Close reading is a strategy that the students will need to know in order to find success with complex text. In the transition to CCSS I am finding that students do not know how to "think" about the text. They struggle with locating text they could use to draw or make conclusions. If they are given the text, they are usually able to draw a conclusion, but for them to locate the text within a passage and use that to draw a conclusion, is really hard.
In order to get the students to begin thinking about text, I will have them look at the passage and answer the questions. It will encourage them to think about text rather than just recalling the information.
I will allow the students time to work on the Advanced Organizer handout. After about five minutes, I will have the students share their answers with their Face Partners. Then, I will ask students to share with the entire class. We will discuss how we made the conclusions and how we identified the text to use to make the inference.
To help the students understand the process and strategies used in close reading, I want to model it first.
I will display the story The Old Grandfather and His Little Grandson onto the board. As I read the text aloud the first time, I will just simply read and identify the main idea/central idea. I want the students to see that the first time I read the story, I just try to focus on the general comprehension and understanding for what it was about.
Then, I will read through the story again and model Close Reading Model to demonstrate how I locate text that I feel is important and use that demonstrate how I draw conclusions from the text. I will write my thoughts on the board. At first, I will just model this, but eventually, I will try to solicit their thoughts and encourage them to think about the text.
We will go through the passage, discussing the text and what we think about what the author wrote, how she wrote it, and why she wrote it.
As nervous as I am to transition the students to doing this strategy with a more complex text, I am very excited to see what my kiddos can do with the skill, once they master it. How much easier will reading comprehension be for the students once they acquire the skills to tackle through difficult text?
I am hoping that all of this works pays off in the end. Nothing is more exciting than seeing the students gain a skill and build confidence with their reading!
First, I will pass out the story The Wounded Wolf and inform the students that we will be doing a multi-draft reading of the text. The first time through, I just want them to note the central idea and basic components of the plot.
Then, we will read through again to locate and identify the author's language used. Finally, we will go through and draw our conclusions.
I will read the story aloud. Modeling my thoughts as a reader. Then, I will pass out the guided annotations page. This could be used as a scaffold for the students who struggle with knowing what to annotate.
I will have the students locate the number in the passage and match it up with the number on the guide. This is to show them how the text labeled matches the question on the handout. It also demonstrates what a "close reading" note may look like.
I will have the students work to answer the questions on the Guided Annotations handout. I know they will need assistance with this, so I may have to stop and guide them with a few of the questions.
I also know they will jump ahead and not really think of what the question is asking, so I will go through each question, ensuring the students know exactly what the question is asking!
I will allow them time to work with their shoulder partner. This will give me the chance to circulate through the room and guide as needed.
Because this activity is so guided, it is hard to assess their skills. What I can do it ask them to reflect on the activity and share their struggles/celebrations with it.
I will pass out a Closure Slip and ask them to fill it out. I can collect it and use it for an assessment an it will also provide a way for the students to process their own learning.