Digital Reading Response title image

Are you looking to go paperless with your reading response notebooks? I’m sharing a digital reading response example with Padlet that is effective and fun for students! This AMAZING digital tool makes it engaging for readers to respond to text. 

What is Padlet?

Padlet is a free online bulletin board that allows multiple contributors to post ideas, images, links, videos, and more. Teachers can use the website or the app for students to access the Padlet boards they have created. It can be used to share information or to collaborate on tasks. While there are limitless ways you can use Padlet, we’ll just focus on a reading response example to show you one way you can use this phenomenal tool!

There is also a paid option that gives you the ability to create more Padlets, but it isn’t necessary to have. Another option is asking your administration to purchase a schoolwide subscription. The option you choose will obviously be based on how often you use the tool.

Using Padlet to Annotate Text

When setting up the Padlet, teachers can create columns that correspond with text annotations. I created Padlet boards for each book club book with the following columns: questions, important details, and interesting facts. Rather than annotating text using post-it notes, students can type their responses into the shared Padlet.

One benefit of Padlet that sets it apart from traditional reading response activities is the collaboration piece! Students can comment on the ideas posted by other students! For example – a student may ask a question about a part of the story that didn’t make sense to them. Another student can respond with clarifying information to help explain it to them. There is also an option to rate and like other comments, which is a simple way students can show agreement with one another or indicate an important detail.

Using Padlet to Track Characters

Padlet Characters The Reading Roundup

When reading chapter books, students can struggle to keep track of all of the characters. I created a Padlet that had columns for each of the main characters and a column for new characters. As students found additional information about each character or met a new character, they could add it to the Padlet. It was a visual way for students to remember what they knew about the characters. They could easily refer back to it when needed.

 Additional Benefits of Using Padlet for Reading Response

  • Students can easily collaborate with other students who are reading the same book.
  • Students immediately see new ideas on their device as other students contribute.
  • Knowing that other students can see what they’re contributing helps to improve student accountability. As a result, they tend to take the activity more seriously. Displaying it on your Smartboard can also help with this.
  • Students can respond to other students ideas in the comments. They can also like each other’s comments – which adds a whole new element of excitement for them!
  • There is an option for students to add pictures, so they can take a picture of their evidence from the text. This is helpful for reluctant or emergent writers.
  • Teachers can customize the backgrounds of the Padlet boards. This is helpful when multiple books are being discussed at once. Different backgrounds make it easier to quickly distinguish which book is being discussed.

How to Set Up a Padlet Board

The following video provides step-by-step instructions for setting up Padlet boards for a reading response activity.

These are only a few ways that I’ve used Padlet with my students, but there are limitless options for other ways to use it. How else could you use Padlet for reading response? Are there other digital tools you use for your students to response to text? Please share your ideas in the comments below!


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This digital reading response example with Padlet is highly engaging for students!

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  1. Great idea for reading jots and responses. I plan to do this with fantasy book clubs. I’ve used padlet before with historical fiction book clubs and had kids timeline events in the story. This can also be used in all genres.

  2. I was wondering how padlet could be used in the classroom. I will surely give this a try!

    1. There are so many ways to use Padlet! Kids can contribute to a Padlet to show examples of something they’re learning, such as nonfiction text features, root words, phonics features, sight words, math problems and so much more. I also use it to keep track of characters in a book, record the story elements of a book we’ve read, compare stories, or students can respond to provided prompts and questions. Once you start creating a Padlet, you’ll be able to think of new ways to use it with your students! Let me know if you need more specific ideas!

      1. you have given me some great ideas for using Padlet to make my novel study more interesting and engaging! Thank You!!!!

  3. YAY!! The hardest part is getting starting and figuring out how you can use it with students. But once you make a couple padlets it becomes faster and easier to think of different ways to use it. Hope you and your students love it!

  4. I'm so excited to hear that you're inspired to try something new in your classroom. I'd love to hear how it goes! Let me know if you have any questions as you get ready to try it out!

  5. I've just created my first Padlet. Can't wait to use it and see how it goes. Thanks again.

  6. Thanks for this post. I have found it really interesting. I have seen this in action and now after reading your post, I am keen to give it a go in my own classroom. Many thanks. 🙂