Editor’s note: We LOVE this idea from Lisa King, a middle-school teacher in North Richland Hills, Texas. Students gain a deep understanding of the article while practicing six key reading skills and building reading stamina.
My students struggle with maintaining focus while they are reading and with key reading skills. (Inference is always a particularly tough one.) The following close-reading strategy helps students with comprehension and stamina, and it can be used with any nonfiction article. The basic approach is for students to read each section of the article on their own, then discuss the section as a class. Focusing on one section at a time helps break down the article and makes a long article seem manageable. It also keeps students engaged so they don’t lose focus.
What you’ll need:
- any Scope nonfiction article, like this one
- a poster or handout with a list of the reading skills you will cover
inference, summarizing, synthesizing, comprehension, reading for information, context clues
40-minute class period or longer, depending on the size of the class
1. Make a graphic organizer.
Before students start reading, they create a graphic organizer in their notebooks: a grid with one cell for each section of the article. The grid should include:
- the title of the article at the top of the page
- the section titles at the tops of the cells