Interactive Notebooks: Reading Response

We're on to the next section of Interactive Notebooks for High School English.

So this is how reading responses usually go....student "reads" the book, student looks up summary on amazon or sparknotes, student "borrows" that information to write a summary, and student hand in the "summary". Y'all, if I never saw another book "summary" for independent reading it would be too soon.

I hated reading them. That's honesty y'all. Hated. It. 1. I had either already read the book and knew what happened. 2. I had been wanting to read the book, and now it was ruined. 3. I didn't want to read the book, but could have gotten the same summary that they submitted from an online source if I wanted to. Ick.
The first standard in the CCSS for my grade level is, "CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain." The strategy I use gives me a great way of addressing this standard and still keeping it interesting.

First off, each reading response has 5 requirements in my class.
1. List the pages that you read. pgs x-x
2. Mention which type of reading response entry you are using. (More on that in a minute.)
3. Make your entry at least four complete sentences. (You can modify this to fit your students' needs.)
4. Make sure you entry is on topic with your entry type and chosen reading.
5. Give the page number, paragraph, or line number of the part (of the text) that you are responding to"

(What a great way to sneak in citation practice!)

This is our mini anchor chart with expectations and an example shown.


This is a modified version of Marilyn Pryle's reading response system showcased in her book 50 Common Core Reading Response Activities. Her list of reading response entries provide students with prompts that they can use as scaffolding to build their inferences about the text. Each type comes with a title (so that students can label their response) and a few statements or questions to help them gather and mold their thoughts.

This shows the setup that we've used in our notebook. The anchor chart is glued or taped down onto the page. Then, the list of reading response options with prompts is taped in as a flap.

A few of the listed options
-Significant passage.
-Theme recognition.
-Mark the motivation.
-Cite the claim.

You can see a page with some of the RR options on it here. You can just click look inside, and it will show the two pages of reading response options that I'm referencing. As you can see, if you check out the link, each of these RR options had a brief statement or question to guide student thinking. My students often say, "I don't know what to write," or "I don't have anything to say." This gives them ideas about where to start without too much scaffolding.It also keeps me from reading the same reading response from every student in the room. Praise the Lord.

This is straightforward, but pretty life-changing for me. No more passing out task cards and having students write the question they chose, so I can know what they're responding to. I don't have to read the same response 60 times. It allows my students a way to begin to shape and direct their thinking about the text. It ties in textual evidence and inferences: what more could I want. Let's just say it is fabulous.

My student are responsible for writing one reading response per week. I provide them with an address label rubric, and they do the rest. I know that I have my students for 18-19 weeks, and I know that they're going to write two responses per page in their notebook. Therefore, I allot 9-10 pages in our interactive notebook. It's a set, recurring activity that only needs that specific number of pages, so there's no guesswork. :)

This isn't a student notebook. Sorry. It's my model notebook where I've shown them what their setup will look like: two entries per page. The sticker just includes those five requirements listed above. When I grade, I just check them off. They're worth 5 points each. 25 points total. Y' can't fake these type of responses. They're genuine, thoughtful, and often times, deep. They're amazing.

If you're interested in the rubric labels and anchor charts for the reading response and informational texts sections, I've uploaded it to my teacherspayteachers store here.

If you're interested in the reading response topics created by Marilyn Pryle, you can visit the link here to check to get a list of those reading responses. I just typed in Marilyn Pryle reading responses and clicked on the fourth response.

Questions? Send them my way in the comments box below, or feel free to email me.


  1. Wow! This looks like an awesome way to run my reading responses. Thanks for sharing!

    1. No problem. This system really changed the way I look at reading responses.

  2. Are these forms available in your TpT store? ABSOLUTELY love the set up, clear directions, easy to follow!

    1. Which forms? The reading response list is from Marilyn Pryle's book, so that's.not something I can post. If you're referring to the anchor chart and rubric sticker template, no they're not in my store. I can post them if you'd like though.

    2. Would you please post them? They're great!

    3. I would love to see them posted as well! This is an absolutely perfect way to improve what I'm having my students do in terms of reading responses. Thanks so much!

    4. I've posted the anchor charts and rubric stickers together. You can use the link below to access them.

  3. Hello,
    The list of reading responses dead ends. I wanted to see a list before I purchased the book. Do you have another example?

    Tara Doherty

    1. There is a link within the post that leads to the book. If you’ll click “see inside” the book, once you’re on the page, you should be able to see a list of all of the responses on pages 5-6 (I think those are the pages).