What's The Deal with Close Reading?

How can close reading help my child?

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What is close reading?

Close reading is an in depth reading of a text and all students, no matter the reading level, should be participating in close reading. Students investigate complex text and read it several times in order to comprehend it. Students read short passages repeatedly. When conducting a close reading, students answer text dependent questions. Text dependent questions require students to go back into the text to find the answer (ie: What did you read or see in the text that made you think that?, What did the author do to make you think that?) Students also participate in discussions with others about the same text. It is important to note that students will not do a close reading for every text they read.

At school, we will be focusing on close reading as a reading intervention.The research of Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey has shown that close reading can be used as a successful intervention for readers. Fisher and Frey's study showed that student made gains in reading comprehension from the closer reading interventions they participated in. Students will participate in this intervention in order to better understand texts and think deeply about them. Much of our close reading activities will take place at school but that doesn't mean you can't support your child's close reading skills at home too!

How Can I Help My Child at Home?

Here are some things you can do at home with your child to help them closely read a text!

-Read with your child!

-As you listen to your child read, think of possible text dependent questions for what they are reading. Remember, students should be going back into their text to look for clues and use evidence from the text to support their thinking.

- If there are tricky vocabulary words, help your child use clues from the sentence to try to solve it.

-Talk to your child about what they have read.

-Encourage your child to code their thinking (annotate the text). This is something we work on in class.


What else is important to remember?

Here are few more things to remember when helping your child at home:

-Students may be rereading the same text. When we close read we always reread.

-Students should also be participating in wide reading. Wide reading involves reading many different texts.

-Students should not only be reading texts from school, they should also be choosing their own texts to read.

-We can be great role models to show students good reading habits.


Please feel free to contact me with questions or for more ideas on how to help your child become a lover of reading!