Close Reading: Responding in Writing

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Students will be able to draw evidence from literary text to support analysis of the author's use of characterization and figurative language by prewriting and drafting an explanatory essay. Students will be able to re-acquire the meaning of certain “Zebra” words by matching words and pictures and identifying synonyms and antonyms.

Big Idea

Close reading gives students room to explore and analyze literature using productive struggle and explicit guidance from the teacher.


10 minutes

Identify the types of figurative language that is being used in the poems written on the board.  In your concrete evidence and commentary, identify the lines in the poems that show the type of figurative language you identified in your topic sentence.  In the commentary, explain how those lines are an example of OR what effect that figurative language has on the poem. Summarize your main thoughts in your concluding sentence.


Reteaching Vocabulary

30 minutes

A couple of weeks ago,  we we taught a lesson vocabulary, both academic and general vocabulary.  When we graded their vocabulary cards, it was clearly evident that students did not actually acquire the vocabulary, especially the academic vocabulary. Hence, reteaching was necessary.  Oh, reteaching.  Sweet, sweet reteaching. We choose to focus on the academic vocabulary and words we knew they would encounter again this year, rather than the important words of the story.


Today was reteaching day.  We used a strategy that I have used  for the last years, especially with my co-taught classes. It has two parts--matching words and definitions, and identifying synonyms and antonyms. We gave the students their vocabulary cards, and they made the corrections on those vocabulary cards.


Part 1


Part 1 is not horribly rigorous, but it the initial reteaching and it is important to review.  I used Zebra Vocabulary.pptx for this part.  I showed the students two to four pictures of a word, which they then needed to match up with the definition and word.  It went like this:


I showed this slide:








Bill suggested that it was the word sufficient.  Jasmine said that she thought that it was cite, because the person is pointing to a book.  Something in a book is highlighted and then put in notes.  I said that Jasmine is right, it is cite, and clicked the mouse to have the word and part of speech pop up.  I told students that if they didn't have the correct definition or picture, they should add it now.  Next slide!


And on and on.


Part 2


We didn't spend a ton of time on Part 1 because the majority of students did fine on the definition.  Part 2 took longer, because this is the part that they struggled with. We used Zebra Vocabulary with Synonyms and Antonyms.pptx, which contains the same slides as Zebra Vocabulary PowerPoint, but with added synonyms and antonyms.


We gave each student a list of synonyms and antonyms. That list can be found Zebra Vocabulary Synonyms and Antonyms.doc.  Students were tasked with examining the list of synonyms and identifying three words that were synonyms. 


For our first word, cite, students said that official was a synonym, but that's not quite close enough.  Then they suggested quote, which is absolutely right.  For antonyms, they suggested plagiarism and stealing, which was absolutely correct.


We went through the whole process for each word.  They did much better on the test after this reteaching session, thank goodness.

Close Reading:Responding in Writing

30 minutes

A critical part of the close reading process is responding in writing.  For this close reading session, students are responding in writing by writing two paragraphs about character traits and figurative language. The text-dependent questions that students answered and reviewed yesterday led directly to today's writing assignment. 


We asked students to write two paragraphs.  Do they need to be T3C paragraphs?  Of course! What else would we do here at Sinagua?  Silly pumpkins, we always write concrete evidence and commentary.



 We asked students to brainstorm ideas on the outline and create a basic rough draft before writing their final drafts.  We gave them a couple of days to finish the paragraphs at home before they were due.

Lesson Resources

Today's lesson picture comes from exosfear94.