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How do I create a differentiated assignment?
How do I create a differentiated assignment?

Meeting the needs of all learners through differentiated supports and reading.

Updated over a week ago

We understand that tailoring learning experiences to meet individual student needs is a priority for teachers. Writable has easy-to-use prompt differentiation options to adjust lessons with the student in mind.

Prompt differentiation adapts one assignment to meet a wide range of student abilities. You can customize prompts with different readings, graphic organizers, and questions. Each prompt has a designated level from 1 (least supports) to 5 (most supports). While assigning, you can match students with the right prompt for their needs.

Note: At this time teachers can assign a maximum of five differentiated prompt levels.

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Before You Begin

We recommend deciding how what assignment differentiation will meet your specific students' needs. Some examples are below:

  • Modified Instructions: Tailor differentiated prompts to suit the needs of your different students. This is a good option for writing assignments that don't include a reading passage, or in addition to other differentiation.

  • Modified Texts: Include different reading passages at varying levels of difficulty based on the reading proficiency of your students. You can add multiple readings to an assignment, and even add a video to support struggling readers.

  • Additional Writing Support: Add graphic organizers and sentence stems to help support students. You can also enable AI-driven support for individual students to provide additional guidance while they are writing and revising.

Note: All students will have access to read-aloud support for the prompt, readings, and their own writing on the assignment.

Create an Assignment With Differentiated Prompts

1. Click 'My Assignments' and find the assignment you’d like to edit.

Picture of My Assignments Page.

Note: If you don't have an assignment, follow these directions: Create an Assignment or Customize an Existing Assignment.

Tip! It's best to edit 'Inactive Assignments'. To help avoid invalidating work in 'Active Assignments', we've disabled some editing features. If assignment edits are necessary, please keep in mind how your changes may impact existing content.

2. Click on the assignment you would like to edit.

3. Then click the 'Edit' button.

4. In the Prompt section, click the plus icon and choose 'Duplicate Prompt for Differentiation'.

5. Confirm the creation of a differentiated prompt by clicking 'Duplicate'.

6. Modify the duplicated prompt for your students. Here are a few things you can edit in the prompt:

  • Modify the writing prompt or directions

  • Add a video to the prompt

  • Upload a different reading

7. After you have edited all the desired content for this level, select 'Prompt Differentiation', include a short description, and click 'Done'.

Note: Each prompt must have a designated level from 1 (least supports) to 5 (most supports). You can only assign up to 5 levels of differentiation to your students.

8. If your assignment includes short response questions, scroll down and click 'Edit Section'.

Tips! Here are a few options for differentiating short responses

9. If your assignment has an extended response section, you can choose to add sentence starters to the student response area. You can also opt to change the section to a Writable organizer or an uploaded Google Doc organizer.

Sentence starters will show as pre-populated text to guide students.

10. Repeat steps 4-9 for each of the prompt levels you want to include in the differentiated assignment.

Tip! Want to check the changes between each prompt level quickly? Use the arrows in the prompt box to scroll your differentiated prompts.

11. (Recommended) Preview your assignment to see your differentiated levels. Click 'Change Prompt' to choose from the different levels of support.

Assign Differentiated Prompts

1. Once you have created your differentiated assignment, find and click the assignment on the 'My Assignments' page.

2. Click 'Assign'.

3. Check the boxes next to the class(es) you want to assign to, then click 'Next'.

4. Choose the level for each student in the class. You can hover over a level to see the optional notes you added in the prompt.


  • Quickly assign the same level to all students with the 'Set All' option.

  • Students will automatically be given the same level as previous differentiated assignments.

  • Only students who have active Writable accounts will show in the differentiation list. If you do not see a student in your class list make sure they have logged into Writable at least once.

5. Select other assignment options and then click 'Assign' when you're ready.

You can edit the level a student is assigned using these directions to change assignment settings and choosing 'Modify Assigned Students'. Be sure to make these changes before a student begins the assignment!

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