Falling In Love With Close Reading

Report
Close Reading Strategies for
Middle School Readers
I N S T R U C T I O N A L S U G G E ST I O N S B A S E D O N F A LLI NG I N L O VE
W I T H C L O SE R E A DI NG B Y C H R I S TO P H E R L E H M AN A N D K A T E
R O B E R TS
MEG GLEASON
UPPER FREEHOLD REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Close Reading, A Love Story
 Reading closely was, “…the process of trying to tune
out everything else while looking at the style, words,
meter, structure, and so on, of a piece of writing –
letting the text itself shine through” (2).
 CCSS R.1, R.3, R.4, R.5, R.6, R.9
What is Close Reading?
 It is an interaction between the reader and a text
 It is about making careful observations of a text and
then interpretations of those observations
 It often involves rereading; rereading short portions
of text that help readers to carry new ideas to the
whole class
Powerful Close Reading Instruction
 Is NOT giving students a complex text then forcing
them to read it again and again until they
understand it.
 Close reading requires clear, engaging, transferable
and responsive instruction
Teaching Within a Close Reading Ritual to Build
Independence
First, read through lenses
2. Use lenses to find patterns
3. Use the patterns to develop a new understanding of
the text
1.
The Essence of Understanding:
A Study of Text Evidence
There are ways to describe text evidence and ideas in
narratives
 Precise thinking is critical
 This helps students to transfer skills to their independent
practice in more powerful ways




I’m going to pay attention to descriptions of the setting
I’m going to consider the type of relationship these characters
have (see fig. 2.2, p. 12)
Gather evidence, then develop an idea
CCSS R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says
explicitly and to make logical references from it
Closely Reading Media: Engage Students
Through Popular Songs and Text Evidence
 Example song: Boyfriend, by Justin Bieber
 Have students listen to song, then look at the lyrics
When students read the lyrics closely, they notice that the narrator
mostly talks about how much money he has and what he can do
with it
 Students can then recognize that songs, like books and people,
have messages they want to send out into the world


http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/justinbieber/boyfriend.html
More Than Just “Because”: Closely Reading
Narrative Texts to Analyze Evidence and Meaning
• The ritual for reading a text closely:
1.
Deciding what to carefully look for
2.
Finding what these things have in common
3.
Stepping back and seeing what new understanding this gives
you about the text
4.
Look for patterns, and be specific: say both what you see and
the quality of it
Reading closely for text evidence: Read through
lenses
Choose specific details to gather as data:

What characters/people say, think and do
 Relationships
 Setting descriptions
 Time period
 Which details fit together?
 How do they fit together?
Use Patterns to Develop a New Understanding of
the Text
 Look at patterns to think about:
 Characters/People’s
Feelings
 Traits
 Relationships


Whole Text
Themes
 Lessons

Phrases for Reflecting on Text Evidence and
Meaning
A Way With Words – A Study of Word Choice
 RL 4: By the end of the grade, students can
“…interpret words and phrases as they are used in a
text” (CCSS).


The goal is to have students start describing both what a text is
about and noticing how it’s written
Students should refer to the author more often
Reading Closely for Word Choice
Read Through Lenses
 Choose specific words to gather

Words that evoke



Strong emotions
Strong images
A clear idea
 Use lenses to find patterns
 Which words fit together?
 How do they fit together?
 Use the patterns to develop a new understanding
 Think about an author’s




Tone
Purpose
Relationship to the subject
Central idea
Closely Reading Media – Engage Students
Through TV Ads and Word Choice
Lesson idea
 Have a video clip ready of an ad that is aimed at your
students’ age range.
 Show two clips that can be compared
 Use print ads from teen magazines or style section of
a pop-culture magazine
Closely Reading Media – Engage Students
Through TV Ads and Word Choice
Set up student response to word choice in an ad:
Words
Impact
Idea
 Draw students’ attention to word choice and tone
Frames for Thinking About Word Choice
 Seeing patterns
 One pattern I see is ___________ with words like ______
 Some words fit together, like ___ and make me feel ______
 These words fit together because they sound___________
 The author could have _____but instead_____________
 There seems to be more than one pattern____ and also____
Additional Lessons for Providing Extra Support
 Reflect on text difficulty through word choice
 Use tangible scaffolds to support building ideas
 Use text evidence to refine ideas
 Find symbols in patterns
 Compare texts based on craft choices
Closely Reading Life – Looking at Word Choice
in Our Lives
 Study social language
 Study “other” texts
 Study the words we choose
 Run experiments on authoring new patterns

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