nods. As the class came to an end, I gathered my notebook and prepared to leave. Just as I was about to exit, the professor reminded us to create a Google Doc and share it with our group. I felt a bit overwhelmed and uncertain, realizing that my first day wasn't as smooth as I had hoped.

Vocabulary list: 1) anxious, 2) reassured, 3) demeanor, 4) overwhelmed, 5) uncertain, 6) impact, 7) strategies, 8) comfortable, 9) expectations, 10) evolved. Turn to our neighbor and discuss any words that were confusing.

What was different among the three versions? Was there one version you liked better than another? Which one did you most personally identify with? why?

The difference between the three versions, was the reading level. Using AI we can quickly generate easier or harder versions of anything we read. How could this be beneficial to you? 



Engagement Enhancement

As a pair reread one of the versions of the passage if needed to answer the following comprehesion questions. Use Google Docs or Microsoft Word, or another digital wordprocess to write the answers to the questions. Two pairs gather and share their answers. Review each other's answers. Discuss suggested revisions. Revise the answers. Include each other's names on the assignment.

  1. How was the narrator feeling on their first day at college?
  2. What were some of the concerns the narrator had before starting class?
  3. Describe the professor's demeanor and how it affected the narrator.
  4. What did the professor hand out to the students?
  5. What task did the professor ask the students to do before leaving the classroom?
  6. How did the narrator feel after the professor's request regarding the Google Doc?
  7. What do you think the narrator's initial reaction to the professor's request reveals about their experience on the first day of college?


Enhancement Extension

Select three of the following discussion questions and write the answers, use vocabulary words discussed in this lesson. Turn the answers into the teacher on paper or digitally.

Open-Ended Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you think the narrator's feelings evolved throughout their first day at college?
  2. Why do you think the professor's friendly and humorous demeanor had an impact on the narrator?
  3. How would you have felt if you were in the narrator's position when the professor asked the students to create a Google Doc?
  4. What strategies could the narrator use to overcome their uncertainty about creating a Google Doc for their group?
  5. How important do you think it is for students to feel supported and comfortable on their first day of a new experience like college?


Engagement Extension

Discuss the value of using AI to differentiating reading levels, assist with vocabulary, and generate discussion questions.

How can you use this outside of the classroom? Discuss as pairs and then gather to discuss as a class. Make a list of ways AI can assist in reading in our lives.



  • English Language Arts
    • English 1-4
  • Language Arts - Reading
    • Comprehension
  • Language Arts - Writing
    • Organization of Ideas
  • Learning and Thinking Skills
    • Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
    • Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • Reading
    • Critical Thinking/Decision Making
    • Vocabulary
  • Writing
    • Basic Sentences


  • 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.
  • 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.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • Language
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


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AI Reference

ChatGPT was used to facilitate the writing of this lesson plan
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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.