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Notice and Note

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Barbara Alfieri

on 23 September 2015

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Transcript of Notice and Note

What is Close Reading
Notice and Note
Strategies for
Close Reading

What is Close Reading?
Notice and Note Style
the text
the relevant experience, thought and memory of the reader
the responses and interpretations of other readers
the interaction among those elements
Close attention to...
Characteristics of Close Reading
Works with a novel / short text
Focus is intense
Will extend from the passage to other parts of the text
Involves a great deal of exploratory discussion
Involves rereading
Signposts Criteria
Contrasts and Contradictions:

Why would the character act (feel) this way?
Aha Moment:
How might this change things?
Tough Questions:
What does this question make me wonder about?
Words of the Wiser
What’s the life lesson and how might it affect the character?
Again and Again:

Why might the author bring this up again and again?
Memory Moment:

Why might this memory be important?

Must be noticeable, having some characteristic that causes it to stand out from the surrounding text.

Evident across the majority of books.

Offers something to readers who notice and then reflect on it to help them better understand their own response, their own reading experience, and their own interpretation of the text.
A character says or does something that's opposite (contradicts) what he has been saying all along


When you’re reading and two elements of the story appear to stand in contrast to one another

Basically, you’re noticing differences.
Contrasts & Contradictions
Signpost #1
Let’s try finding some contrast and contradiction clues in the story “Thank You Ma’am,” about a boy who tries to steal a purse from a woman.

What did I notice?
What did my partner and I say
What are my final thoughts?
I think the author uses this contrast or contradiction to show the reader...
Aha Moments
Signpost #2
While reading, the author often gives clues that the character has come to an important understanding. The character will say something like:

“Suddenly I realized”
“In an instant I saw”
“It came to me in a flash”
“I now knew”
“I finally understood that”

Clues tell you that this moment is important...
Aha Moment
Signpost #2
Signposts And
Anchor Questions
The possible answers to the question “How might this change things' can help us understand the following literary elements:
If the character figured out a problem, you probably learned about the

If the characters understood a life lesson, you probably learned the

Character development
Internal Conflict
If the character figured out a problem, you probably just learned about the conflict
If the character understood a life lesson, you probably just learned the theme

We all ask everyday questions ...
Tough questions are questions that seem not to have an immediate answer
Tough Questions
Signpost #3
Tough Questions:
Tough Questions
Signpost #3
Simply, the main character either asks a trusted person or him/herself a question that doesn’t have an easy answer.


Tough Questions show up in pairs:
“Why won’t they talk to me anymore?
"Why is everyone treating me this way?”

Sometimes... the character might say something like “I wonder if…” instead of a question

How does the author show us the tough questions?
Contrasts & Contradictions
Signpost #1
Two parts

is when two elements characters, settings, etc.) appear to be opposites of one another.

For example:

A winter setting vs. a summer setting

Contrasts & Contradictions
Signpost #1
Contrasts & Contradictions
Signpost #1
What would you think if a friend who sits with you at lunch sat in the far corner of the cafeteria instead?
The change in behavior contradicts what we expect.

In stories, there might be a contradiction between how a character acted at an earlier point and how he or she now acts.

For example...
Learn more about the character
Learn more about problems the character faces
Gain insight into a theme (life lesson)
Answers that help make a prediction or inference about the plot and conflict.

Purpose of the post its...
Aha Moment
Signpost #2
Aha Moment
Signpost #2
One tough question usually makes us wonder about other things!
Words of the Wiser
Signpost #4

The wiser character might be a ...
brother or sister,

The advice is most likely a life lesson

Author wants us to think about the important idea

A place where a character (probably older or wiser) takes the main character aside and gives serious advice.
After we notice it, we want to ask ourselves one question:

“What’s the life lesson, and how might this affect the character?”
The answers help us understand:
Internal conflict
Relationship between character & plot

Pause and ask yourself...
"WHY would the character act this way?
(anchor question)
Words of the Wiser
Signpost #4
Again and again
Signpost #5
We learn by noticing patterns
Patterns = repetition
When you notice a word, phrase, object, image, or situation mentioned over and over.
Once you notice .... you have to think why might the author bring this up again and again?
again and Again
Signpost #5
When you’re reading and the author interrupts the action to tell you a memory.

Memory moment
Signpost #6
Clues can be obvious
The character will say...
"I remember the time..."
"The memory came flooding back".
Or they can be more subtle
The character might say..
"This picture reminds me of..."
"My dad always tells the story of when..."
Often these moments contain words such as remember, memory, or remind
When you're reading and a character says or does something that 's the opposite what he has been saying or doing all along
Example - Hermione in Harry Potter
Always does HW, wants to please teachers

What would you think if one day she didn't have her HW
A technique that an author uses to show us how a character is changing and developing
With a partner(s) read the story Thank you, Ma’m about a boy who steals a purse. Find a place that has a contrast and contradiction.

Once you have noticed it, discuss the anchor question:

Why would the character act this way?

Let's Practice...
Have you ever walked into a class, seen people looking through their class notes, and suddenly remembered what it was you were supposed to do the night before study for that big test?
When you’re reading and suddenly a character realizes, understands, or finally figures something out. This realization will probably change his or her actions in some way.
Pause and ask yourself...
How might this change things?
(anchor question)
Aha Example from My Rotten Red Headed Brother, by Patricia Polacco
Aha Moment
Signpost #2
Read the excerpt from The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff about an orphaned boy traveling to America with his cousins to escape the cossacks. Find a place where the characters ask a tough question.

Once you have noticed it, discuss what the question make you wonder about.
In this, Words of the Wiser moment, what life lesson is being shared?

How might it affect the character?

Words of the Wiser
Signpost #4
What would you think if a friend didn’t eat lunch on one day?

Read the excerpt from Hatchet, by Gary Paulson
Try to identify what is repeated again and again. Then ask yourself WHY?

Time to practice!
When you are reading and the author interrupts the action to flashback to the past and tell you a memory...you should ask yourself...
“What should I do?”
“Am I brave enough to say no?”
Why was I not included?
Teaching the Signposts
Teach one at a time
Teach them all together
Looking Ahead - Nonfiction SIgnposts
Extreme or absolute language
– does the author use language like “everybody”, or insinuate something is definitely going to happen? Students should learn to question this.

An alike moment
– when the author tries to show how something is like something else to help the reader understand

Experts & Amateurs
– readers should look at what gives that person the right say something (critically evaluating quotations and authors expertise).

Stats & Numbers
– help the reader visualize

Contrasts & Contradictions

Again & Again
Take a moment to jot down any repetitions you noticed, and think again why might the author bring this up again and again?
Full transcript