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Close Reading:

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Colleen Flower

on 12 June 2014

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Transcript of Close Reading:

Reading Closely for Word Choice (The power of words)
Teach students to be the kinds of readers that notice things like:
political elections- income taxes are called "social-minded" revenues or "out of control spending
high fructose corn syrup is either "unnatural poison" or "just corn"
a morning show segment on clothing either "flatters your figure" or "hides your flaws."
Extensions and Support for Close Reading of Text Evidence
Revisions, Lessons for Extra Support and Advanced Work
Close Reading
different lenses
First read
is supposed to be scratching the surface.
Subsequent reads
should show
upgraded thinking
(Evolutionary, not revolutionary)

Let's Try Close Reading with Text Evidence...
CLose Reading:

What is Close Reading?
"When a reader independently stops at moments in a text (media or life) to re-read and observe the choices an author has made. He/she reflects on these observations to reach new understandings that can color the way the rest of the book is read (or song heard, life lived) and thought about." Chris Lehman,Author of
Falling in Love with Close Reading
Increasing Student Engagement in Close Reading...
Say to kids:
Read the first time to have a first draft thought. (A first draft thought is not as cool as later thoughts.)
I want you to re-read a little bit so that you can have a really cool idea.
It is okay not to know something the first time. That is why we read again...

Be creative in your choices of "text"
Students can close read-
video game footage
their environment
Close Reading is
"Kindergarten is the new 6th grade!"
Not just reading within the four corners of the text.
Just raising the Lexile level.
Close Reading is strategic reading...
"We teach kids to think so they can acquire and use knowledge. Students need to be able to use knowledge, not just know things." -Stephanie Harvey
What you want to develop...
Developed into habits with practice...
Independence-Students practice re-reading through habit.
Close Read Something That They Love...
Prove to them that they can do it...
True College and Career Readiness in our students looks like...
thinking intensive readers, listeners, viewers
students who understand complicated ideas,complex issues and multi-faceted problems.
thinkers about what they already know to understand new information.
thinking inferentially to figure out meaning in the absence of explicit information
Students who question...
Tell the person next to you about someone or something you really love and describe all the details.
Tell the person next to you something that you recently researched and give the small details.
What Close Reading Should Be:
Highly engaging
Lead to independence
Part of a diet of balanced reading instruction.
A method in your student's toolbox..
Designed with the strengths and needs of your students in mind.
Necessary repeated practice
What Close Reading Shouldn't Be!
Met with agonizing groans
Be the only way students interact with text.
Be one size fits all.
Why should I use other mediums before actual texts?
This allows for skill isolation.
When you allow decoding to be removed,you can isolate the skill and have them practice in other mediums before you have them practice within texts. (Scaffolding)
Teaching Within A Close Reading Ritual:
Read through lenses. What are you going to pay attention to while reading. Collect these details.
2. Use the lens to find patterns. What patterns do you see in the details that you have gathered?
Use the patterns to help you understand the text and get a deeper evidence based interpretation.
(Lehman and Roberts,
Falling In Love With Close Reading
First Read
Read for the gist-What does it mean?
(Reader's marks...)
Remember- this is just a first draft thought...
Second Read:
Read through a lens
Gather Evidence Around the Lens
Lens Examples of Evidence in fiction
What do characters say, think and do?
Setting Descriptions
Time period
gender stereotypes
gender power struggles
Lens Examples of Text Evidence in Non-Fiction
quotes from experts
Author's stated opinions
Create patterns:
Types of patterns:
Which details fit together?
How do they fit together?
Using colors and shapes create categories for your evidence.
Develop new understanings about text...
Use the following prompts to reflect on evidence:
The reason why the character _______ is because
My thinking about this character has changed because_________
These characters are really different because____________.
One issue I am noticing in this book is __________
I think the author is trying to teach me _________.
I think this because the author wrote.
Listen and read the first time for the
What do you think the song means and why?
Your first draft thoughts.
Katie Perry's, "Roar"
Share with a partner.
2nd Read:
Partner 1:
Watch the images of the video
with the lens of theme
What is the message?
Gather evidence.
Partner 2:
Listen and/or read the lyrics. What is the message? Gather evidence.

Now switch roles and share.
Now create some patterns based upon your text evidence.
Sort your Evidence into categories...
Give your Categories Names
Highlight or Create shapes around your Evidence and Create a Key
Reflect on your Text Evidence
You may use the following prompts:
The reason why the author included _______ because
My thinking about this song has changed because_________
This video/song are really different because____________.
One issue I am noticing in this song/video is __________
I think the author is trying to show me _________.
I think the author's message is _______________ because ____________.
Ways to Revise:
Use the exact word that you mean.
Cinderella is brave. She is
when she works hard for her step mother and step sisters by cleaning the fireplace and serving them food, even Lucifer the cat. She also goes to the ball even though she isn't allowed to go. She tries on the glass slipper, too.
Is brave the best word?

