Close Reading is an instructional technique that suggests an approach to reading comprehension focused on literal,inferential, and evaluative questions based solely on the information contained within the four corners of the page.
Close reading plays a fundamental role in shaping the three areas of the CCSS: key details, author's craft, and integrating ideas.
In the classroom we operationalize these standards and close reading through short passages, read over multiple times guided by text-based discussions and text based analysis.
Close Reading is a specific literary school of thought derived from New Criticism and pushed heavily by the think tank the Aspen Institute. This group had networks within the Governor's organizations and the Common Core State Standards were born.
Combine the political advocacy with a financial crisis and the Obama administration creates a competitive grant program “Race to the Top” that promised billions to a few states. Everyone had to adopt the Common Core an eligibility requirement.
Close reading would fix that achievement gap. See the reason children of color can't read was because the books got too easy and the teachers too soft and talked nothing about feelings. It became one of three instructional shifts “required” of the Common Core State Standards
Close reading requires marking up and tracing the shape of a text. As you return to the passage you may then annotate the text using a different set of markers for a different purpose.
As a teacher you must think aloud and model the annotation process. You can mark up for: Main idea key details questions circle key words and concepts draw lines between ideas highlight claims and number evidence circle figurative language
The key is to demonstrate the practices Good readers use when we pull apart a text.
Fisher and Frey, citing Adler and van Duren (1972) and Kurland (1995) suggest the following phases of close reading:
Reciprocal Teaching (Palincsar & Brown,1984), I Questioning the Author (Beck, McKeown, Hamilton, &Kucan,1997), Collaborative Reasoning (Chinn & Anderson,1998), Text Talk (Beck &McKeown,2001), an Accountable Talk (Wolf, Crosson, & Resnick,2004) have all consistently demonstrated the importance of text based discussion in improving comprehension scores and frequency of comprehension strategy uses.
Close reading does not work alone and new meanings emerge in groups (Morrow, 1990).
During the discussion the purpose for that reading must play a central role in the discussion.