Close Reading

Close Reading is different from active reading. It's a systematic process that can be used to make meaning from text. It's a powerful tool that's helpful for all levels of readers and learners!

Instead of asking students to form an idea, then provide details and evidence from the text to support their ideas, close reading asks students to notice the details/evidence first, then form an idea. It may seem a little backwards at first, but when students try it they are often amazed by the understandings they arrive at as a result!

The process of close reading is pretty simple, and it can be used with any type of text in any subject. One method of close reading has three steps, as found in Falling in Love with Close Reading, by Christopher Lehman and Kate Roberts:
  1. First, read through lenses: Decide what you will be paying attention to while reading, and collect those details.
  2. Next, use lenses to find patterns: Look across all of the details you have collectedvand find patterns.
  3. Finally, use the patterns to develop a new understanding of the text: Consider these patterns in light of what you have already learned from the text. Put these together to develop a new understanding of the text or a deeper, evidence-based interpretation.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it's enough to get started. If you'd like to learn more about close reading, just let me know!
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