Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"Close Read" Activities

Hi Sweet Friends!
I'm sure by now many of you have often heard the words "Close Read" many times. 

  I found this article to best sum up and explain close reads.  It is from the ASCD.  Click HERE to read about it.

Here's how I've been using "close reads" with my 3rd graders:

When I use a "close read" in my class, I try to use something that is at the higher end of the reading level for my 3rd graders.  I try to choose a piece of text that is only about a page in length on something that correlates to a theme we are working on in class.  Recently I used a biography of an author we have been studying in class.  I also like to use poetry.  Other items I use are nonfiction pieces of text that correlate with something we are studying in science or social studies. 

Recently, I have made time in my Friday E.L.A.plans for a "close read".  It takes us about 40 minutes to complete the activity sheet shown below on a "close read".  Each section or activity could be split into each day as well if it works better with your E.L.A. schedule.   Believe it or not, my students LOVE these.   I began by presenting this activity as a "challenge"  to my students.  I explain to them that the text they are about to read may contains words they do not know, but by reading the words in the text that they do know I "challenge" them to find out what the piece of text is talking about.  I pass out a hard copy of this piece of text to students, and I also have a copy projected onto our Promethean board.   During this time, we do not read the text together or discuss it.  Students are responsible for reading it independently.

When we first began a "close read", there are certain activities that I wanted my students to complete to help them synthesize and develop a deeper meaning of the text.  We began by talking about the difference between paragraphs and stanzas.  I also talked about how to "chunk" the text into manageable pieces.  Students learned quickly how to find those paragraphs or stanzas and draw a bright horizontal line with a marker to separate each paragraph.

Once students have "chunked" the text, I may ask them to write one sentence that summarizes what each section is about or find and highlight the main idea.  Students can also write a question that they may have about this particular section.  Sometimes I have my students highlight facts that are given or with poetry they may highlight examples of "figurative language".

Then students discuss with their partner what they have discovered about this "close read".  Students share with one another their summarizing sentences and questions if they have any.

For my 3rd graders, this has been a great way for them to delve deeper into the text.  They enjoy the partner share time and enjoy their text discussions.  I have found some of my students doing this very activity with Weekly Readers or the weekly subscription to the newspaper.

Below is a picture of the "Close Reading" activity sheet I have made to use with my students.  You can download this freebie by clicking on the photo below.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to hear about some of the activities you use with a "close read" in your classroom.  Have a great rest of the week Friends!


Amber @ Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher said...

This was a great post! Thanks for sharing!

Amber :)
Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post! What biography did you use with your students? Did you use the whole text or just a part of it? It also looks like you gave them some text dependent questions. I think I see some in your picture :) Would you mind sharing? Thanks so much for your great ideas!