Close Reading is reading a complex text multiple times to develop a deeper understanding of what the text says. Guiding questions are text dependent so students learn to find evidence in the text to justify their thinking.
We have been practicing Close Reading in class. You have probably noticed that your child has articles in their Baggie Book bags rather than books. Before they go home, we...
- read them many times,
- identify words that are confusing and
- clarify the meaning of these words to better understand the text.
We often keep the text for a few days as we continue to dig deeper by asking questions, making connections, rereading and discussing.
Below you'll see a copy of a poster we have in class as we practice being Close Readers.
Today we read an article about recycling. It was 6 paragraphs long. First I read it aloud while they follow along. We number the paragraphs to help us be specific when we talk about the text. Next they read it again and identify words that are confusing by circling them in red. Students may be confused because a word is hard to read or because they don't understand it. Then we try to figure them out using word structure (root words/prefixes/suffixes) or context clues (words within the text that help us infer the meaning of the confusing word.
To begin learning how to Close Read, I selected articles so we could make annotations. Later we will do Close Reading in books without writing in them, of course! When that time comes, I will provide a graphic organizer so they can record the confusing words, questions, thoughts, etc. without writing in the book.
How can you support Close Reading at home?
- Encourage your child to read the text SLOWLY several times.
- Can they identify the main idea of each paragraph? Discuss.
- Can they identify the main idea of the whole article? Discuss.
- Can they write a summary paragraph that includes a topic sentence stating the main idea of the article and several more sentences that provide details that support that main idea?