Help for Struggling Readers: Creating Your Own Color Overlays

You can create
your own overlays by using whole sheets or cutting strips of transparent,
colored report covers, dividers or overhead projector film. 

Step one: Buy a
variety of colorful transparent sheets. 
You can use –
  • color,
    transparency film
  • color, transparent
    report covers (plastic)
  • color, transparent
    dividers (plastic)
All of these options can be found at office supply stores.
Step two:  Everyone is different.  Let your students try out the different
colors and see which one they like the best.
Step three:  For some students, keep whole sheets so
that students have the option of changing the background color of the entire
page of text.  Other students might
like a thin strip of color, as it can help with tracking from one line to the
next.  I make them a variety of
lengths and widths, and often let students decide for themselves.  Note: The strips also make wonderful
book marks. 
Step four
(optional):  Place a plain sticker
on the end of
the overlay strip or the bottom of a whole sheet so that 
can write their name on it. 
Students can also pick out a sticker of an image too.  Just make sure to keep all stickers on
one end of the color overlay strip or the bottom of the overlay page.
Step five (optional): For those students that get overwhelmed by to many words on a page,
you can place duct tape around the edge of the overlay to block out competing
lines of text. 
At the end of the
activity, even if a few of your students don’t find color overlays helpful,
they will still have a useful book mark.  

For more great reading remediation ideas, check out my reading games!  You can even get a free sample game!! 


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3 replies
  1. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    This is a great idea! I think I could use these on the light table for my toddlers and preschools. Think they would work being layered to learn about color mixing?


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