Read like a detective and write like a reporter. Close reading requires students to read closely and with a purpose. Teachers should ask higher level questions that require students to not just comprehend but to analyze text. Students should always to back to the text and be able to cite evidence and tell how they know.
The common core standards have promoted the idea of close reading; essentially a more text-centered approach to guiding students' reading comprehension.
In close reading it is common to stress the idea of taking students through a text multiple times. To make up this lesson, I went through it multiple times, making up different questions for each reading. I found that making up different kinds of questions on each reading was a good discipline for me as a teacher, and perhaps you would find the same thing.Close reading requires the student to be taken through the text multiple times. For a first read of a text, the teacher should ask questions that ensure that the students understand and think about the major ideas in the story.This means you limit the questions to big ideas or you clarifyinformation that you think the students might be confused with. During the second read, you should askquestions that require students to analyze how the text works. Students should start to understand why the author made certain choices and how those decisions change the meaning or tone.On the third read, students should begin to make connections between the text and their own lives and other texts.
Annotating the text can take ANY form—sketching, words, phrases, and/or complete sentences. Students can annotate on paper copies of text, use post it notes, or journals to annotate.When I can, I like to copy the passage so they can write directly on the text. Highlighting tape is also a good tool, but you must be careful that they not just highlight. Highlighting is not annotation. Students must be able to tell why they chose to highlight text.
What is the purpose of asking students to annotate the text? When students have to make notes about what they are reading in order to explain their thoughts, they must slow down . This helps deepen the comprehension.
Highlighting alone is NOT annotating. When something is highlighted, students MUST be asked to note why the selection was highlighted.
What is Close Reading?
“Close Reading – an intensive
analysis of a text in order to
come to terms with what it
says, how it says it, and what it
•Close Reading is a central focus of the Common
Core State Standards (CCSS).
•It requires students to get truly involved with the
text they are reading.
•The purpose is to teach them to notice features and
language used by the author.
•Students will be required to think thoroughly and
methodically about the details in a text.
Close Reading is…..
• Read with a pencil in hand – annotate the text
• Look for patterns in the things you’ve noticed
about the text – repetitions, contradictions,
• Ask questions about the patterns you’ve
noticed – especially how and why
How to do a Close Read
Annotation is a note of any form
made while reading text.
“Reading with a pencil.”
Annotation slows down the
reader in order to deepen
People have been annotating texts
since there have been texts to
Annotation is NOT highlighting.
“Every book has a
between its covers.
Your job as an analytic
reader is to find it.”
Adler and Van Doren