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How to teach close reading

How to teach close reading

Close reading is an important skill for a lot of different subject areas. While it’s key to English and reading, of course, it’s also an important part of social studies and science, and can even apply to math, especially when it comes to word problems.

Most teachers are already using some close reading techniques in the classroom, but it’s always helpful to get more ideas for how to incorporate them into lesson plans. Post-it® Note Tabs and Arrow Flags, which are designed to work alongside study materials, can be valuable instructional aids for teaching close reading.

  • Reading to understand

    When students read a passage for the first time, they usually just read, without taking notes or asking questions. On the second reading of a passage, though, it can be helpful to instruct them to mark vocabulary words, questions and difficult sentences as they read along. Post-it® Arrow Flags are a great way to mark a variety of different features of the text, and they can be color-coded so that students know which flag point to which ideas. You can assign one color each to things like vocabulary, questions and sentences, or you can have students mark everything with red, yellow and green for what they think is hard, medium or easy, respectively.

    Reading to understand

  • Reading to construct responses

    On additional readings, and when you’re introducing specific questions, Post-it® Note Tabs can make it much easier for students to annotate text that’s relevant to various questions, and then use their notes later to construct responses. When students are reading for answers to specific questions, Post-it® Note Tabs allow them to take notes directly alongside textual evidence to help support the answers they’re developing. Later, when they’re working on their individual assignments, they can collect their tabs all in one place and use them to construct a response, or keep them in the text and use them to find the right sections to reread.

    Reading to construct responses

  • The goal of close reading is for students to understand text on a deeper level, but also to master the process for achieving that understanding. Repetition of the process will make them more familiar with, and more successful at, reading and comprehending complex material.

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