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Wonderful Ways to Use Color Coding in the Classroom to Increase Learning

What are ways to use color coding in the classroom for teaching reading and grammar? Have you ever considered crayons or highlighters an important tool or a beneficial strategy?

Studies have shown that color can play a very powerful role in memory. It may help in memorizing as well as increasing attention. (see The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance) Color coding strategies can be very beneficial to your students. Here are some examples and ways to use color coding in the classroom.

Ways to Use Color Coding in the Classroom for Teaching Reading and Grammar

Color coding strategies are not only fun, but they can help students make connections, retain information, and have a positive impact on attention and engagement. Using color-coding strategies in reading and grammar can be as simple as just asking your students to take out their crayons.

Somehow a mundane lesson can quickly be transformed into a fun lesson by simply grabbing a few crayons or highlighters. Color coding is not only beneficial to your students, it is also an easy-prep lesson for you!

Ways to Use Color Coding in the Classroom: Reading

There are several simple ways to use color coding in your reading classroom.

  1. Sticky notes: Use sticky notes to color code characters, setting, and plot in stories. Each story element is assigned a different color sticky note. Students can use the color-coded sticky notes to flag each story element in the text. On the sticky notes, students may write about important points of each story element, or analyze each one. You may also have students attach sticky notes to a classroom chart when completed.
  2. Dialogue: Students may color code dialogue in a text. Give students a handout of a passage that contains dialogue between two characters. (Readworks is a great source for this.) Students may use diffrent colors of crayons to underline the dialogue spoken by each character.
  3. Fact and Opinion: Give students a handout of a passage containing both facts and opinions. Students may highlight facts in one color and opinions in another.
  4. Cause and Effect: Provide students with a passage containing both cause and effect situations. Students may highlight facts in one color and opinions in another.
  5. Problem and Solution: Provide a passage containing problems and solutions. Students may highlight facts in one color and opinions in another.
  6. Main Ideas and Details: Another way to use color coding in the classroom for reading is identifying main idea. Give students a handout of a passage containing main ideas and. Students may highlight facts in one color and opinions in another.

Ways to Use Color Coding in the Classroom: Grammar

Ways to use color coding in the classroom: grammar

Students can color-code passages for grammar in a variety of ways.

  • Use different colored highlighters to highlight subjects and predicates (or simply use crayons to underline).
  • Identify vivid verbs in a passage with one color and interesting adjectives with another.
  • When studying prepositional phrases, highlight the preposition with one color and the remainder of the phrase in another.

Are you studying verb tenses? Each verb tense can be highlighted in a different color. There are many possibilities for color-coding with grammar.

Ways to Use Color Coding in the Classroom: Parts of Speech Quilts

Parts of speech quilts are fun to incorporate color and grammar review. My Seasonal Parts of Speech Quilt Bundle can be used to practice or review the parts of speech. These easy-to-use pages can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Use as parts of speech practice or review
  • Use as a holiday or seasonal activitiy
  • Use as a fun Friday activity
  • Use after tests
  • Use in stations or centers
  • Use finished quilt pieces to decorate bulletin boards or hallways and create a colorful student work display.

Students enjoy these fun grammar review pages, and they love seeing them displayed in your classroom.

For your next reading or grammar lesson, have your students grab their crayons or markers, and get to color coding.

For even more ideas for grammar, check out my blog post, 6 Fun Grammar Poster Ideas for Your Classroom.

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Free PowerPoint Lesson

Would you like a free PowerPoint lesson to teach or to review subjects and predicates with your students? This free PowerPoint is a powerful visual and learning tool that will help your students understand and identify subjects and predicates and is perfect for grades 2-5!