Improved Reading with Readability for Chrome

Classroom Tools on May 29 2014

One of the things that strikes me first when visiting a webpage to read an article is the amount of “stuff” on the page — popup surveys, links to other articles, advertisements, links to social media, and more. I also wonder what these pages look like to a student with reading disabilities or to a student who has difficulty focusing on the appropriate content.  It would be so nice if we could just read the article on a nice clean page.  That’s where the Readability extension for Chrome comes in.

After installing this extension to your Chrome web browser, you’ll see an icon of a red couch on your toolbar.  Just click this any time you want to read an article without the clutter.  You’ll have some choices when you do this:

  • Read Now – This takes the content of the article and places it on a clean page that only contains the text and images from the article.  You’ll have the ability to change fonts, size of the text and how far the text is stretched across the width of the screen.  There are additional options such as marking as a favorite, tagging, trashing or recommending an article that are available when logged into a free account.


  • Read Later – For this option, you’ll need to have created and be logged into a free account.  This can assist you in creating a bank of articles to use as mentor texts when you teach students skills like recognizing fact vs opinion, determining biases, finding claims and supporting statements, etc. When choosing Read Later, you can also tag the article for quick retrieval.  So, as you find and save these mentor texts, you might consider tagging them with the appropriate related standard or topic. As you create a tag, click on Add so the tag is associated with that article and saved in your account.


To retrieve articles you’ve saved later on, go to the Readability website and log in.  To search for articles by tag, just click on the tag icon and choose the tag for which you’d like to search.


  • Share – These options include sharing via Facebook, Twitter or email.  You can also send it to a Kindle, save it to your computer in ePub format or print the text.


How can the Readability extension for Chrome support your student’s learning?