Key Question: What evidence of theme did you see in the text?
- Student Copies of any novel (I used Rules by Cynthia Lord)
- Student copies of 1 excerpt from the novel (Find a page with excellent evidence that supports theme – I used page 2 of Rules)
- Close Reading Bookmarks (free), printed on cardstock
I know that copying text is very controversial, and copyright infringement is a real concern with Close Reading, but students need to annotate the text. I want to say immediately that I purchased a class set of the book Rules from Scholastic when it was the $1 book for the month. That being said, I do copy excerpts from the book for students to write on. The students each have a copy, so this is only for the use of them having more room to annotate. You may also choose to type it out instead.
For this lesson, we used page 2 of Rules by Cynthia Lord. We will continue to read this book and apply each of the RL standards to it along the way. I like to always have an “anchor text” to tie all of the standards together.
1. First reading (“cold read”)
Have students silently read the page. I have my students hold up the page while reading, then set it down to indicate they are finished with their read. This prevents me from having 30 students tell me “I’m done!”
2. Model Close Reading
Use the top half of the page and the bookmarks to model the Close Reading Strategies. Reread and then show each strategy one step at a time.
Underline Key Words: The key words we are looking for today are ones that give us clues about the theme.
Circle What you Don’t Understand: Circle words you don’t know, or parts that don’t make sense.
Annotate Left Margin: Summarize the piece you read in one sentence on the left.
Annotate Right Margin: Tell why the author wrote this piece on the right.
No Theme clues so far, so we don’t underline anything.
3. Guided Close Reading
At the end of your Close Read, their paper should look something like this:
4. Graphic Organizer
- What is theme?
- How did we find examples of theme in Rules by Cynthia Lord?
- How can you relate to the theme “acceptance” in your life?