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Close Reading in Elementary Schools
Transcript of Close Reading in Elementary Schools
Close reading is an instructional routine in which students critically examine the deep structures of a piece of text, especially through repeated readings.
Close Reading Objectives
(1) Provide students with the opportunity to assimilate new textual information with their existing background knowledge and prior experiences to expand their schema
(2) Build the necessary habits of readers when they engage with a complex piece of text
Four Essential Habits of Close Reading
(1) Identifying their own purpose for reading the text
(2) Determining the author's purpose for writing it
(3) Developing their own schema
(4) Considering the thought systems of discipline, or what we might call genres and discipline-specific language (e.g. a poem differs from a science article)
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Included in these deep structures are:
-the way the text is organized
-the precision of its vocabulary to advance concepts
-key details, arguments and inferential meanings
-the consideration of the author's purpose
-how the ideas connect to other texts
-ways the reader can consolodate this information to formulate opinions
What is Close Reading?
Key Features of Close Reading
Article by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Kelli A. Haynie
Psychology of Reading
Saint Leo University
Kindergarten Classroom Application
"Yoko" by Rosemary Wells
Close Reading Guiding Question: What led to the International Food Day and how did the International Food Day impact Yoko's experience at school?
Cumulative Performance Task: Using the important events from the story, tell why International Food Day took place and what impact it had on Yoko's school experience.
Purpose: Read aloud the entire text for overall meaning and to define vocabulary words that may be unknown to the students. Discuss the big ideas.
Vocabulary to note: thermos, fretted, polished
Reread the beginning (to page 17), focusing on the following text dependent questions:
What did Yoko's mother do to prepare Yoko for school? (pg. 6)
How did the students react toward Yoko's lunch? (pg. 15)
How is Yoko feeling about school? How do you know? (pg. 17)
Wrapping-up Day One: On a class 3-column chart, sectioned into B, M, E for beginning, middle and end, respond to the following under "B": What is the main event that happened in the beginning of the story?
Purpose: Conduct a close reading of the middle section of the text (pages 18-27) and answer text dependent questions and identify main events that took place in the middle section of the text.
Text Dependent Questions:
Why did Ms. Jenkins decide to have an International Food Day? (pg. 18)
What is an International Food Day? How do you know? (pg. 23)
The class said that the purpose of International Food Day was to "try everything"! Did it serve its purpose? Why? (pg. 27)
Wrapping-up Day Two: What is the main event that happened in the middle of the story? Record your response on your 3-column chart in the column marked "M" for middle.
Purpose: Conduct a close reading of the ending section of the text (pages 28-end) and answer text dependent questions and identify main events that took place in the ending section of the text.
Text Dependent Questions:
Although the class did not "try everything", how did International Food Day still impact Yoko? (pg. 31)
How did Yoko's feelings about school change? (pg. 33)
What evidence does the author provide to show us that Yoko and Timothy became friends? (pg. 34)
Wrapping-up Day Three: What is the main event that happened in the ending of the story? Record your response on your 3-column chart in the column marked "E" for end.
Students will produce a culminating piece of writing. To introduce this assignment, explain to students that their job is to use important events from "Yoko" to write a piece that tells why International Food Day occurred and what impact it had on Yoko. Remind them they may use any notes they may have and the class chart for help, and that they should include the main events and supporting details from the beginning, middle and end of "Yoko". This may need to be completed over a few days depending on students.