This week first graders have been learning how to “close read” a picture. You may be asking yourselves the question, “what is close reading?” Close reading is making careful observations of a text or picture, and then generating those interpretations of those observations. It involves rereading; often a short portion of a text and it helps a reader to carry new ideas to the whole text.
Our focus this week has been on getting truly involved with the text (or picture) they are reading. The purpose is to teach them to notice features and language used by the author. Students will be required to think thoroughly and methodically about the details in a text. Above is the picture the students read “closely”. They looked at the image and answered in writing what they first noticed. Then, they studied the picture again and wrote what their initial thought and reaction they had. Last, they generated unanswered questions they had.
Close reading isn't the old “students read, teacher questions and evaluates” model. While it is initially modeled and then guided by a teacher, over time the teacher releases the responsibility of close reading to the student. Teachers help students determine how a text is organized, and understand the effect of the author’s word choice in a certain passage. Close reading goes “deeper than the text”. It mines what is under the surface of the words. Students eventually evaluate or critique what is written.
What we're learning in first grade. Students are also making comments in class! At home add to the posts, too.