Research sources from Columbia Teacher's College, Stephanie Harvey, Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts
qualifying language
to say more...This includes answers to "when,"how,"for whom,"what kind," or "why."
For example, "Cinderella is a resilient risk-taker.
That is to say, she will do what needs to be done until she sees her chance.
Look for
causes and effects, problems or solutions
that are being expressed in the evidence. (Leads to more sophisticated thinking about text.)
Cinderella is a resilient risk-taker.
That is to say, she will do what needs to be done until she sees her chance.
She is resilient because she puts up with abuse from her step-mother and step-sisters, even when they force her into slave labor or exclude her from the ball.
Ideas for Extra Support:
Have each student contribute one piece of the evidence that they think is most important.

Gather the evidence as a class.
Have the groups look for patterns.
Rank the evidence to see which idea it supports. (To help strengthen the connection between evidence and claim.
Advanced Work or Next Steps:
Expand the lenses. Have students look at more than one kind of evidence at a time. (Or have partnerships do this with different lens and then share.
Look for contrasting patterns.
Use more complex lenses-social issues, power and gender.
"flatters your figure" or "hides your flaws"-
Which will sell more clothes?
High fructose corn syrup: unnatural poison or just corn...
Content Literacy Standards:
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Analyze the author's purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Read through lenses for word choice:
Choose specific words to gather:
Words that evoke:
strong emotions
strong images
a clear idea
Words that reveal style:
informal tone
formal tone
A clear voice
Particular kinds of words:
nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs
Let's try it. Watch the clips for the gist.
Second "read":
Partner #1- write down words that show strong emotions or images.
Partner #2- write down images from the clip that show strong emotions.
Use your lenses to find patterns:

Which words fit together?
How do they fit together?
Use the patterns to develop new understanding of the text.
Think about an author's:
Relationship to the subject
Central Idea
Frames for thinking about word choice:
One pattern I see is ________ with words like ______________.
Some words fit together, like __________ and make me feel like ______________.
These words fit together because they sound _________
The author could have _______________ but instead ______________.
There seems to be more than one pattern __________ and also ____________.
Additional Lessons for Providing Extra Support:
Reflect on text difficulty through word choice- If too many words are unknown in the text, choose more accessible texts to teach the thinking and strategy work.
Use tangible scaffolds to support building ideas- index cards with top strategies, a copy of your notetaking strategies as a model.
Use text evidence with word choice- combine to make better patterns.
A Study of Structure:
Describing Organizational Choices:
Genre is a structure: Define the structure in each genre. For example, editorial is different than poetry.
Teach students the parts of structure in relation to the whole. (Structure words like stanza, paragraph, plot parts,etc.)
Teach students author techniques.(character description, dialogue, setting, comparisons.)

Teaching Plot Structure Through Video Game Synopsis: (Example from "Diner Dash")
Flo is a hard worker at a big stock market company in Dinertown. She's tired of doing all the work and feeling unfulfilled.(
Flo quits her job, wishing she could work someplace else. She spots a run-down old diner, which she buys.(

She has to make enough money to fix up the diner. Later after earning more finance, she opens a new restaurant called Flo's Tiki Palace, after earning enough there she then opens a seaside diner called Go with the Flo's Fine Seafood Dining, when finished at the seaside diner she opens a dazzling newer restaurant called Chez Flo.

After having the intuition that something special will happen Flo finishes up in Chez Flo and is immediately transported above the clouds where a Shiva Goddess welcomes her and challenges her to 10 trials inside her own restaurant, the Indian Restaurant. The goddess transforms Flo into a golden banquet goddess with 4 arms (allowing her to carry double the amount she could before). (
Rising Action
Flo completes the 10 grueling trials (
and is congratulated by the goddess for completing the trials. The goddess then flies away to the Indian Restaurant (
Falling Action
and Flo spots a young man below working in the same business job Flo had at the start of the story and prepares to fly down intent on turning him into a waiter just like her.(
Let's try a close read of this global warming cartoon...
1st Read: Read for the gist. What is this about? This is your first draft thinking.
Second "read":
Partner #1- write down words that show strong emotions or images.
Partner #2- write down images/sounds from the clip that show strong emotions.
Non-fiction pairings...
Read the article, "Their Best Way to Show Loyalty" (http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist8/editorial1.html)for the gist. What is it about? Write in the margins.
Read a second time and underline facts, phrases or descriptions (lens). Now group these in categories by color or shape. What details fit together and how? (patterns)
RefLect on Your Text Evidence using the Prompts:
The reason why the author included _______ because
My thinking about this Article has changed because_________
This Article is really different because____________.
One issue I am noticing in this Article is __________
I think the author is trying to show me _________.
I think the author's message is _______________ because
Let's Pair this Text with Videos...
Write down facts,phrases or descriptions. Color code or use shapes to group evidence. What fits together and why?
Reflect on Text Evidence and Patterns:
The reason why the author included _______ is because
My thinking about this Video has changed because_________
This Video is really different because____________.
One issue I am noticing in this Video is __________
I think the author is trying to show me _________.
I think the author's message is _______________ because
You could also do Another Re-Read...
What does the author include to get his/her message across?
What does the author leave out to get his message across?

Read through the lenses in fiction:
Decide how you will describe the organization of the text:
One way is the techniques the author uses:
Dialogue between characters
Definition of a term
inner thinking
scene endings and beginnings
Then describe the purpose of that
To set the stage
To reveal
To create suspense
Full transcript