I love the idea of this simple foldable for close reading! Manipulatives always help to anchor abstract ideas. To access the free download, you will need to sign up for a free account at Teachers Pay Teachers, but you really don’t need the download to use the idea. You could use the “gist” for tab 1, questions and evidence for tab 2, thoughts based on discussion for tab 3. And tab 4 label in the example, “Now What?” is great!
Time For Kids has short, high-interest news stories in lots of categories. It’s searchable, of course, so you might be able to locate articles to align with your curriculum content. If not, pick a topic that you think would be of particular interest to your students—maybe based on the kind of community you live in or local events related to an article.
To teach close reading of fiction, you need a story that has a deeper message. It has been said that a good children’s book is just a good book, and you can count on Caldecott books to be good books. Before having your students apply close reading strategies to fiction at grade level, you might consider using Caldecott books. The resource linked here has the books organized by year and by subject, with summaries of each book.
Here is a classroom poster to provide a helpful reminder of questions to ask when reading and re-reading. It would be a good idea to highlight the word “Reread” in the 4th item, and the words “Read again” in the last one. Notice, too, that the poster is available in 3 different sizes—the 8 ½ x 11 one could be used as a handout for students to keep in their planners or subject notebooks.
This resource gives an overview of close reading, and concludes with types of questions to ask after each of 3 readings when the material is a piece of fiction. I love the example of the insights about Goldilocks’ character that a close reading of The Three Bears can reveal.
The teacher in this classroom demonstration shows us how he has students read the text 3 times for different purposes. Notice that the short article being read is part of a larger unit of study. This is important because most discussions of close reading recommend using short reading selections, without specifying that content of these readings should be connected to the larger context of the curriculum.
Many upper level elementary students have the misimpression that they are not good readers because they have to read slowly. In fact, they may be reading slowly because they are doing what good readers do—trying to reconstruct the author’s meaning. They may even be stopping to think about what they are reading. Many students, like Bobby in this video, read everything fast, to show what good readers they are, when in fact they are missing most of the meaning of what they are reading.