Today, I have a bone to pick about close reading. Everywhere I look these days, it seems like virtually everyone is talking about “close reading.” And I realized that we’re calling just about everything close reading and by doing that, it’s at the point where it’s lost so much of its power! 

So I want you to ask yourself: Do I know what close reading ACTUALLY is, and am I replicating that process in my classroom?

Let’s look at the true step-by-step process of close reading, to make sure we’re keeping its integrity and power when using it with students. 

Close reading is: 

  • 1st read – get the gist of what I’ve read
  • 2nd read – understand how the text is organized
  • 3rd read – read, analyze, and think deeply about what I’ve read

If we’ve taught close reading well, we’ve actually given kids a skill that they can take to any text they read! That is the sign of successful, close reading.

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