A Closer Look at Close Reading

Close reading involves reading short pieces of text multiple times. As your students become more familiar with the text, they will begin to analyze the content and author's purpose through text based questions and discussion.

What does close reading look like?

Close reading looks like reading. Simple as that.

You already use close reading in your classroom. Students have been working closely with text before they could even read it. Think about the types of questions you ask your students during a read aloud. These are the same types of questions you will see in close reads.

Text-based questions and Blooms Taxonomy go hand in hand. Remember those days in your college education class where you had to write out all your questions for a lesson beforehand? Blooms helps you hit all the necessary instructional levels (remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating). The purpose of close reading is to take students through all these levels to truly understand a piece of text.

How will close reading work in a lower elementary classroom?

When your students are new readers, it is best to work on close reading in small groups. In the beginning you will need to guide your students through each step, from reading the text to talking about key details to learning new vocabulary, etc. Each new text you work with will take one week to complete. Each day you will read the text and then focus on a specific skill.

If you are ready to give it a try, here is a free reading passage and guiding questions to get you started.

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