Lesson plans, strategies, and activities
Bringing the Common Core Standards to Life in the Classroom
Scroll to page 3 of this document for a discussion of close reading and the PARCC assessments and for discussion of the G.I.S.T. and "Somebody Wanted But So" strategies.
Close Reading Jigsaw
In this YouTube video (2:30) a teacher demonstrates close reading in the elementary school classroom using a jigsaw strategy.
Close Reading of a Literary Passage
This handout lists 6 basic strategies students should use to while reading closely. One page; requires Adobe Reader for access.
Close Reading Satire
This close reading strategy is discussed in the context of "A Modest Proposal" but will work with any piece of satire.
Close Reading Strategies and the CCSS
A teacher shares 4 approaches she uses to develop close reading skills.
Close Reading of President Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
This structured handout guides students through a close reading of a short passage from the address. One page; requires a word processor for access.
Close Reading Through Isolation
Students explore images and words with strong connotations as a pre-reading activity. This strategy is described in the context of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" but will work with many texts.
Close Reading through Repetition
Students annotate and analyze a passage. The model uses an excerpt from The Things They Carried but will work with other passages, too.
Doing Close Readings
Links to ideas for developing this skill in readers.
Five Simple Close Reading Strategies
Teaching students how to do a close reading? Start with these clear, simple approaches.
A Guide to Close Reading at the AP and College Level
This 2-page handout describes close reading as "levels of attention which we can bring to the text" and includes checklists and a list of strong verbs. Adobe Reader required.
How to do a Close Reading
This downloadable YouTube video emphasizes language, narrative, syntax, and context. High school students do a close reading of Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!. Near the end are suggestions for close reading in other disciplines. Video runs 4:22.
How to do a Close Reading
This article focuses on looking for patterns in a text.
Middle School ELA Curriculum Video: Close Reading of a Text: MLK "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
This is a 15-minute (downloadable) video in which David Coleman, a contributing author to the Common Core State Standards, models a close reading.
Mining literature for deeper meanings
This TED-ED video (4:13) Amy E. Harter encourages students to read and write critically and thoughtfully by practicing insight, acknowledging complexity, and searching for big ideas. Captioned, includes follow-up questions. Uses examples from Pride and Prejudice and Beloved.
Strategies for Close Reading and Critical Reflection
Definition and strategies for close reading. This page is designed for college but could also be used with high school students.
Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading
In this video (1:43), a teacher demonstrates using 3 symbols to respond to a text during close reading.
Using Storyboards to Inspire Close Reading
Storyboarding might be used not just to help students plan presentations or writing, but also to encourage more careful reading. Includes links to articles, storyboard template, CCSS anchor standards.