Close Reading in Elementary School : Bringing Readers and Texts Together book cover
1st Edition

Close Reading in Elementary School
Bringing Readers and Texts Together

ISBN 9780415746144
Published May 5, 2014 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

The Common Core State Standards encourage teachers to use close reading as a means to help students access complex text. Many literacy experts believe close reading has the power to create strong, independent readers. But what does that really mean, and how does it work in the classroom?This book is your must-have guide to getting started! It provides step-by-step strategies and scaffolds for teaching close reading and improving students’ comprehension of complex texts. You will learn how to teach close reading based on text type, how to transition students through increasingly challenging texts, and how to use close reading as a springboard for close writes and close talks.

Special Features:
• An easy-to-use framework for creating a close reading lesson
• Close reading strategies for a variety of literary and informational subgenres
• Ideas for teaching close reading to meet specific comprehension objectives based on the Common Core, including analyzing text structure and evaluating argument
• Suggestions for helping students read with increased levels of rigor
• A clear explanation of what text complexity really means and how it varies by student
• Scaffolds to help students at all ability levels do a close reading
• Guidelines and procedures for close talks—purposeful, focused discussions about text
• Procedures for close writes that vary based on genre and student ability level

In addition, each chapter includes study guide questions to help you apply the ideas in the book to your own classroom. With this practical book, you will have all the tools you need to make close reading a reality!

Table of Contents



Chapter 1:  Defining Complex Text in the Classroom

Chapter 2:  Close Reading: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Practices
Chapter 3: An Overview of Close Reading Strategies
Chapter 4:  Reading Across Literary and Informational Genres
Chapter 5:  Reading for Specific Comprehension Objectives
Chapter 6:  Reading with Increasing Levels of Rigor

                   CLOSE WRITES
Chapter 7:    Using Close Talks to Deepen Understanding
Chapter 8:    Close Writes As a Springboard into Student-Generated Writing

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Dr. Diana Sisson and Dr. Betsy Sisson hold doctorates in Educational Leadership as well as being certified reading consultants. The sisters have worked abroad developing reading programs for students in international settings, have consulted on federal research grants, and present at both national and international conferences. They currently operate their own consulting service focusing on professional development and school improvement. They also serve as adjunct professors in the fields of teacher preparation, curriculum and instruction, research in literacy, and special educational programming.


"After reading just one chapter, I already felt more confident as a teacher implementing close reading. I especially found the examples of how to scaffold the implementation helpful. The content aligns well with the current dialogue in best practices in instruction and implementation of the Common Core. The visuals are very strong. I could see the "Close Reading Framework" graphic being used by teachers right next to their lesson plans. The "Levels of Comprehension" graphic also really puts in perspective what the focus for each cycle of reading should be. Connection to writing is also appealing!"

--Karina Nevers, ELL Literacy Specialist, Clark County School District, NV

"I would recommend this book to other administrators. It could be used for a book study with teachers of upper elementary to high school learners, especially with teachers who have identified that their students are struggling readers who need more help with complex texts. In fact, I think the book’s strategies would be helpful for all teachers to have!"

--Elizabeth Pratt, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Leominster Public Schools, MA