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close reading nonfiction

Intriguing Notices as Mini-Lessons

I’m always intrigued by the notices posted around us. Many are perfect for mini-lessons focused on close reading of informational text. Check out this one I saw in a restroom in Chico, CA. For a close reading exercise, I would put this on the document camera or Smart board and ask students some of the …Read more

Review of Exemplar Text in Appendix B – Grades 6-8 – Oh, my!

So I’m reading all of the texts on the Common Core Appendix B Exemplar Informational Text list. My reading is focused on what makes these texts rigorous for a particular grade band, what makes them hard for students, what do we need to think about when students are reading texts like these with a lot …Read more

Close reading anchor chart…but remember…

So…I’ve been getting a lot of questions about “anchor charts” for “close reading.” I’ve been hesitant because I don’t want students to consider close reading as a lock-step process. Close reading is the simultaneous orchestration of multiple skills, used fluidly and iteratively. BUT there are potential benefits when we use an initial anchor chart as a …Read more

The Great Fire by Murphy – Good Example of Nonfiction 4th-8th Grade

The Great Fire (Murphy, 1995), a Newbery Honor Book, is listed in the Common Core Appendix B as an exemplar text for 6th-8th grade reading. Filled with black and white photos and illustrations, this isn’t a book that is immediately appealing like some other titles. If you can get kids to start the book, though, …Read more

The Mighty Mars Rovers – Close Reading Lesson

If you’re exploring the new Next Generation Science Standards and wondering how to get started, I’d start by reading this book aloud to your students. The standards have added “engineering and technology” to the landscape of science instruction and the authors have shifted from “methods” to “practice” in their descriptions of what scientists and engineers …Read more

Meghan – Determined Reading Specialist in Action, Part I

When you write a book, you never know how readers will perceive your ideas. I hoped my book Close Reading of Informational Text would be a way to start a conversation – with me and with your peers. Well, Meghan, a reading specialist in the western suburbs of Chicago, quite literally took me up on this …Read more

Central Idea Vocabulary for Narrative Nonfiction

For students to identify the central ideas in nonfiction, they need the vocabulary to articulate these ideas. Here are some suggestions for words to consider introducing and using with your students during discussions of nonfiction texts. My suggestion would be to start a bulletin board and add these words as they surface in your discussions. …Read more