Close Reading for Conflict

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Students will be able to analyze a text for conflict using close reading strategies.

Big Idea

Is conflict always a bad thing? As students use their close reading strategies, they will determine whether or not conflict is always bad.

Advanced Organizer

7 minutes

To prepare the students for the reading we are going to be doing, I want to first make sure they have an understanding of the vocabulary for the story.  To do this, I will display the Is Conflict Always Bad power point slide with the vocabulary words and their definitions.  I will have the students copy down the words and definitions into their notebooks.  

Then, I will have the students use the definitions to write each word in a sentence that defines the word.  

I am anticipating this to take a little longer than five minutes, so I may adjust time as needed.  

Once the students have had a chance to write their sentences out, I will have them share one of their sentences with their Face Partners.


25 minutes

We have studied inferences and characterization extensively over the past year and the students have a good grasp the skills.  If I need to review the two concepts, I will go through the notes on the Is Conflict Always Bad power point slides.  If I don't need to review, I will move on to modeling the close reading strategy.  

First, I will remind the students that when we are reading, we are reading with a purpose and focus.  Our focus today is to determine whether or not conflict is always bad.  We want to use text evidence to help support our answers.  To do this, when we are reading, we want to make inferences as well as note the character traits in the story.  

I will display an excerpt from the story "The Tail" which we are reading today.  I will model with the students how I annotate the text, making inferences and notes about the characterization.  I want the students to hear how I "think" about the text.  The hardest part for them is always knowing "what" to annotate.  This is why it is so valuable to model your thinking aloud.  I realize some students will pick this up quickly, while others will need additional support and guidance when independently working.  One way to provide them a step towards this skill, is to highlight the text for them and ask them to write out the notes or annotations.  This helps them with getting into the habit of "thinking" about the text and hopefully the "knowing" when to think will come more naturally.  

I will go through the excerpt and model my thinking and clarifying my inferences.  

Guided/Independent Practice

30 minutes

First, before starting the story, I want to review with the students the strategy of multi-draft reading.  This is a strategy that I want the students to make habit and I know they are not going to be happy about it.  

I will display the Conflict Always Bad power point slide discussing what Multi-draft reading is and why it is important.  I will spend a few minutes going over the information and listening to their complaints.  

Next, I will pass out the story The Tail by Joyce Hansen and have the students move into their reading groups.  The students are divided into homogenous groups based on reading ability.  This allows me to modify as needed and provide additional support or extension for my readers.  

Once they are in their groups, I will ask them to independently read the story one time.  During the first reading, I will remind them that they are just thinking of the basic meaning.  As they are reading, I will monitor and assist the struggling learners.  I may work with my lowest group, asking questions about the text or clarifying events to keep the comprehension and focus on track.  

After they have read the story the second time, I will have them use the Guided Notes for close reading to help them annotate the text.  Although I modeled a more independent way of close reading, my students are not ready for that yet.  They need more practice with text before I let them loose.  

I will have the students work to complete the notes and the read the story the third time to make their connections and to be able to answer the questions.  

As the students are working, I will circulate through the room, checking for comprehension.  I may work with my struggling groups more and just check in with my higher readers.  


7 minutes

To link back to our guiding question for the day, I will ask the students to reflect on the following question:  Is Conflict Always Bad  They will have to use evidence from the story they read today to answer the question.  

I will allow them about 5 minutes to write before I ask them to share with their group in a Round Robin.