Designed to supplement the ELA curriculum or be used on their own, Close Reading Workshops help students develop a skill essential to succeeding in state assessments, AP, college, and careers.
Why It Helps
Students learn the strategies they need to pay more attention to detail, grasp more meaning, and build content knowledge—benefitting not only ELA but all their other studies.
How It Works
These close reading workshops give students deliberate practice with close reading strategies, including analyzing vocabulary, marking the text, questioning the text, and rereading. Each workshop is organized to provide gradual release of instruction starting with teacher-directed guided reading, then moving into collaborative work, and finally releasing students to apply what they have learned in independent practice.
Each grade level has six workshops, and each of those workshops focuses on a different type of text. Both fiction and nonfiction are included, so students practice a range of reading skills.
Within a workshop, multiple readings center around a theme, such as “Literary Nonfiction,” “Argumentative Texts,” “Shakespeare,” or “Informational Texts in Social Studies, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” As the workshop progresses, students move from teacher-guided reading to collaborative reading with peers and then to independent analysis.
At the end of each workshop, an assessment—which you can assign as an individual, small group, or whole-class activity—checks students’ understanding of the texts and their ability to synthesize information. Assessments include writing, debate, discussion, multimedia presentation, or other skills to allow for student choice and to meet varying learning needs.
Benefits for Students:
- Offer deliberate practice with close reading strategies
- Facilitates rereading
- Make meaning of texts and analyzing the many ways writers use language purposefully to create particular effects, convey meaning, or persuade audiences
- Build reading independence with strategic guidance from their teachers and peers
- Synthesize their learning
How Close Reading Workshops Address Unfinished Learning:
- Provide targeted focused instruction that uses gradual release, allowing teachers to model first and then monitor closely as students gain independence
- Give focused and specific instruction and strategies that can be applied later in other instruction
- Are powerful in supporting how to engage with complex texts, something that was likely sacrificed during loss of instructional time or challenging settings
- Can be used with small groups, whole class.
- Can be used as response to intervention based on student performance. A single workshop can be completed in 4–8 days, giving powerful focus without derailing instruction.
- Consist of 6 genres including STEM and History/Social Sciences
- Use authentic texts that merit close reading. They are truly complex rather than just a high Lexile.