Visual Literacy

Strategies for Close Reading

Based on Strategies from Notice & Note by: Beers and Probst


What We Did!!

When collaborating with teachers, we discovered that a weak area of student learning is comprehension and close reading. Especially, when students are reading independently. One of the teachers commented on a strategy that she had been researching and was going to try. The strategy, called sign posts, came from the book Notice & Note. Unfortunately, the text did not contain templates to use. This became a great opportunity to use and create visual aids for the students and teachers. So, we created the visual aids to correlate with six steps or texts clues for close reading.


  • Contrast and Contradiction
  • Aha Moments
  • Tough Questions
  • Words of the Wiser
  • Memory Moment-Flashback
  • Again and Again


The signs are to be used in a variety of ways. One way is for the teacher to hold up the sign during a whole class or small group reading to cue the students to be aware of one of the six text clues that is about to occur. Another way is to provide the students with a student set of cards and when they come across one of the six text clues they hold their card up. Finally, and the ultimate goal, is for students to use the bookmark cues to mark areas in their reading when reading independently.


Contrast and Contradiction

Contrast and Contradiction is when something happens in the story to a character or event that was unexpected or contradictory.



Aha Moment

An Aha Moment is when the student or the character has an "I realized" or "Now I know why..." moment.


Tough Question

Tough Question is the clue for when the character has a tough situation to handle. Also, this can be used if the student has a question about the text.


Words of the Wiser

Words of the Wiser is when the character is given advise from another person or source.


Again and Again

Again and Again is when the student notices text, situations, or repeated images repeated multiple times.


Memory Moment- Flashback

A Flashback is when the student or the character notices the text referring to a previous memory.