CLOSE
READING
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1. Close Reading
= comprehension
of challenging texts
5 Strategies (but there are more!)
Shades of
Meaning
explores
subtle
differences
in meaning
between
similar words
or phases
Key Words
students
highlight
what they
think are the
key words
and then
defend their
choices.
Pulled Quotes
Wrecking
A Text
Text-dependent
questions
requiring
students to
“pull quotes”
helps them
determine
significance
*making
the writing dull
high level
questions that
can only be
answered through
reading the text
*another way
to say,
“summarize it”
Example of
“Shades of Meaning”
in a Close Read
1. At your table, open your envelope.
2. Put the 8 words in order from: MOST DESTRUCTIVE
to
LEAST DESTRUCTIVE
3. Be ready to explain your choices.
Mt. Saint Helen’s Video Clip
Now, “Pull a Quote” from one of
the two paragraphs we just read.
What sentence captures
the main message of the
paragraph?
Text Dependent Questions:
1. Are forest fires ever good?
Using evidence from the text, explain your answer.
2. If you were talking to your 6 year old cousin,
how would you explain ecological succession?
3. Create a thinking map that compares and
contrasts primary and secondary succession.
WRECKING A TEXT
•Highlighting the choices the
author makes in the text.
•Then Mr. Fox chose three of the
plumpest hens and with a clever
flick of his jaws he killed them
instantly. (RoaldDahl)
•How could you rewrite this
sentence? How does your word
choice change the meaning? Why
do you think Dahl made the word
choices he did?
Strategies for Close
Reading
KEY WORDS
• Allows readers to locate the
center of a piece of writing
• Students can highlight key words.
• Read Let Evening Come
*Identify one or more words you
consider to be central to the
meaning of the poem.
*Be prepared to explain your
choices.
*Why do you think the author
chose this word instead of
another?
*How does this word capture the
centrality of the text?
Strategies for
Close Reading
Key Words
Allows readers to locate the
center of a piece of writing
Students can highlight key
words.
Read Let Evening Come
1) Identify one or more
words you consider to be
central to the meaning of
the poem.
2) Be prepared to explain
your choices.
3) Why do you think the
author chose this word
instead of another?
4) How does this word
capture the centrality of
the text?
Let Evening Come
Let the light of late
afternoon
shine through chinks
in the barn, moving
up the bales as the
sun moves down.
Let the cricket take
up chafing
as a woman takes up
her needles
and her yarn. Let
evening come.
Let the fox go back to its
sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let
the shed
go black inside. Let evening
come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to
the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and
don't
be afraid. God does not
leave us
comfortless, so let evening
come.
Jane Kenyon
PULLED QUOTES
• Magazines often pull and box
important quotations from
articles to attract reader
attention.
• Requiring students to pull quotes
helps them determine
significance.
*Work with your table to identify a
significant quotation. Write a
short justification for the
quotation you selected. Why is it
significant?
Strategies for
Close Reading
Text Independent



Text Dependent
The overarching problem with these
questions is that they require no
What is the little red hen planning?
Why did the North fight the civil
familiarity at all with Lincoln’s speech in
war?
Have you ever been to a funeral or order to answer them. Responding to
these sorts of questions instead
gravesite?
requires students to go outside the text.
Lincoln says that the nation is
dedicated to the proposition that
Such questions can be tempting to ask
“all men are created equal.” Why is because they are likely to get students
equality an important value to
talking, but they take students away
promote?
from considering the actual point
What just happened?
Lincoln is making. They seek to elicit a
personal or general response that relies
How does the hen feel about others’
on individual experience and opinion,
response to her request for help?
and
answering
them
willso?
not move
What
makes you
think
students closer to understanding the
How does the author help us
text
of the “Gettysburg
understand
what a mill Address.”
is?
Text Independent
Good text dependent
questions will often
Havelinger
you everover
eaten freshly
baked
specific
bread?
phrases and sentences
How do you feel when you ask for
to ensure careful
others for help and they don’t help?
comprehension of the
help
What istext—they
your favorite animal?
students see something
Who in your life works really hard?
worthwhile that they
How might you help him or her?
would not have seen on
a moreour
cursory
Remember
trip to thereading.
high school
Have you ever seen a hen?
farm? What animals did we see?
Text Dependent
In the first sentence, what does Lincoln tell us
about this new nation?
What is he saying that is significant about
America? Is he saying that no one has been free or
equal before? So what is new?
(Beyond what students may or may not know
about the Declaration of Independence) what does
Lincoln tell us in this first sentence about what
happened 87 years ago?
Who are “our fathers”? What can we know about
“our fathers” from this sentence?
What impact does starting the sentence with
“now” have on its meaning?
When Lincoln says the nation was “so conceived
and so dedicated” what is he referring to?
SHADES OF MEANING
Explore small, subtle
differences in meaning
between similar words or
phrases
•Read a list of words carefully
•Put them in order according
to their meaning
•Ask yourself -Which word has
the strongest meaning?
Which word has the weakest
meaning?
•Write the weakest word first
Strategies
for Close
Reading
Close Reading Tips
• Use a short passage.
