Read on to find out our top tips for how to use different question types for Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Grammar, plus inspiring examples of formatives you can clone!

Using different question types to assess Reading

Here are some of our favorite question types to use for reading assessment!

🌟Show Your Work

Students can type, underline, circle, and even upload images in a Show Your Work question. Teachers can likewise draw, type, and upload images to the background! Here are some of our favorite uses for reading:

  1. Upload a screenshot of a text to the background, and ask students to underline the main idea or annotate by typing in the margins.

  2. Upload an image of a graphic organizer about the text, and ask students to type in the fields after reading the text.

🌟Audio Response (*Premium)

Audio Response is a great way for students to practice fluency. You can upload an image of a text to your formative (or copy-and-paste it into a text block), then ask students to record themselves reading it aloud. Students can re-record as many times as they want!

Using different question types to assess Writing

🌟Show Your Work

As part of a pre-writing activity, you can upload an image of a graphic organizer to the Show Your Work background, and ask students to type in the fields.

🌟Audio Response (*Premium)

Audio Response is a great way for students to brainstorm or record their thoughts before writing. Students can play the response they recorded as they write an answer to a Short Answer or Free Response question.

Students can also use Audio Response to read their finished writing aloud - a great way for them to check how it sounds and catch errors!

🌟Free Response

The Free Response question type allows students to type a response at greater length. They can also use formatting in their response by highlighting some text, then choosing from the formatting options (bold, italicize, underline, numbers, bullet points, and headings!).

Tip 1: Upload an image of your grading rubric under the Free Response question, then use Multiple Choice questions to ask students to grade their Free Response in each area. As long as you don't set an answer key, you can grade each area as you want, and you'll have a record of how the student graded themselves to compare to.

Tip 2: Use a feedback message to explain your grading! If you're a Premium user, you can even use emojis, or record an audio message to send in your feedback!

Using different question types to assess Vocabulary and Grammar

🌟Show Your Work

You can upload a screenshot of some text to the Show Your Work background, and ask students to circle or underline all the verbs / adjectives / appositive phrases (etc!).


Flip your lessons by uploading a grammar or vocabulary video as a content item or (*Premium) within a question!

🌟Categorize (*Premium)

Use the Categorize question type to have students match vocabulary terms with definitions, or categorize different examples of grammar items!

πŸ“ŒUseful ELA sites that you can embed into your formatives

You can embed websites anywhere in a formative, either as a content item, or within a question (*Premium only). Check out our Embed article for instructions.Β 

Great ELA sites that embed into formatives include:




πŸ“ŒGreat examples of ELA formatives

Check out these awesome formatives, created by other ELA educators! Click on the title to clone them to your dashboard, and you can edit and assign them to your classes!

🌟Reading comprehension templates: Fiction and Non-Fiction for 5th-10th grade; Fiction for 2nd-4th grade. These templates contain generic questions in every comprehension area, and you can easily adapt them to any specific text!

🌟Sample Rubric for Expository Essays (6th-10th grade): an example of a Free Response prompt and associated grading rubric activity.

🌟Recording thoughts while reading (2nd grade and up): a way for students to record thoughts, questions, and ideas they have while reading independently!

🌟Writing a paper, step by step: Step 1 and 2, Step 3, Step 4 (8th-12th grade): an example of how a teacher breaks down a major writing assignment.

What's Next?

Learn some tips for using Formative for Science!

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