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Close Reading Throughout the Year

Why Close Reading is Helpful

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The idea of Close Reading became big several years ago when the Common Core Standards were adopted. Though not all states still use these standards, the concept of Close Reading remains. It’s important for readers to develop skills as close readers because it leads to deep comprehension of texts. 

When we focus on Close Reading with readers, we’re giving them a chance to really dig deep. Close Reading goes beyond surface level comprehension. It provides students with a specific focus with repeated readings. It allows readers to really show what they know. 

The Lesson Plan

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The reason Close Reading can be so meaningful is because you can focus on a specific standard for each reading. When kids are dialed in to a specific focus for each reading, it means they will look at the text in a different way with each reading. Since the reading is done for a particular reason, too much front-loading is unnecessary. Instead, you really want the reader to find the answer in their text, without a lot of information provided. 

  • With the first reading, students will pay attention to Key Ideas & Details (CCSS 1-3). 
  • The second read will have a focus on Craft & Structure (CCSS 4-6).
  • Finally, the third reading will address Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (CCSS 7-9). 

When the purpose for each reading is set, readers know they need to search the text for evidence to cite when providing their answer. The question of the day can be discussed as a group first. Then, students can provide their own responses on graphic organizers, in a journal, etc. 

Readers can also mark up a text, if they have their own copy. It’s helpful for readers to read with a pencil/highlighter because they can show right where they found their answer. Sticky notes can also be used if the text is a book. 


Giving readers an idea of what marking up the text looks like is extremely helpful. Modeling this with one of the questions will help them understand what is expected of them, on their paper. 


More Close Reading Tools

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Magnifying glasses are a great addition to Close Reading lessons. This is simply because you want readers to feel like detectives, searching the text for the right information to answer their questions. 

Also allow them to use different color crayons/markers or highlighters. These can be used to find information in the text. We all know how motivating fun writing utensils can be! You can encourage readers to use a different color each day when highlighting their text evidence. This way, it’ll be quickly evident to you where they found their answers. 

My Themed Close Reading Passages

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I have Close Reading passages for Back to SchoolFallWinterSpring and End of Year. Each pack includes 5 passages that each include a lesson plan, sample coding of a second read, student copy of the passage and graphic organizers. 

Each lesson plan can be completed in a week- so that’s five weeks of Close Reading lessons for each season. Yay! These passages were written with Kindergartners and 1st Graders in mind. They are intended to be read TO your students. The questions can then be answered and discussed in a group together, before the graphic organizers are individually completed. It’s always incredible to hear what students pick up on as they search for answers to the specific questions. 

You can try out my Close Reading passages with the Dinosaur themed FREEBIE here!

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Close Reading with Any Book

A few years ago, I created a video all about how to do Close Reading with Kindergarten and 1st Grade. You can check out the video here. It walks you through how to create the questions for each reading for your students. 

I also have a pack dedicated to making this process much easier for you! In this pack, I provide question stem cards for each reading, a blank lesson plan and graphic organizers related to each standard. Take a look at that pack here.

I hope this post provided you with enough information to get started with Close Reading with your kiddos ASAP!


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Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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