• Read with a pencil.
• Note what is confusing.
• Pay attention to patterns.
• Give students a chance to struggle
a bit.
Close Reading Task
• Choose a section of text you will be
covering in the next 3 weeks.
• Choose 1 or 2 of the close reading
strategies to use with the text.
• Design the lesson.
• Do the lesson by week of October 25,
and be ready to share what worked
and what might need to be adjusted.
Big Idea
Big Idea
• The words know and understand are not
synonyms.
• A student can have an accurate and
thorough knowledge of something
without understanding why the
knowledge is justified, what the
knowledge means, or what can be done
with that knowledge
• Wiggins and McTighe, 1999,UbD Handbook
Common Core Unit
Big Idea
Guidelines
Some Examples
Subject
Big Idea
English / Foreign Language
• Everyone has a story to share/tell.
• Relationships are never black and
white.
Social Studies
• What people have done in the past is
the foundation of what we do today.
• Power can have positive and negative
effects.
Science
• Different processes affect the world.
• Life exists in a delicate balance.
• Principles of chemistry underlie the
functioning of all living things.
Math
• Relationships come in many forms.
• Rules are essential in a structured
system.
Physical Education
• Structure is dependent on rules.
• What goes up, must come down.
VAPA
• Power is the ability to influence
others
3. Essential
Questions
Common Core Unit
Essential Questions
• Essential questions are
– concepts in the form of questions.
– organizers that set the focus for the lesson
or unit.
– initiators of creative and critical thinking.
– not clear-cut.
– interesting to students - sparking their
curiosity and sense of wonder.
– engage students in real life problemsolving.
Essential Question Examples
Subject
Big Idea
Essential Questions
English/
Everyone has a
story to share/tell.
i. How does conflict impact relationships?
ii. How do an author’s experiences affect plot?
iii. How does structure impact “everyone’s” story?
iv. How does perspective affect meaning?
Social
Studies
What people have
done in the past is
the foundation of
what we do today.
i. What types of issues cause great empires
(nations, governments…) to fall?
ii. How did external forces contribute to early
revolutions?
iii. Why have some revolutions resulted in lasting
democracies and others not?
Science
Different processes
affect the world.
i. How do organisms affect the Earth’s surface?
ii. How is topography affected by weathering?
iii. Why are there different types of soils?
Foreign
Language
Subject
Big Idea
Essential Questions
Math
Relationships come
in many forms.
i. What is the relationship between plotted points
and the slope of a line?
ii. How are x and y related?
iii. How do functions show a relation between
two quantities?
Physical
Education
Structure is
dependent on rules.
i. What social skills are needed to work
cooperatively?
ii. Why are rules needed to play an organized
sport?
iii. What motor skills are needed to play
basketball successfully and why are these
important?
Visual And
Performing
Arts
Power is the ability
to influence others.
i.
ii.
How is music used to convey power?
How is music used to influence emotional
responses?
Essential Questions Checklist
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EQ’s Usage Tips
Organize units around EQ’s
Design assessment tasks that link the unit’s EQ’s
2-5 EQ’s per unit
Frame questions in “kid language”, but provocative and
engaging for the age group
Link lesson activities to the EQ’s.
Logically sequence the questions to assure a natural
flow of thought
Post the EQ’s clearly in class
Help students make personal connections to the EQ’s
via personal stories and outside evidence like news
clippings.
Unpack the questions using sub-questions and Thinking
Maps
EQ Litmus Test
“An essential question is – well, essential: important, vital, at the
heart of the matter – the essence of the issue.” - Grant Wiggins
A question is essential when it:
• Causes genuine INQUIRY into the big ideas and core content
• ARGUABLE: provokes deep thought, lively discussion,
sustained inquiry, and new understanding as well as more
questions
• Requires students to CONSIDER alternatives and viewpoints,
WEIGH evidence, SUPPORT their ideas, and JUSTIFY their
answers
• Stimulates vital, on-going RE-THINKING of big ideas and
assumptions
• Sparks meaningful CONNECTIONS with prior learning and
personal experiences.
Two Types of EQ’s
Overarching
Topical
• Points beyond a unit to larger, transferable ideas
• Specific topics, events or texts are not mentioned
• (ex: Is it inevitable that history repeats itself?)
• Links one topic to other related topics and subjects
• (ex: Can the health care policy of the present
Administration be financially solvent in 50 years?)
Linking math and social studies
• Can be answered through the course of
learning about the unit content and stay within
the bounds of that subject
• No single correct answer; answers can be
defended from content facts
• (ex: How many ways can we achieve the sum of
23?)
What’s the Connection to
Big Ideas and Essential Questions?
• Big ideas and essential questions:
– assist students in gaining deeper
understanding of content and skills.
–assist teachers in focusing their
teaching at helping the students
gain deeper understanding.
Big Idea/Essential Question
Task
Using your content standards:
• Partner with someone within your content.
• Choose a specific content standard.
• Generate a “big idea”
• Create 3-5 “essential questions”
• Write your big idea and essential questions on a
piece of paper, indicating your subject and
names.
• Leave your paper with me. I will type it up and
distribute it to all Godinez staff.