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Close Reading Part #1: Main Idea

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Mr. Mecham

on 10 November 2015

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Transcript of Close Reading Part #1: Main Idea

-If possible, mark up the text or take notes on
important things that you find.
(Print the text out if you can!)
1st Read-Your purpose:
To Determine the Main Idea.
When you read with a purpose...
-You need to know what the text means and what the central of the idea is.

Question to answer:

What is main idea of the text?
Read closely with a purpose:
Main Idea
Close Reading Part #1
The main idea of the passage is that the city of Chicago in 1871 was built in a way that made it susceptible to fire.
In the text it states, "Chicago in 1871 was city ready to burn." This statement identifies the main idea
The author puts quotes around the word
to emphasize the fact that the builders' claims about their structures being fireproof were false. Throughout the rest of the paragraph, the author reveals details that identify how the buildings were flammable, and how the constructors cleverly hid those details.
The descriptions tell the reader that the buildings were constructed in a poor and risky manner. These details that the author includes support the idea that Chicago was at risk for catching on fire.
You Try:
What is Close Reading?
Close Reading is...
-Careful and purposeful reading to find deeper meanings of a text.
-In close reading you read the text,
multiple times.
-Each time you read it, you read
with a specific purpose.
-You provide evidence from the text for
whatever conclusions you make.
-Watch this video that models how to think and
what to do when you are reading for a specific

1) Identify the main idea (answer the question)

2) Provide textual evidence. Use specific words, lines, phrases, or references that you feel support the main idea as evidence.

3) Then explain HOW the evidence you chose supports your conclusion about the main idea.
I'll show you....
I am going to read this passage with the
of determining the main idea.
I wonder why an author would
say the city is "ready to burn."
That's an interesting way to say
a city is built. It shouldn't be
built that way.
jerry-built: cheaply built
What is the Main Idea of the text?
What is the main idea of the text?
1) Answer
2) textual evidence
3) Explanation
When looking for the main idea in a reading passage, ask yourself, “What point is the author trying to make about this topic?”

Remember it's more than just the topic. It's an important point or idea about the topic !

Identifying it in a text:
The main idea may be stated in an introductory sentence, but it may also appear within the passage or at the end.

If it is not directly stated, think about the details that are included. Look for important details in the passage support the main idea.
What did you notice about the students' thinking in this video?
Watch Mr. Mecham
as he reads closely.

What does he do that relates to the close reading process?
Final Question:

How can the close reading process help you in the future when you are no longer taking English?

-Define close reading

-Read a passage closely with a purpose.

-Determine the main idea of a text

-Use textual evidence to support conclusions on an identified main idea.
Ls 11-What is the main idea of the next?

Ls 12-How does the author write or present the information? (Word choice, or organization)

Ls 13-What is the author's purpose?

Ls 14-How does this text connect
with you and with others?
Paragraph Response:
Full transcript