Close and Critical Reading
Supporting Secondary Students Across the Content Areas
What is Close Reading?
“Close Reading of text involves an investigation of a short piece of text, with multiple readings done over multiple instructional lessons. Through text-based questions and discussion, students are guided to deeply analyze and appreciate various aspects of the text, such as key vocabulary and how its meaning is shaped by context; attention to form, tone, imagery and/or rhetorical devices; the significance of word choice and syntax; and the discovery of different levels of meaning as passages are read multiple times.”
(Brown and Kappes, 2012)
The Four Phases of Close Reading (Fisher & Frey)
What Does This Mean for Teaching & Learning?
- time and resources to build "reading stamina" with engaging, self-selected texts;
- many opportunities to practice close reading of complex text across the content areas;
- support in developing academic language proficiency through speaking, listening, and close reading;
- learning tasks requiring evidence to inform, argue and analyze (write and speak with support from sources).
- collaborate on reading strategies and academic vocabulary across the curriculum;
- discuss what content-area reading students are experiencing and what they are doing to support students in navigating complex text;
- address fluency for those students who need it.
Complex Text Resources
- Kelly Gallagher's Article of the Week-San Diego high school educator assigns close reading on current articles on a regular basis. Articles with prompts included. Includes archived titles, too.
- www.ReadWorks.org-reading passages, paired texts, and question sets by theme and content. Teachers can search by keywords, topics, text-types, and skills--and can adjust reading levels.
- www.newsela.com includes articles and text sets by content and topic. Teachers may adjust the reading level, as well as convert the language to Spanish. Includes quizzes.
- Tween Tribune-Smithsonian resource with topics and quizzes at different levels. Also in Spanish.
- LiveScience-Intriguing and trending articles, photos, and infographs on all things Science.
- Resources for Founding Documents & Great Global Conversation
- Articles from all over the world
teach students to focus on details
make inferences, analyze
Fostering Critical Thinking About Texts-article by Fisher and Frey
- Skills Matrix: Best Practices for the Social Studies Classroom (and others, too!)
- A Primer on Close Reading
GISD ELA Leadership Site: www.melissawingELA.weebly.com