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Copy of Close Reading of Texts

An overview of what we mean by "close reading" -- as part of the shifts in the Common Core
by

kay Whitworth

on 15 June 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Close Reading of Texts

What It Is and How to Teach It
Close Reading
What is Close Reading?
Strategies
"Close reading describes, in literary criticism, the careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of text. Such a reading places great emphasis on the particular over the general, paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read."
-- Wikipedia
Language
Narrative (Author Stance)
Context
Syntax
What We Emphasize with
Close Reading
Language
Context
Read once for general understanding
Re-read text for specific understanding
Mark up the text with "code"
Focus on specific questions of inquiry
Active reading

Close Reading Strategies
Word Choice
Vocabulary
Reading Complexity
Narrative (Author's Stance)
Who is telling the story or writing the article?
How are they telling the story or information?
What format is the story or article in?
Syntax
The order in which words appear
Repeated phrases
Style of writing (format, informal, etc.)
Historical context of document, information, story
Author's background
C lose Reading in Action
Defining it Further
Why re-read a text?
* First read: Determine what the text says
* Second read: Determine how the text works
* Third read: Evaluate quality of content and make connections
-- Tim Shanahan
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


CCSS READING Components

Craft and Structure:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.5
Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.6
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


Standards RL

Key Ideas and Details:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.1
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.3
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).


The Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.7
Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.8
(RL.7.8 not applicable to literature)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.9
Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.


Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:


CCSS READING Components
Key ideas
and details
CRL.7.1Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

.
RL.7.2
Determine a theme or central
idea of a text and analyze its
development over the course
of the text; provide an
objective summary of the
text.

.
RL.7.3Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.4Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

.
RL.7.6Analyze how an author develops
and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


Integration of knowledge and ideas
RL7.7Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).

RL7.9 Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
RL7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, poems,and dramas, in grades 6-8 complexity band, proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
http://commoncore.americaachieves.org/samplevideo/4f88b96526b6154034000001
Read the story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
Read this passage silently:

There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

~~Donald Rumsfeld
*
Read 3 Times
Establish a Purpose With Students

First Reading: Students read independently and Partner Talk to Check Meaning
Second Reading: Teacher Modeling of reading
Third Reading: Thinking Aloud to Locate Clues about the Narrator and use of Text-Dependent Questions
What does it say? (literal comprehension)
What does it mean? (interpretation level-identifying themes, symbols, deeper meaning, connections to other content)
What does it matter? (levels of reflection, connection with "Big Idea")
Other ways to unlock the text
Key Words
Pulled Quotes
Wrecking the text
Shades of meaning
Key Words
Identify one or more words you consider to be central to the meaning of the text.
Be prepared to explain your choices.
Why do you think the author chose this word instead of another?
How does this word capture the centrality of the text?
EXTENSION: "5-word summary"
Negotiate with a small group the 5 most important words to use in a summary of the text. Work together to write a summary that conveys the essence of the text.
Identify a significant quotation.
Write a short justification for the quotation you selected.
Why is it significant?
Pulled Quotes
Magazines often pull and box important quotations from articles to attract reader attention.

Requiring students to pull quotes helps them determine significance.
Wrecking the text

Highlight the choices the author makes in the text.

How could you rewrite this sentence?
How does your word choice change the meaning?
Why do you think the author made the word choices he/she did?
Shades of meaning
Explore small, subtle differences in MEANING between similar words or phrases
Read a list of words carefully
Put them in order according to their meaning
Ask yourself - Which word has the strongest meaning? Which word has the weakest meaning?
Write the weakest word first.
Variation: select a word from the text and have students determine other words on the continuum of meaning (or provide variations)
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