Differentiated Instruction: Highly Able Readers

Ideas and activities for using Storia with highly able readers

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Storia is an excellent tool for differentiating instruction and creating challenges for the highly able readers in your class. The range of extension opportunities with Storia is considerable, and you can encourage your self-motivated, passionate readers to construct their own projects.


Tips for Using Storia With Highly Able Readers


  • Encourage highly able readers who can infer the meaning of books that are beyond their independent reading level to read e-books that are above their “accuracy” reading level, but that match their “comprehension” level. Highly able students can access e-books that are above their independent level, but on their instructional level, because the Storia tools and features supply the instructional scaffolding. The combination of the Storia read-to-me feature and the Storia dictionary will allow these students to focus on the story while more easily accessing challenging words. 
  • Highly able readers should not be expected to read challenging books all the time. Support your students’ choices, and let them know that it is okay to read “easy" books, too. Storia bookshelves that are organized by genre and topic, rather than by level, encourage students to read for enjoyment, rather than limiting them to books available at a certain level. Students should also be encouraged to include "easier" e-books in their personal bookshelves.
  • Some of your most advanced students may have a strong emotional attachment to reading “traditional” (paper) books. A student may be resistant to reading an e-book due to his allegiance to and connection to print. Assure these students that they do not have to abandon traditional books. At the same time, encourage them to broaden their reading diet by at least trying e-books.
  • Keep in mind that just because students read quickly or at a high level, they shouldn't be required to do reports, extension activities, or written responses about every book. Such a requirement is likely to turn off even the most enthusiastic reader. 

4 Extension Activities You Can Assign

Provide your advanced students with time to explore the enriched features in Storia. Have them interact with the enrichment activities, listen to the read-to-me feature, and use the notes and highlighting tools for instructional purposes. Suggest that they mentor others in the use of these tools. 

You can also assign one of these four extension activities.

Design an Activity

Challenge your students to create an activity for a Storia e-book. They can create this activity in a Storia note that they leave on a page of a shared e-book.

Remind them about the range of possible extension activities they can create and about the different activities appropriate for fiction and nonfiction.

“Blurb” an E-book

First, ask the student to read, review, and analyze the information and writing style of the blurbs found on the back cover or inside flap of traditional (paper) books. Have them think about what they liked or did not like about these blurbs, what information they found most useful, and what styles worked best.

Have them use this analysis to write their own blurbs for Storia e-books. Encourage them to make the blurbs professional by writing, revising, and editing the blurbs in a word processing program. Ask them to cut and paste their final blurb into a note in a Storia e-book that is part of a shared classroom bookshelf.

This will enable other students to benefit from the information — and provide an authentic audience for the writer.

Become a Book Expert and Annotate

Many excellent annotated children’s books are now available that have juicy tidbits tucked into the margins. Before a student attempts to annotate e-books (or more likely, short sections of e-books), make sure he has read a least one annotated book and he understands the range of information annotations may include. 

Have the student choose a favorite e-book and research the book extensively. He should become an expert on the author’s life, the story of the book's writing and publication, the book's language features and allusions, critical opinions about the book, and more.

Now encourage him to find appropriate places within the text to add, using the notes feature, his researched information as annotations.

Make Your Own Audiobook

Show students how to record themselves reading a Storia e-book (or a short selection of an e-book) using the recording feature on your Storia device or a separate digital recorder. Students should practice reading the books aloud first, taking into consideration pacing, expression, and how to make the reading sound as professional as possible. 

Save successful recordings onto your Storia device so other students can listen to the “homemade” audiobook while reading the e-book.

This activity can be beneficial for all your students for fluency and oral language practice. 

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  • Subjects:
    Reading, Teacher Tips and Strategies, Teacher Training and Continuing Education, Teaching with Technology
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