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Close Reading

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Cindy Gaillour

on 18 June 2014

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Transcript of Close Reading

Close Reading

A close read is a careful and purposeful reading and re-reading of a complex text, in order to analyze and gain a deep understanding of what was read

The focus is on what the author
has to say, what his purpose is, what the words mean, and what the structure of the text tells us.
Steps in Close Reading
There is no specific sequence in a close read; the following steps are meant to generally guide you in crafting a lesson that scaffolds students and focuses on increasingly complex text dependent questions. Begin with questions about the big ideas in the text and gradually ask higher level questions.

Close reading includes:
Using short passages and excerpts
Rereading deliberately
Reading with a pencil
Diving right into the text without pre- reading activities
Focusing on the text itself
Coding the text
Noticing things that are confusing
Discussing the text with others
Small groups and whole class
Responding to text-dependent questions

Depending on the text complexity and the readers, the first read may be done independently, as a read aloud/think aloud, or paired or shared reading.

The first read should be without building background; students should be integrating their background knowledge with the text as they read.
How Does The Text Work?


The third close reading of a text should go even deeper, requiring students to synthesize and analyze information from the text.
What does this text mean?
What was the author's point?
What does it have to say to me about my life or my world?
How does this text connect to other texts I know
They may record their ideas on the text itself, sticky notes, graphic organizer, or a thinking sheet.
Close Reading Intermediate Classroom
Story Structure
Text Features
Main purpose of text, author's purpose
Points of view
Context clues and word meaning
Because challenging texts do not give up their meanings easily, it is essential that readers re-read such texts (not all texts are worth close reading).

A first reading is about figuring out what a text says. it is purely an issue of reading comprehension.

Tim Shanahan - What Is Close Reading
Close reading requires that one go further than a first read. A second reading would thus focus on figuring out how the text worked
How did the author organize it?
What literary devices or text features were used and how effective were they?
What was the quality of the evidence?
If data were presented, how was that done?
Why did the author choose this word or that word?
The second reading might be a total re-reading or a partial and target re-reading of key portions, but it would not be aimed at just determining what the text said (that would have been accomplished by this point)
Should I give the students a preview of a text before the first read?
No, you probably should not, but it is not unreasonable to have students do their own look over, allowing them to get the lay of the land.

To support our understanding of what an author is really saying

To gather evidence for text based questions and argumentative writing.
What is the purpose?
(Reading Anchor Standard 1)
(Writing Anchor Standard 1)
What is
Close Reading?
The following references were used to make this
Timothy Shanahan "What is Close Reading?"

Does close reading require that every text be re-read?
Yes, it really does, but that doesn't mean that every text should be given a close reading. Some texts should still be read only once; that is all they would be worth.
Consequently, close
reading is an intensive analysis of a text in order to come to terms with what it says, how it says it, and what it means.
Close Reading Kindergarten
Teachers should only assign a close reading assignment for texts they feel are worthy of a close read.
Annotating and
Coding Text
Read with a pencil
Break the surface!!
Focus on basic understanding
Dig a Little Deeper!
Full transcript