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Let’s share and blog about the close reading resources we have found to be most useful in teaching close reading, both digital and in print, especially our second language and struggling learners.
Essentially, close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. Students are required to read text closely and support responses with evidence from the text (Burke, 2013). For example, asking and answering questions about key details in a text, retelling stories, including key details, and demonstrating understanding of their central message or lesson are important guidelines and objectives when working with ELLs at the primary level. For Middle School students, citing textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as using inferences drawn from the text are similarly pivotal in close reading of complex texts, whether English is the student’s first or second language.
To enhance understanding of the text, teachers can ask students questions that require them to process complex ideas based on text evidence (Fisher and Frey, 2012). Making connections and activating prior knowledge is crucial to this end, and it is important that they do it while they are reading the text (Wilhelm, 2012).
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