Skillful, proficient readers bring their full attention to reading, demanding clarity of the text as they go. They don't let their minds wander; they are actively thinking, processing the ideas as they read. One tool that powerful readers use to support this kind of thinking is text annotation, the practice of stopping to think and jot notes as they read.

There are a millions ways to mark up text, using handwritten codes, symbols, or highlighting tools. But the most basic and important annotation of all is simply writing words in the margin that capture your thinking as you go, "leaving tracks of your thinking right in the text" (Daniels & Steineke, 2013).

Resources to Explain Annotating Text to Students

Lesson & Smart Board File-->

Hints and Samples-->

"America's Good Fight" used in SOAPStone example

"Beyond the Yellow Highlighter: Teaching Annotation Skills to Improve Reading Comprehension"