Close Reading Toolkit

Why Close Reading?

Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately. Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details. It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the text as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, p. 7)

Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately. Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details. It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the text as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, p. 7)

Learn more: Closing in on Close Reading by Nancy Boyles

Word Meaning & Choice

Ask Questions

Tip: Share Annotations with students with sample questions.

  • What word(s) stand out? Why?
  • How do particular words get us to look at events in a particular way? Do they evoke an emotion?
  • Did the author use any nonstandard words? What is the effect?
  • Are there any words that could have more than one meaning?

Community Strategies

  • Focus on root words - Teach prefixes, suffixes, and affixes.
  • Multiple Intelligence Approach - Have students act out, sing/clap out, draw, imagine a picture (Source: Thomas Armstrong).
  • Frayer Model- Write out word in their own words and create an image of the word.
  • Create a word wall with a collection of all new vocabulary.
  • Edtech resources:

Text Set

Central Idea

5W’s + How

Tip: Highlight 5W’s in GREEN. Annotate to explain connection.

  • Submit summary as Write prompt.
  • Complete Quiz

Resource: Adapted from Teaching Basic Writing Skills by Judith Hochman

3 Step (Re)eading

  • Gist - First time reading ask question and draft summary.
  • Little Deeper - Reread for clarification and discussion.
  • All Together - After another reading, students will reflect on inferences and make personal connections or to a unit of study.

Tip:

  • Gist. Highlight unknown words or phrases in RED. Highlight 5W’s in GREEN.
  • Deeper - Re-read and Annotate unknown words for meaning and explain 5W’s. Reply to teacher Annotations in YELLOW.
  • All Together. Highlight connections to our unit of study in BLUE and Annotate to explain your reasoning.

Text Set

Text Structure

Structures of Nonfiction Texts

  • Use Annotations to highlight structure keyword “signals” and explain connections.

Heading Creation

  • Read article for understanding.
  • Ask questions about sections, headings, and paragraphs.
  • Create an original heading for a section and/or new title for the article.

Resource: Teaching Reading in Social Studies, Science, and Math by Laura Robb

Community Strategies

  • Graphic Organizers - T-Chart, Venn Diagram, Flow Charts
  • Socratic Seminars  
  • Debate - Defend a particular viewpoint or writing style
  • Sequencing - Timeline
  • Interactive Notebooks

Text Set

What the Text Says

Double Entry Journals

Tip: Highlight evidence that supports your claim in GREEN. Annotate to explain reasoning. Example:

What the Text Says

Why is this important?

·On page …

·The author states …

·This is important because …

·This connects to …

Notice & Note Signposts

  • Signposts:
    • Contrasts and Contradictions
    • Extreme or Absolute Language
    • Numbers and Stats
    • Quoted Words
    • Word Gaps

Tip:

  • Gist. Highlight ideas that surprise you in RED. Highlight signposts in GREEN.
  • Pause: Turn and Talk
  • Deeper. Re-read and Annotate surprising ideas and signposts. Reply to teacher Annotations in YELLOW.
  • All Together. Answer Write prompt using your Annotations as evidence to support your claim.

Resource: Reading Nonfiction: Notice & Note by Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst

Community Strategies

  • Interactive Notebooks - Have students make deeper connections to curriculum and texts.
  • RACE - Restate the question, Answer the question, Cite evidence, Explain evidence.
  • QAR - Question - Answer Relationship: Help students how to identify question types and find answers.
  • Text Dependent Questions - Progression of understanding key details from a text.
  • Say- Do Mean - What does the text say? What is the author doing? What does that mean?
  • Peer Conferencing - Have students explain their evidence in a one-on-one discussion. Engage them in a meaningful conversation about what they just read.
  • Visuals of the Story - Create an image or illustration of the text.

Text Set

 

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