Sunday Cummins Experience nonfiction.
Teaching for Close Reading
When a student engages in “close reading,” she analyzes the text at the word or phrase level and the sentence and paragraph level with a particular purpose like synthesizing the author’s central ideas in a nonfiction text. By considering the weight of meaning of particular phrases or sentences in a section of text, the student can begin to see how important details fit together to reveal and support the author’s central idea(s). As a result of effective close reading, she can identify the author’s central ideas and describe why a particular idea is central. She can also extract supporting details from the text and explain how these details serve as evidence to support the central ideas. This creates a pathway for critiquing the author’s central ideas and moving into deeper thinking about the text as a whole.