Falling In Love With Close Reading

Lesson for Analyzing Text...and Life!

What Can I Use to Introduce Close Reading?

  1. Song Lyrics
  2. Commercials
  3. Food
  4. Poems
  5. A read aloud that your class if familiar with
  6. Person
  7. Anything...

What Close Reading IS & is NOT...

Close Reading IS:
  • interaction between reader and text
  • careful observations and interpretations
  • involves re-reading, often a short portion
  • noticing patterns (repetition, changes, word choice, etc)
  • carrying new ideas to whole text


Close Reading IS NOT:

  • to diminish engagement
  • to be dependent on teacher prompting
  • to be isolated
  • to be interrupted with activities
  • a one time lesson and done
  • to be forced

My Students Are Already Close Readers...what next?

1. It is common for students to have an idea, and then find evidence. Instead - let's shift and teach gather evidence first, then develop an idea!


2. It is common for students find one pattern quickly and be done. Instead - challenge them to seek out contrasting patterns. For example, "How characters say one thing but do another or how the author describes a subject mostly one way but in a few instances points to another view to consider."


3. It is common for students to tell you that the repeated verses in popular songs are also the message of the song. Instead - let's listen to the song and close read the lyrics to investigate if in fact this is true based on patterns.


4. It is common for students to read, then retell and answer questions. Instead - let's continue to be intentional and set an expectation to read with a purpose, one purpose. For example, "Today we are going to focus specifically on what close reading for text evidence might reveal about the characters in our books."