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Close Reading. 1 . Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. TEACHER RESPONSIBILITY. “ I do it ”. Focused Instruction.

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Close Reading

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1.Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.



“I do it”

Focused Instruction

Guided Instruction

“We do it”

“You do it



“You do it




A Structure for Instruction that Works

(c) Frey & Fisher, 2008


Use a short passage

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage


Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage


“Read with a pencil”

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage


“Read with a pencil”

Text-dependent questions

Creating a Close Reading


Use a short passage


“Read with a pencil”

Text-dependent questions

Give students the chance to struggle a bit

Creating a Close Reading


A Close Reading of

“Salvador, Late or Early”

(Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, 1991)

text dependent questions
Text-dependent Questions
  • Answered through close reading
  • Evidence comes from text, not information from outside sources
  • Understanding beyond basic facts
  • Not recall!
types of text dependent questions
Types of Text-dependent Questions



Entire text






general understandings
General Understandings
  • Overall view
  • Sequence of information
  • Story arc
  • Main claim and evidence
  • Gist of passage
general understandings in kindergarten
General Understandings in Kindergarten

Retell the story in order using the words beginning, middle, and end.

key details
Key Details
  • Search for nuances in meaning
  • Determine importance of ideas
  • Find supporting details that support main ideas
  • Answers who, what, when, where, why, how much, or how many.
key details in kindergarten
Key Details in Kindergarten
  • How long did it take to go from a hatched egg to a butterfly?
  • What is one food that gave him a stomachache? What is one food that did not him a stomachache?

It took more than 3 weeks. He ate for one week, and then “he stayed inside [his cocoon] for more than two weeks.”

Foods that did not give him a stomachache

Chocolate cake

Ice cream


Swiss cheese



Cherry pie




Foods that gave him a stomachache

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Green leaf
vocabulary and text structure
Vocabulary and Text Structure
  • Bridges literal and inferential meanings
  • Denotation
  • Connotation
  • Shades of meaning
  • Figurative language
  • How organization contributes to meaning
vocabulary in kindergarten
Vocabulary in Kindergarten

How does the author help us to understand what cocoon means?


There is an illustration of the cocoon, and a sentence that reads, “He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself.”

author s purpose
Author’s Purpose
  • Genre: Entertain? Explain? Inform? Persuade?
  • Point of view: First-person, third-person limited, omniscient, unreliable narrator
  • Critical Literacy: Whose story is not represented?
author s purpose in kindergarten
Author’s Purpose in Kindergarten

Who tells the story—the narrator or the caterpillar?


A narrator tells the story, because he uses the words he and his. If it was the caterpillar, he would say I and my.


Probe each argument in persuasive text, each idea in informational text, each key detail in literary text, and observe how these build to a whole.

inferences in kindergarten
Inferences in Kindergarten

The title of the book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. How do we know he is hungry?


The caterpillar ate food every day “but he was still hungry.” On Saturday he ate so much food he got a stomachache! Then he was “a big, fat caterpillar” so he could build a cocoon and turn into a butterfly.

opinions arguments and intertextual connections
Opinions, Arguments, and Intertextual Connections
  • Author’s opinion and reasoning (K-5)
  • Claims
  • Evidence
  • Counterclaims
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos
  • Rhetoric

Links to other texts throughout the grades

opinions and intertextual connections in kindergarten
Opinionsand Intertextual Connections in Kindergarten



How are these two books similar? How are they different?

Is this a happy story or a sad one? How do you know?


Eisenhower’s Message to the Troops

June 6, 1944

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

 SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower


Eisenhower’s “In Case of Failure” Letter

"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”



  • Underline the major points.
  • Circle keywords or phrases that are confusing or unknown to you.
  • Use a question mark (?) for questions that you have during the reading. Be sure to write your question.
  • Use an exclamation mark (!) for things that surprise you, and briefly note what it was that caught your attention.
  • Draw an arrow (↵) when you make a connection to something inside the text, or to an idea or experience outside the text. Briefly note your connections.
  • Mark EX when the author provides an example.
  • Numerate arguments, important ideas, or key details and write words or phrases that restate them.

Student annotation in 6th grade

Student sample from Leigh McEwen, AEA 9, Iowa