Sunday, August 16, 2015

Unfolding Close Reading

The goal of close reading is to engage students in figuring out a challenging piece of text. It involves reading and re-reading the text, each time with a different purpose. As students read and revisit the text, you ask carefully planned text dependent questions that address the purpose of the particular close reading. We have created a close reading planning guide Foldable®, based on the work by Timothy Shanahan and Fisher and Frey, that can help you as you design your questions.


The Close Reading Planning Guide Foldable®


This four-tab Close Reading Planning Guide Foldable® can be a quick reference guide as you plan your own close reading lessons. To use, print out and copy double sided. Then, fold in half. Cut on the three dotted horizontal lines. Check out any of Dinah Zike's Big Books of Foldables® at Dinah-Might Adventures for the directions for the Top Pocket Foldable®and other Foldable® ideas.

Salt in His Shoes Close Reading Lesson Packet

Using the Close Reading Planning Guide Foldable®, we've created a close reading lesson packet for Salt in His Shoes by Delores Jordan with Roslyn M. Jordan. This close reading can help you build your classroom community and communicate expectations. As students participate in these activities, they will practice the guidelines for discussion and collaboration. This close reading can also provide you with information about your students’ abilities, as we’ve included formative assessments at each step. 
Close Reading Lessons:  Salt in His Shoes

Through this story, we learn that young Michael Jordan feared he'd never be tall enough to play the game that would eventually make him famous. To lift his spirits, his mother told him that salt in his shoes would help him grow. This heartwarming picture book, written by the superstar's mother and sister, and exquisitely illustrated by artist Kadir Nelson, teaches hard work and determination are much more important than size in becoming a champion.
Salt in His Shoes may not be considered a very challenging text for most 3-6 grade students. However, we believe that it is a perfect beginning of the year close reading because of its high interest (basketball and achieving dreams!) and it leads to an inquiry about how people achieve their goals. We’ve also found that the lessons learned from this text connect beautifully to the CCSS mathematical practice Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, making it an anchor lesson that can be referred to again and again over the course of the year. 

  • A definition of close reading and the Close Reading Planning Guide Foldable® – We included a simple, working definition of close reading and also turned it into a Foldable® so you can use it to plan other close readings.
  • A pre-reading activity Prior to reading the story, students will connect to their own lives, thinking about something that they have accomplished that was challenging. We’ve included a worksheet for students to complete. 
  • An activity to hook the students and build background knowledge To help students access the text and build some background knowledge, can they  watch videos of Michael Jordan’s amazing basketball feats. We’ve included the links to the videos and a note-taking organizer. 
  • Close reading lessons for each level of close reading We’ve included teacher directions, text dependent questions and response activities for each close reading level.  
  • Text dependent question Post-it! Notes We know how tricky it is to go back and forth from picture book to questions. So we’ve included the questions on a master, ready for printing. This way you can place each question right inside the picture book at the place where you will ask it.  Just place blank Post-It! Notes (or any other brand of notes as long as they are the correct size) on the template and print the text-dependent question master. Voila! Post-It! Questions ready to be placed in the book.
  • Blank Post-It! Template – Using this template, you can also write your own questions for printing.
  • Graphic organizers We’ve included graphic organizers for students to complete and for you to use on your Interactive Whiteboard.
  • Multi-genre texts The last activity goes beyond the text as student explore how Michael has continued to apply hard work and determination throughout his basketball career. We’ve included a nonfiction article and commercials for students to closely read.

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