This CLOSE reading passage comes from our history book. It is a one page extra story that helps to set up our new chapter. The passage is more difficult for some of my readers, but for the most part the class will have to make inferences in order to understand it fully.
I ask them to turn to the story in the book, and hand out two sticky notes to each student. While I do this I ask if anyone can tell me some of the steps we follow when we read a CLOSE reading passage. My students remember the annotations, the writing response, and answering questions. Which puts a smile on my face because they are becoming more and more confident in the process.
The stickies, I explain, are going to be where they write their annotations and any notes they need to make while reading. As they read, I will hand out a lined piece of paper for them to write their responses on.
I borrow a student's book, and model how I would like them to place their sticky notes. That if I place them next to the passage they fit perfectly along the whole length of it. On the white board, I write some of the different annotations we have been using. I write the marks like ?, ! and the circling of unknown words. I also remind them to use initials like V for Visualize, P for Predict, and C for Connect.
Before they begin, I remind them to read and annotate, but when they finish to write a response to what they initially have read. I know give them time to read and annotate. I walk around an check student's annotations. Some are writing many notes and others are sticky primarily to the punctuation annotations.
When they finish and appear to have a response written, I ask them to now listen as I read. I read the passage once straight through. I then go back and reread it and model annotating as I do.
It is now time for the text embedded questions. I ask my class questions that require them to connect back to Columbus, and to the chapter we just completed. I ask them to connect what is similar about what we just read and Columbus. To push their thinking I ask them to find where in the text it says that only two men stepped forward. Why did only two me step forward? I then ask them to try to figure out what the rest of the people might have been thinking. This creates a good discussion and spurs their inferencing skills.