Three years ago, as I started my first work around close reading, Google searches revealed almost nothing. There were a couple of videos and some books but none of these were created specifically for a K-12 audience. Now, of course, there is no shortage of books, videos, trainings, webinars, conference workshops, and print materials that describe this instructional approach. Before you blow through your modest budget on any of these items, consider learning about the move through a number of free and well-vetted materials.
David Coleman did not invent close reading but he certainly brought it to a lot of people’s attention when he described it at a PARCC conference three years ago. Watch from minute 4:08 through 8:12 as Coleman contrasts “typical” reading instruction to close reading.
Dr. Stephen Gehrke worked with teachers in Washoe and generously shared his materials (here) to help contextualize what close reading is and a method for doing close reading with students.
Dr. Louisa Moats, contributing author to the Common Core State Standards, explains close reading here.
Tennessee has created a Guide to Close Reading that answers the following questions: What is close reading? Why is close reading important? and How is close reading done?
The Aspen Institute published “Implementing the Common Core State Standards: A Primer on ‘Close Reading of Text’” (here). Coauthored by Sheila Brown and Lee Kappes, the primer defines close reading, provides strategies for its implementation, and connects this instructional approach to the standards.
Those of you who are employing the close reading strategy in your classroom may find this Standford news article interesting (here). Researches are demonstrating that close reading increases neural activity and “how cognition is shaped not just by what we read, but how we read it.”
You can view the close reading strategy, matched to Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”, with students. Part One and Part Two.
You can find close reading exemplars here and here. You can find over 40 social studies/history close reading exemplars by joining an Edmodo group here.
The Aspen Institute posted a close reading exemplar of Russell Freedman’s The Voice that Challenged a Nation here.