A Closer Look at Close Reading
Students are back in school and teachers may be thinking: What did my students read over the summer? What texts should we cover in class? What reading strategies do they already know and where do they need to go? What do the Common Core State Standards say about reading and texts? What is close reading?
Close reading can be thought of as critical literacy, problem solving or meaning making, being able to read and analyze with precision. Representing Close Readings in Academic Writing, a Web seminar set for November 1, will introduce and describe close reading. Read more in this chapter from 360 Degrees of Text: Using Poetry to Teach Close Reading and Powerful Writing.
To really teach a text well, and to develop students' habits for tackling texts, teachers have to understand what factors contribute to text complexity. The September 26 Web seminar Text Complexity and Close Reading will look at text complexity and determine ways that teachers can develop close reading lessons to build students' skills.
In "Everything's a Conversation: Reading Away Isolation," an excerpt from Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards: English Language Arts, Grades 9-12, Sarah Brown Wessling describes a transformation in her teaching of reading, and relates it to her understanding of text complexity in the Common Core English Language Arts Standards. She reassures other educators that regardless of their own teaching realities, "there is a place to begin."
Find more on close reading in Sonic Patterns: Exploring Poetic Techniques through Close Reading and Thinking Inductively: A Close Reading of Seamus Heaney's "Blackberry Picking" from ReadWriteThink.org; "'I See What You Mean': Using Visuals to Teach Metaphoric Thinking in Reading and Writing" and "Using Parody to Read and Write Original Poetry" from English Journal; and "Should College English Be Close Reading?" from College English.
Speaking of reading, Banned Books Week begins September 30! Take a listen to "Censorship and Your Freedom to Read" from ReadWriteThink.org.
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