3 Responses to Defining the Elephant in the Room: What, Exactly, is Close Reading?

  1. Julie O'Brien says:

    Thanks for an interesting post, Sharon. I wonder if the debate/confusion over “close reading” is evidence that teachers are
    1. frantic to prove their professional abilities or 2. unique professionals that know what each individual student or class needs.
    My hope is that it’s the latter…
    I look forward to your next post!

  2. Janis Germain says:

    I really enjoyed your post and I to have questioned the literal meaning of “close reading” as well; however, I have come to the conclusion that it will be a tool that I will need to delve into each time I ask my students to do close reading. My students always know that when I ask the class to do a close reading their first task is to power through the reading once to get the over all meaning. It is only after that initial once through that we return to the text and begin to take it apart as we feel it needs to be for our purpose. Most often it is as you described syntax, mood, imagery, ecsetra. However, there are also times that we are only looking at the structure or the types of persuasion used by the author. I plan to continue using the tools that work for my students and as far as I can see this is just an additional tool in my toolbox. So, like you, I have no intention of giving up my mini lessons or doing my best to help my students connect with the text. I will just add close reading when it works for my students.

  3. Carlin Borsheim-Black says:

    Such a smart post. I love when people are able to put their finger on these sorts of things that make me say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” I feel like you’ve put words to something that’s been bugging me–and I didn’t even know what it was. And I find that this sometimes happens with “eduspeak”–those trendy words or phrases that get thrown around in education until they no longer mean much–or people realize that they were never really clear on what they meant at all. I feel like that about “multiple intelligences” sometimes, or “critical thinking.”

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