Annotate a Nonfiction Text with Adobe Acrobat

Students annotate an article
6 teachers like this strategy

About This Strategy

This 1.5-hour strategy helps students make meaning of nonfiction texts through annotation using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Students will review ways to annotate nonfiction and will practice annotating an article of their choice. This strategy can be used with any nonfiction text and can be adapted for use with other Adobe products, such as Adobe Spark Video. 

Because Adobe Acrobat enables students to view, create, and manipulate PDF documents, this strategy empowers students to demonstrate their understanding in a deep and meaningful way.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student Sample
  • Adobe Acrobat

  • Adobe Spark Video

  • Editable Resource Bundle

  • PDF Resource Bundle

Outline for Teachers

90 minutes


Students review how and what to annotate using this Annotation Guide PDF from (15 minutes)


Students use a website, such as Tween Tribune, to find an article that interests them. Students do a first read of the article. (20 minutes)


Students upload the article as a PDF. They use these steps to guide them. Students can examine an  example here, and read a tutorial here.  (45 minutes)


Students share and publish their PDF.

Steps for Students

Annotating helps build a better understanding of texts. Annotating makes the reading more meaningful, and it helps you remember key information. Demonstrate your evaluative skills through your notes about the text by annotating a text using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to create, highlight, and annotate PDFs. You will create a PDF by uploading a current event article from a web page.


1. Review the Annotation Guide. Remember that when reading nonfiction, annotating can help us better engage and understand the text. You will want to look for key vocabulary, or connections found (text to self, text to text). Summarizing key points will help you remember what you read. (15 minutes)

2. Using this site (or one provided by your instructor), locate an article of interest. Once you’ve chosen an article, complete a first reading.  (20 minutes)

3. Using Adobe Acrobat, upload the article as a PDF from the website. Use these steps to guide you. Complete a second read of the article, making annotations as you go. (45 minutes)

  • Engage with the text by making inferences by highlighting the text and writing a comment with the inference you’ve made. 

  • Stop and summarize as you read. Highlight key sections and write a brief summary as a comment.

  • Highlight key vocabulary: as you encounter words you don’t understand, highlight them, and make note of the definition. 

Take a look at this example for guidance.

4. Share your PDF as directed by your instructor.

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric in order to evaluate students' annotated articles.