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Engaging in Close Reading

Tell me about it

During a close reading, students investigate a short piece of rich text through multiple readings. They often annotate the text, engaging with it as a group or independently through text-based questions and discussion (in grades K-2 the teacher reads aloud, asking questions while modeling through think aloud). Along with gaining new knowledge, students who learn how to read closely are also building the skills they need to read complex text independently.

Considerations for instructional planning

  • Begin by having students read an appropriate amount of text silently or with a partner, and then a second time by a fluent reader out loud, or vice versa.
  • Progress through a series of text dependent questions to reveal critical ideas and information within the text as well as vocabulary, text structure, and point of view or purpose.
  • Use a variety of appropriate teaching methodologies when having students answer the text dependent questions (e.g., modeling and think alouds; pair, square, and share; fishbowl).
  • Ask students to engage in writing to solidify what they have learned.
  • Connect independent reading and writing to the close reading text.

Be sure to's

  • Use a rich complex text worthy of rereading.
  • Allow students to access the text without too much frontloading of content.
  • For longer texts, select a particularly dense or memorable portion of the text to read closely.

Tools and Resources

Research