What is Close Reading?
Close Reading is being written and talked about quite a bit lately. It has nothing to do with being near sighted, however. Close reading strategies allow readers to analyze and make meaning of a text through multiple readings. This is not merely rereading the passage several times. Rather the goal is to teach children how to dissect a complex text in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the passage.
Typically close reading strategies have been modeled and used at the secondary and college levels. You probably remember highlighting in your books, taking notes, and mulling over a confusing section thinking, “I have no idea what I just read!”. Now we are asking our elementary students to do similar comprehension strategies when they encounter more challenging texts.
What Does Close Reading Look Like At the Elementary Level?
At the elementary level, it is up to the teacher to explicitly model how they apply close reading strategies. One effective way is through thinking aloud while you are going over a piece of text. Gradually you will want your students to take more ownership for this task until they can use them independently.
Close Reading Materials For Primary Grades
Finding texts that my young students could read and mark up for close reading purposes was a challenge. I wanted engaging topics that were in manageable portions. I also knew I wanted to be able to model these strategies in small groups so I could monitor the students’ skill level.
So as they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. I’ve written two Close Reading units so far. Each unit includes teacher tips and tools to support your implementation of close reading in your classroom.
There are 5 topics in each unit. Each topic includes a full color magazine which you can display on your SmartBoard or with a document camera to save ink. The magazine version will motivate your readers and get them interested in the selection.
For the second reading, you will use the matching black and white text pages.
Below each passage are instructions for important details the child should circle, underline, or highlight.
After the student has completed marking up the three parts of the passage, they are ready to answer the comprehension questions.
I know you will love using this resource with your class. You can download one complete topic for free by clicking on the picture below.