Sample Close Reading Guide


• Make pre-reading activities brief.

• Give students some information to

promote interest and enthusiasm about reading the text without giving away too much information.

1st Reading (Day 1)- What Does the Text Say?

(Key Ideas and Details)

Concentrate on helping students comprehend the main gist of the text

(e.g., retelling the plot, answering questions on the key ideas and details of the text).

• Work to clarify any confusion students may have about the text's


• Use text-dependent questions to

frame student discussions around

the text in order for students to gain

a firm understanding of the content/


2nd Reading (Day 2)- How Does the Text Work?

(Craft and Structure)

Help students understanding how the author wrote the text to convey specific ideas and emotions (e.g., organization of

the text, literary devices, quality of the

evidence, data/visual presentation,

word choice).

• Through text-dependent questions,

guide students to think about how

the text works to communicate ideas

and the author’s purpose.

• Student discussions resulting from

these questions should lead to student understanding of how the text works, which will inform the deeper implications of text (e.g., purpose and theme).

3rd Reading  (Day 3) - What Does the Text Mean?

(Integration of Knowledge and Ideas)

Go deeper with the text from the information gleaned from earlier readings (e.g., meaning/purpose/theme, author’s point, readers’ evaluations, comparisons with other texts, judgments about the text)

• Through text-dependent questions,

guide students to think about what

this text means to them and how it

connects to other texts or events. 


*Vocabulary should be taught on day 1 and reinforced on days 2 and 3.

*Don’t forget to analyze graphics and guide students in understanding information they present and why the author may have chosen to include them.

*Writing standards can be addressed after each day’s close reading activities or as a culminating activity on day 3. Students should be required to cite textual evidence in their writing.