Help for Struggling Readers: Creating Your Own Color Overlays

Posted by Erica Warren on

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

DIY Color Overlays

Make reading overlays

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.
    DIY color overlaysStep two: Everyone is different. Let your students try out the different colors and see which one they like the best.
    making reading overlays 

    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 students 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.

    DIY color overlaysStep 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!!
    Making reading fun and easy

    RELATED: Reading Instruction


    Cheers, Dr. Erica Warren

    Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator, and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning. She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Learning Specialist Courses.

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