Close Reading

What Is Close Reading?

Essentially close reading means reading to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deeper comprehension.

What Is Considered Text?

  • Anything students can analyze and “read”
  • Writing (articles, textbooks, reports, literature, labs, nonfiction, word problems, recipes, instructions, manuals
  • Graphs, charts, statistics, data
  • Cartoons, images, photographs, artwork (sculptures, paintings, interactive art)
  • Music
  • Video

The Basics of Close Reading

  • Give students a purpose for reading:  Ask them to identify specifics elements, main ideas, or supporting evidence.
  • Model annotations:  Use your ELMO to model marking up the text.  Remember to mark up the text prior to reading so that you can anticipate where students may have trouble and what specifics you want to point out.  Also remember that annotations are personal–no two students will have the same annotations since the annotations represent their journey through the text as they grapple and making meaning of what they are reading.
  • Provide students with multiple opportunities to read  and experience the text.
  • Guide the reading.  Ask questions and have students go to the text for answers.  Have students make predictions, clarify, and summarize.
  • TALK about the text, modeling your own thinking.  Then, allow students to talk about the text and model their own thinking.
  • After teacher modeling and student collaboration, gradually release responsibility and allow students to practice independently.


  • For more information check out the reading strategies and videos on Canyon High School’s website Canyon Literacy.
  • Watch this video of close reading in a Chemistry classroom.
  • Want to learn the “Attack the Text” close reading strategy in math?  Click here!
  • Click here for close reading strategies in math classrooms.
  • 10/22 Staff Presentation on Close Reading

Click here to learn more about close reading from ACSD.

What strategies do you use to guide students into the texts in your classrooms?  I would love to compile more close reading strategies and share them with the staff.  Email me and invite me in!

4 thoughts on “Close Reading

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s