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Four Effective Reading Response Activities for Middle School

reading response in the classroom

Have you ever found yourself hoping for that light bulb moment when your students really connect with their reading? I think that’s the dream of every teacher who has tried to foster a love of reading in their students. One of my main goals is to provide opportunities for students to respond to their reading and interact with the text in meaningful ways. Let’s look at some of the benefits of reading response activities as well as a few you can use in your classroom.

Benefits of Reading Response Activities

I’ve found that reading response activities are one of the best strategies you can use to strengthen comprehension and encourage critical thinking. When students reflect on their reading, they must dig deep into the text. Thoughtful questions and engaging prompts can also guide them to think critically about their reading.

I carefully choose the reading response opportunities for my students because I don’t want to simply have them complete a reading log. Instead, I provide the space for them to create connections between themselves and the literature. I encourage them to relate the text to their own experiences and express their opinions, so they are invested in and connected to the text. Appropriate reading response activities not only make the reading experience more enjoyable but they also help my students understand lessons and themes presented in the literature. 

We know reading and writing skills are interconnected. Both skills are strengthened when students respond to the text in writing. Asking students to write in response to a text encourages them to articulate their thoughts clearly and express themselves effectively.

Favorite Reading Response Activities

Here are some of my students’ favorite response activities that you can get started with in your classroom. Be sure to download the freebies! 


  • A storyboard is a great way for students to capture the key events of a story. This visual helps them sequence events of the plot and reinforces their understanding of the narrative. Grab a free graphic organizer storyboard.

reading response bingo board

Literary Bingo:

  • A bingo board with literary elements, themes, or events related to the book or reading is another reading response activity. As students read, they mark off items on their board, promoting engagement and comprehension. Grab the editable bingo board.

Literary Elements Scavenger Hunt:

  • A scavenger hunt is always engaging and fun. Create a list of literary elements or devices (simile, metaphor, imagery, etc.) and have students search for examples within the text. 

reading response task cards

Response Task Cards:

  • Reading Response task cards are perfect to use in stations or small groups as well as individual work. My task cards are designed to get students to think about their reading and respond appropriately to questions using textual evidence and reflection. Download the Reading Response Task Cards.

From enhancing comprehension skills to fostering a personal connection with literature, reading response definitely plays an important role in shaping student readers.

Are you interested in more ideas and resources like the ones in this post? Go ahead and sign up to receive the weekly Cheat Sheet full of teaching tips, ideas, and free resources to help save you time and keep your classroom engaging and on track.

The Cheat Sheet

You’ll receive a free English grammar reference for your students to use all year when you sign up as a welcome gift. Sign up here or click on the image below.

English grammar student reference

Happy Teaching!

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