Check out this presentation given by an ELA/Literacy Common Core expert on Close Reading Skills. Watch the full webinar recording, ask Suzanne a question, and even schedule a 1:1 chat with her at CommonCore.com.
Close Reading: !
An Opportunity for Rigor
Suzanne J. Skipper
Rationale for Close Reading:
Rigor in the classroom-or rather lack of it.
Rigor is not an attribute of a text, but rather
a characteristic of our behavior with that
The essence of rigor is engagement and
Points To Ponder:
What is my own deﬁnition of rigor?
How do my colleagues deﬁne rigor?
What do I think--can a student be encouraged
to think rigorously about a text that is at his
or her independent reading level?
If I needed to make a checklist of practices
that new teachers could use to help them
decide if their classrooms would be called
rigorous, what would I include?
What Is Close Reading?
Close reading implies that we bring the text
and the reader close together.
Close reading should suggest close attention
to the text and close attention to the
Doug Fisher: !
Start with a short passage.
The focus is intense.
Extend from the passage itself to other parts of the
Should involve signiﬁcant exploratory discussion.
Must involve rereading.
Does a text have to be complex for one to read
What habits and dispositions do I need to instill in
students when they are reading multimedia texts?
What motivates you to pay particular close attention
to a portion of a text? What do you do during the
close reading process? Take notes? Annotate?
Is close reading different for ﬁction and nonﬁction?
Immediate Instructional Practice:
Find a short text that is challenging.
Read the selection aloud to students as they
Tell them that as they read, they should mark
those spots where they feel confused, have a
question or wonder about something.
Ask them to reread the selection.
Pull the whole class back together, collect on the
board the questions that have been generated.
In pairs or trios, ask them to look at the questions
they think are most interesting or important, discuss
them and make notes about their thoughts.
Pull the class back together and work through some
of the more interesting questions.
Decide what follow-up is needed.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought
forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in
Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all
men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing
whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and
so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a
great battle-field of that war. We have come to
dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting
place for those who here gave their lives that that
nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper
that we should do this.
Lincoln s Gettysburg Address excerpt
What is four score and seven years ago?
Why is he speaking about a New Nation ?
What is a proposition?
What is the great war, or Civil War?
Who is at war and why are they still at war?
Why are people giving their lives so that more can
Is this religious? About becoming religious?
Is this saying that if you do everything God wants
then you are clothed in Holy robes for glory?
Do you have to become super religious to be
What if you say to God to do all this stuff to you but
then nothing changes, like no holy robes, does that
mean God failed?
Educator directed questions:
Is there evidence that this narrator is concerned?
Is there evidence that if both sides don t
communicate the Civil War will continue?
What speciﬁc lines indicate the evidence? CITE
Words of the Wiser:
Again and Again:
Resource: Beers, K. & Probst, R. (2013) Notice & Note, Heinemann
Susan Pinnel: Argumentative Writing
Write your own questions PRIOR to the lesson
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