Melissa's Early Literacy

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We all have our favorite little teaching tools, one of mine is highlighter tape. I began using it while teaching Reading Recovery to show students exactly where to look, to discriminate between visually similar words and letters, sight words they were repeatedly getting stuck on, to show word parts, etc.

Somewhere along the way, I began to collect it in all different sizes and colors as I was beginning to find more and more uses for it.

I am currently teaching Reading Intervention (LLI), but I recently spent 2 years in Kindergarten and even got the Kinders hooked on it! “I need tape”, they would say.

Anyhoo, when using a paper book it is easy to use highlighters.  But books and laminated materials require highlighter tape as it is removable.  (For pocket chart activities I usually used pocket chart highlighter strips.)

Here are some pictures of things I have done with it:

1st letter of unknown word….get your mouth ready!  Pre-A and Emergent readers need help finding the 1st letter and learning to cross-check.


Highlighting currently taught sight words

htape...repeated sight words  htape....current classroom sight word

Showing the spelling of two words are the same.  This capital letter is often tricky for emergent readers and throws them off. here in 2 books

The DREADED b/d confusion! Highlighting them in two different colors throughout the book usually sets them straight!

Ben's bday pic

Recognize known words within words to help decode.

htape....kingfisher...word parts    img-284128129

Draw attention to blends, digraphs and endings.

img-2847  img-284528229


Big books – I just LOVE big books.  I would model reading strategies first and show them what I was looking at and think aloud to show what I was doing to problem-solve.  I then put the big book in the Partner Reading center and they would read together and use the tape for clues – applying the thinking I modeled.


I also leave the tape in the books I use in guided reading that they take home.  Yes, sometimes they peel it off but, oh well!  In LLI, we send home black and white books.  If I know a child is having particular trouble (misreading “saw” and “was” for example) I will highlight each word in a separate color…blue for “saw” and red for “was”.

If you find more uses- please email me: !

Thanks for reading my first blog! Check out my YouTube  channel for videos of guided reading lessons and other early literacy lessons.  I can be found on Pinterest and on TpT

Stay warm,


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