Close Reading - How to Analyze Text

Taking our reading to the next level!

Bringing Close Reading and Accountable Talk into an Interactive Read Aloud of Gorillas (3-5)

What is Close Reading? Why do we Closely Read?

Use the padlet to help explain what close reading means to you.

What the Research Says...

A significant body of research links the close reading of complex text—whether the student is a struggling reader or advanced—to significant gains in reading proficiency and finds close reading to be a key component of college and career readiness. (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, 2011, p. 7)

Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) supplies clarification useful for teaching with Common Core standards in mind:

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)

If reading closely is the most effective way to achieve deep comprehension, then that's how we should teach students to read. But that description doesn't match much of the instruction I've witnessed in recent years.

Close Reading Is.....

...thoughtful, critical analysis of a text that focuses on significant details or patterns in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text's form, craft, meanings, etc. It is a key requirement of the Indiana and Common Core State Standards and directs the reader's attention to the text itself.

  • What is the author telling me here?
  • Are there any hard or important words?
  • What does the author want me to understand?
  • How does the author play with language to add to meaning?
  • Mini-Lesson: Reader's Read Closely to Analyze and Critically Think About Text...

    1. Connection - Reader's in our classroom...

    2. Active Engagement - Closely reading an excerpt together...

    3. Link - Texts on the tables to closely read...

    4. Independent Practice - Use texts to practice close reading...

    5. Share - 2/3 sharing the mini-lesson skill/strategy...

    Let's read and analyze!


    I meant what I said
    And I said what I meant….
    An elephant’s faithful
    One hundred per cent!

    And it should be,
    it should be, it SHOULD be
    like that!
    Because Horton was faithful!
    He sat and he sat!

    “My goodness! My gracious!”
    they shouted. “MY WORD!
    It’s something brand new!

    -Dr. Seuss

    For if dreams die
    Life is a broken-winged bird
    That cannot fly.
    Hold fast to dreams
    For when dreams go
    Life is a barren field
    Frozen with snow.

    -Langston Hughes

    Adding Technology to Close Reading....

    Reader's use liquid text to closely read and analyze text.