2nd Edition

Close Reading in Elementary School Bringing Readers and Texts Together

By Diana Sisson, Betsy Sisson Copyright 2024
    194 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    194 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    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 accelerate learning through increasingly challenging texts in both print and digital media, how to use close reading as a springboard for close talks and close writes, and how to support your students to move forward confidently with a repertoire of tools to employ as they navigate complex text in their daily lives.

    Special Features:

    • A clear explanation of what text complexity really means and how it varies by student
    • An easy-to-use framework for creating a close reading lesson that builds student reading stamina
    • Scaffolds to help students at all ability levels to do a close reading
    • Close reading strategies for a variety of literary and informational genres
    • Ideas for strengthening reading through targeting comprehension skills, including analyzing text structure and evaluating arguments
    • Suggestions for helping students read with increasing levels of rigor
    • Techniques for how to lessen student technology distractions and dig deeper into digital text
    • Guidelines and procedures for close talks – purposeful, focused discussions about text
    • Procedures for close writes that vary based on genre and student ability level
    • Recommendations to ensure students have the close reading skills to be effective readers in and out of the classroom

    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!


    Meet the Authors

    PART I Understanding Close Reading

    Chapter 1 Defining Complex Text in the Classroom

    Why Is Text Complexity a Significant Factor in Reading Instruction Today?

    Measuring Text Complexity

    The Essence of Text Complexity


    Book Study: Reflection Questions

    Chapter 2 Close Reading: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Practices

    Historical Context

    Close Reading Comes to American Classrooms

    Reader Response Theory

    The Return of Close Reading


    Book Study: Reflection Questions


    Part II Close Reading in the Classroom

    Chapter 3 An Overview of Close Reading Strategies

    Ten Steps to Creating a Close Reading Lesson

    Plan the Implementation

    Scaffold the Process


    Book Study: Reflection Questions

    Chapter 4 Reading Across Literary and Informational Genres

    Literary Genres

    Informational Genres


    Book Study: Reflection Questions

    Chapter 5 Strengthening Reading Through Targeted Comprehension Skills

    Reading for Details Using Both Literal and Inferential Understanding

    Theme, Main Idea, and Summarization

    Narrative Elements

    Text Structure

    Point of View

    Diverse Text Formats and Media

    Evaluate Arguments in Text

    Comparing and Contrasting Multiple Texts on the Same Topic


    Book Study: Reflection Questions

    Chapter 6 Accelerating Learning With Increasing Levels of Rigor

    Bloom’s Taxonomy

    Webb’s DOK Levels

    Differentiating Academic Rigor


    Book Study: Reflection Questions

    Chapter 7 Looking Deeper at Digital Text

    Evolution of Reading

    The Digital Brain

    Delving Into Digital Texts

    Academic Benefits of the Social Aspect of Reading

    The Use of Writing as a Physical Interaction With Digital Learning


    Book Study: Reflection Questions


    Part III Linking Close Reading With Close Talks and Close Writes

    Chapter 8 Using Close Talks to Deepen Understanding

    The Power of Questioning

    Close Talks





    Preparing a Close Talk

    Guidelines for Participating in a Close Talk

    Close Talk Procedure

    Close Talk Participation Rubric

    Benefits of Close Talk


    Book Study: Reflection Questions

    Chapter 9 Close Writes as a Springboard Into Student-Generated Writing

    Reading-Writing Connection

    The Close Write Model


    Book Study: Reflection Questions


    Chapter IV The Independent Reader

    Chapter 10 Building the Independent Reader

    The Power of the Gradual Release of Responsibility

    Teacher Modeling

    Interactive Think Alouds

    Guided Use of Whole-Class Close Reading Framework With Shared Text

    Differentiating the Close Reading Process in Small Groups and Paired Reading

    Using Feedback to Elevate Student Thinking

    The Independent Reader

    Closing Thoughts on the Transformational Effect of Close Reading


    Book Study: Reflection Questions



    Diana Sisson and Betsy Sisson, Ed.D.s, are international literacy consultants focusing on professional development and school improvement. They also serve as adjunct professors in the fields of teacher preparation, curriculum and instruction, educational research in literacy, and literacy instruction.